Thursday,20 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1237, (12 - 18 March 2015 )
Thursday,20 September, 2018
Issue 1237, (12 - 18 March 2015 )

Ahram Weekly

Stuffed meatless cabbage leaves (koromb mahshy)

Serves 10-12


1 large cabbage

4 cups rice (washed, drained)

1 large bunch each; (parsley, dill, coriander: finely chopped)

2 large onions (finely chopped)

2 large onions (extra), sliced

2-3 large tomatoes (sliced)

2 cups fresh tomato juice (or) grated flesh

2 tbsp tomato paste

12 cloves garlic (unpeeled)

Meat or chicken stock

Juice of one lemon

1/4 cup vegetable or extra virgin olive oil

Salt + pepper + 7 spices + cumin + cinnamon


In a large cooking pan, add plenty of water, a tablespoonful of each; salt and cumin. Bring to the boil. Meanwhile, extract compact leaves of cabbage, from off its root, by loosening each with the tip of a sharp knife. Rinse each leaf under running tap water, rubbing gently with your fingers, to flush any stuck mud dirt. Add leaves, in batches, to boiling water, pressing down with the back of a spatula, to tenderise leaves; without overcooking them.  Remove and drain onto a metal strainer. When cooled off, start tailoring leaves by means of a knife; upon a cutting board. Cut right and left of hard vein of leaf and extract it out; leaving the leaf with an empty ‘V’ shape. Cut a straight line vertically, from the base point of the formed ‘V’; down along the end; cutting leaf in half. Cut each half horizontally in two. Large leaves can be cut horizontally in three. Continue tailoring all leaves until quantity is finished. Stack them all on top of each other. You can finish this stage on one day, wrap in plastic film or aluminium foil and refrigerate overnight. Meanwhile prepare stuffing: Heat a large cooking pan on high. Add oil, lower heat to medium and stir in chopped onion until translucent. Add seasoning. Stir until fragrant. Add tomato juice and paste. Bring to a boil and add rice. Stir it in to mix thoroughly, cover and remove away from heat. When completely cool, add chopped green leaves and stir them in well to mix. Prepare a large deep cooking pan to cook all quantity, making sure to allow an empty space of at least five inches from stuffed leaves and up to the pan rim. Layer some of the removed thick veins of leaves, to cover base of pan. Top them with onion slices then layer tomato slices over onion and scatter four or five garlic cloves around arranged vegetables. Leave aside until stuffed leaves are ready to be layered on top. On a flat surface or plate, start placing tailored cabbage leaves, one by one, with the leaf tiny veins horizontally lined. Place a quantity of stuffing on top of leaf, at the edge facing you. Roll towards the outer end of the leaf forming a finger like shape. Continue until all quantity is finished. No folding of ends. Arrange stuffed cabbage leaves inside the pan, in a repeated pattern of layers. Scatter remaining quantity of garlic cloves; divided once halfway between layers and again on top of the final layer. Bring stock to the boil in a medium saucepan. Add lemon juice and some salt, to taste. Pour over stuffed cabbage to cover top by one inch. Bring to a boil, over medium heat, and leave to cook until stock is almost absorbed; lowering heat to low, halfway its cooking time; (approximately 45 minutes). Remove away from heat and allow to stand and slightly cool. Remove pan cover. Place a large serving plate, upside-down, on top of pan rim. Hold pan and plate with kitchen gloves tightly together from both sides and swiftly flip pan upwards; allowing contents to fall onto the plate as illustrated. Serve hot with a rich green salad aside.

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