Macedonian Cabbage Rolls (Sarma) | Diethood


This straightforward recipe for Macedonian Cabbage Rolls (Sarma) is hearty, flavorful, and vegan! You’ll love the savory rice filling filled with herbs and spices in tender cabbage leaves. 

rice filled cabbage rolls arranged in a white braiser.

A Conventional Vegan Cabbage Roll Recipe

Do-it-yourself cabbage rolls are a particular meal, one that basically says, “I like you!”. No, I’m not exaggerating right here – the effort and time that it takes to create these little bundles of goodness is a labor of affection! However, like many cooking initiatives, it’s additionally enjoyable, and fairly easy. In the event you’re able to strive your hand at conventional selfmade cabbage rolls, this recipe is for you!

You’ll discover that this recipe is a meatless model – in actual fact, it’s vegan! There aren’t any animal merchandise of any variety on this recipe, in all probability as a result of it was developed at a time and in a spot the place fasting from all animal merchandise was the norm throughout Lent. Right now, vegan dishes are extremely fashionable it doesn’t matter what time of 12 months it’s – and once they’re this tasty, it’s straightforward to see why.

That is additionally a much less tomato-oriented cabbage roll. There is no such thing as a tomato sauce, crushed tomato, or strained tomato on this recipe – only a little bit of tomato paste and a few contemporary chopped tomatoes so as to add tanginess to the rice filling. Garlic, paprika, lemon pepper, olive oil, and herbs carry tons of taste although!

And! A walnut tucked in every roll provides a singular contact to this old style dish. You’ll be able to skip the walnut, however don’t. It provides taste and a gentle crunch.

up close shot of rice filled cabbage rolls arranged in a braiser.

What Nation Is Sarma From?

It is perhaps simpler to ask what nation sarma is not from! These cabbage (and generally grape leaf) rolls are conventional meals within the Balkans, Central Europe, the Center East, and the South Caucasus. That’s lots of cabbage! 🥬

However, it’s no shock this dish is beloved throughout cultures and international locations. This recipe is a Macedonian model, with a lot of paprika and never an excessive amount of tomato, and genuine Macedonian Sarma is ready with fermented cabbage leaves, but it surely’s not a should.

The Substances You’ll Want

Whereas meat-filled cabbage rolls sometimes use floor meat reminiscent of beef, pork, lamb, or veal, this model is full of veggies, seasonings, and rice. It’s a comforting, carb-y dish that’s assured to fill you up.

For the Cabbage Leaves

For the Filling

  • Oil: Olive oil is my go-to for this recipe, however you can substitute one other form of oil as desired. Butter, ghee, and bacon grease would additionally work (remember the fact that animal fat would make this a meatless recipe reasonably than strictly vegan). 
  • Onions: The onions needs to be finely diced.
  • Garlic: You need to use a beneficiant quantity of contemporary garlic, minced or pressed by a garlic press.
  • Parsley: Like paprika, parsley is a must have ingredient in Macedonian cooking. 
  • Tomatoes: Take two contemporary tomatoes, and chop them finely. 
  • Tomato Paste: A small quantity of tomato paste provides depth to the cabbage roll filling.
  • Paprika: You’ll need candy paprika right here, not smoked or scorching paprika.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Dried Herbs: Oregano and thyme carry a pungent, natural perfume.
  • Lemon Pepper: Lemon pepper seasoning makes the rice filling irresistible! 
  • Rice: Use your favourite long-grain white rice.
  • Walnuts: The ultimate contact to the cabbage rolls is to incorporate a halved walnut in every one.

For the Sauce

  • Oil: Just a little extra oil for sauteing.
  • Garlic: Mince the garlic, or press it.
  • Paprika: Once more, candy paprika, reasonably than smoked or scorching paprika.
  • Water: The water needs to be scorching earlier than including it to the opposite substances.



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