1 medium-large cabbage
1 cup rice
100g mince meat
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp dried, crushed mint
1 tsp citric acid (or to taste)
pinch: cumin, mixed spice, salt, pepper
(optional: soak the rice in warm water for 15-20 minutes)
Pull apart the leaves of the cabbage (make sure they remain whole! To keep them from ripping, do this under fairly hot tap water).
Slice the larger leaves (usually in half) so that they’re a suitable rolling size. Cut on either side of the middle stem (the one that’s really hard and big).
In a large pot, bring water to a boil.
Blanch the leaves in the water, and set aside to drain (the leaves need to be soft enough to roll. This can take up to 5 minutes if you’ve put in a lot of leaves at the same time).
As the leaves cool, prepare the stuffing.
In a large bowl, place the rice (drained), meat, and spices. Mix through until well combined.
Begin by placing a heaped teaspoon at the bottom of a cabbage leaf.
Roll the leaf upwards (away from you).
A third way in, fold in it’s sides in. This step is completely optional. In fact, the original method of cooking cabbage does not require this. If your leaf is soft enough to fold in, then it’s best to do it. Otherwise, the rice won’t spill out.
Continue rolling until the leaf completely encapsulates the stuffing.
Set side keeping the opening face down so it doesn’t unroll.
Repeat this for the remaining leaves.
–NOTE: if your leaves are cracking/splitting when you attempt to roll them, you haven’t blanched them long enough. Bring water to a boil and repeat the blanching process if necessary.
In one hand, hold five rolled cabbage leaves (or thereabouts); in the other hand, hold normal sewing string.
Begin to wrap the handful of cabbage with the string (some 4 or 5 times) so that you have a little group of cabbage rolls.
Cut the string and repeat this until all the rolls are grouped.
Here there are two different methods for cooking.
For those who use a pressure cooker:
(optional) cover the bottom of the pot with slices of your favourite red meat or vegetable.
Place the grouped rolls into the pot.
Fill the pot with water so that just over half (about 3/4) the rolls are immersed in water.
Place on high heat, uncovered.
Crush garlic, and add the teaspoon of dried mint.
Add to the mixture a teaspoon of citric acid.
Add this mixture to the pot.
Cover the pressure cooker and cook on high heat until it whistles.
Turn down the heat to medium-low.
Cook for a further 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat and leave as is until whistling stops.
For those who want to use a normal pot:
(optional) cover the bottom of the pressure cooker with slices of your favourite red meat or vegetable.
Place the rolls in the pot.
Fill the pot with water so that the rolls are completely immersed in water.
Place the pot on high heat, uncovered.
Crush garlic, add the teaspoon of dried mint.
Add the mixture to the pot.
Cover and leave on high heat until broth boils.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for a further 1.5 hours (or thereabouts).
Uncover the pot and add the teaspoon of citric acid to the broth.
Cover and cook for another 20 minutes.
Take out the grouped rolls when cooking process has finished. Cut the string and arrange the rolls.
Serve with a little bowl (per person) of broth.
To eat, split the roll and dip into the broth, eat with (or without) pita bread.
–I had some extra stuffing left, so I stuffed some onions! Yum! If you want to know how I did this, view this post. –This time I didn’t peel off the skin before cooking – still got the same tasty result!
That’s a two in one devouring!