One of my favorite dishes is these rather basic cabbage rolls. there is something about their lightness that makes me want to have more and more of them. I used to buy them on a weekend market, but decided to eventually teach myself to make this dish at home.
The filling is very basic and can be adjusted – for example – I added sprouted mung beans to the rice, and in another occasion replaced the rice with bulgur and walnuts.
Serve these excellent stuffed cabbage rolls with Hummus.
Mix together the rice, cinnamon, olive oil, sumac and sugar. add half of the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Optional - add the fried onion
boil water in a big pot. put the cabbage inside to soften the leaves. take out every 2-3 minutes and remove the leaves that are softer. the best way to do so is to cut them from the stem using a knife. leaves are soft enough when you can fold them easily and they wouldn't open back.
Cut the leaves to 10x10 cm squares. of course, we are working with cabbage leaves so it's impossible to be accurate but you need to aim at large enough pieces. you may need to remove the central stem in the leaf, to allow easier folding
start folding - put 1 big tsp of filling at the top of the leaf, fold over the filling
fold the sides of the leaf over the filling
and continue folding VERY tightly. place in a wide pot. make sure that the rolls are cramped together - this will protect them from opening again during the cooking.
When all the rolls are ready, sprinkle above them the lemon juice, olive oil and some salt and pepper. add water - enough to cover the rolls plus a few centimeters. cover with an upside down plate and push the plate lightly towards the cabbage rolls. cover with the pot lid.
cook for 1.25 hours on low heat, check that there is enough water and if needed, and more, but allow them to absorb before turning off heat. it should be enough time but if the rice is not soft enough, add a bit of water and keep cooking for another 15 minutes. best to eat with some Tahini or Hummus.
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