Sarma is a national meal from Bulgaria. There are different ways of preparing this meal depending on the ways or customs of the country.

Sarma is a meal based on grinded meat and rice wrapped up in cabbage or vine leaf. In Bulgaria they prepare sarma with raw cabbage while in Croatia they make sarma with sour cabbage. In Greece sarma is usually made with vine leaf.

There are some alternatives ways of making vegetarian sarma using seitan or other kind of rice that could be alternative to the grinded meat. In this recipe there will be explanation how to make sarma with raw cabbage.

This meal is usually prepared in winter months because of the vitamin C that the cabbage has which will strengthen our immunity and help us battle flu.

Ingredients needed for preparing sarma are:

– 2 cabbages
– 300 grams grinded meat
– 1 cup of rice
– some frying oil
– 1 onion
– parsley
– salt
– pepper

Before we start preparing we should clean our hands. Then we take the cabbage and clean it with cold water and take off the bad leafs. For making sarma you will need the biggest cabbage leafs you could get. You take apart as many big cabbage leafs you will want. You clean and cut onion on half and then on little pieces. In a frying pan you put some frying oil and the onion, grinded meat and the rice, and you fry all that together while mixing all that together with a spoon so it wont burn.

When the frying is finished we start filling each cabbage leaf with the mixture of fried meat, onion and rice. Each cabbage leaf we fill with one spoon of the fried mixture. The way we wrap the cabbage is not important as long as the mixture is not falling off.

We take a big pot and we place three or four cabbage leafs on the bottom, we place the wrapped cabbage leafs inside the pot and we put another two or three leafs on top. After that we pour some water in the pot and we cover the pot with the pot lid.

In the wrapped up cabbage leafs we could also put some salt and pepper or some bacon that will determine the taste and will add to the flavor of the sarma.

Then we start cooking. We heat up the pot until the water starts to boil, after that we lower heat and let the sarma cook for 3 more hours. You will know when it’s cooked when the cabbage becomes soft and could be easily torn with fork.

After that we should get some cloth to remove the pot and the pot lid until the sarma is cooled off. And we serve several parts of the sarma on the plate and grind some cheese on top or cut few cheese pieces on side of the plate with sarma. Also we add some parsley or some other vegetable.

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