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Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Malfouf)

A cabbage roll is a traditional dish consisting of cooked cabbage leaves wrapped around a variety of fillings.

The Arabic name of cabbage is “malfouf”, however this word originally means wrapped up and that explains where the name of cabbage comes from.

Stuffed cabbage roll recipe is part of the Syrian cuisine and is considered a comfort food. Some are strictly vegetarian filled with buckwheat groats, barley or millet, while others feature beef, lamb or pork.

The cabbage is stuffed with rice and minced meat and only rolled to the size of a cigar and it eaten warm, served with a side of yogurt and lemon and olive oil vinaigrette seasoned with garlic and dried mint.

You remove the damaged outer leaves from the cabbage, then cut the core off of the cabbage head (in order to ease the peeling process). Carefully, peel away cabbage leaves one by one. Place cabbage leaves in a deep pot of boiling water (divide them into batches). Keep them in the boiling water under medium heat for about 2 minutes, then flip the batch of leaves over and leave them for another 2 minutes until they become tender. Set them aside to let drain, then prepare the stuffing.

Ingredients

3 kg cabbage head

2 cups rice, thoroughly rinsed

1/2 kg ground lamb, minced

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon allspices

2 tablespoon salt, divided

1/4cup vegetable oil

2 heads of garlic, peeled and largely chopped

1 cube of chicken stock

1/4 cup lemon juice

Preparation

1. Place cabbage leaves in a deep pot of boiling water. Keep them in the boiling water under medium heat for about 2 minutes, then flip the batch of leaves over and leave them for another 2 minutes until they become tender. Set them aside to let drain.

2. For stuffing: in a bowl, add rinsed rice, meat, cumin, allspices, 1 tablespoon salt, and vegetable oil. Mix altogether until well combined.

3. For rolling process: cut each cabbage leaf into about 10 cm X 15 cm sheets). Cut off large stalks of each leaf and place them in the bottom of a large cooking pot. Place each sheet on a smooth surface. Add about one tablespoon of stuffing to each sheet and then spread it across the sheet leaving some space in the edges. Roll sheet forward toward stuffing. Squeeze the roll using your hand and place it in the pot. Repeat for each sheet until you fill half of the pot.

4. Add half quantity of the chopped garlic. Continue to layer up the pot with cabbage rolls. Add the remaining amount of garlic, 1 tablespoon of salt, and cube of stock. Cover cabbage rolls by water, and place the pot over a medium heat until water is boiling. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to the minimum and let simmer for about 45 minutes until the rice is fully cooked. Add lemon juice 15 minutes before cooking time is up.

5 .Serve hot with extra lemon chunks.

 

Hamsa zugheb

 

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