Cabbage is my food companion since I can remember. However, I was first introduced to cabbage loafs after I got married.
In my home country,
, cabbage heads are pickled and then cooked in a similar way as cabbage loafs is cooked; the dish is called “sarma” and it has a sour note. Sarma is a dish of cabbage leaves rolled around a filling usually based on minced meat. Sarma means 'a wrapped thing' in Turkish, from the verb sarmak 'to wrap' or 'to roll'. The name sarma has been borrowed by many languages and probably also by the Slovenian language. Slovenia
Immediately after my first bite into cabbage loaf- malfoof, I fell in love with this dish! It’s a hardy dish, yet it is also a healthy one.
Cabbage Loafs- MALFOOF (≈ 42 loafs)
1 4 pound cabbage head ≈ 21 loose leafs
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground ginger
2 tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil
3 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
Wash rice and soak it in warm water for ½ an hour.
In a skillet heat the olive oil and brown ground beef with garlic, cumin, chili peppers, black pepper, and salt.
Maybe it will seem like a lot of olive oil, but when the rice joins the party, the oil will be absorbed.
Drain rice, add it to the meat, and stir over medium heat for about 3 – 4 minutes. Remove from heat, add parsley, and stir to combine. Transfer the filling into a big enough bowl and let it cool down a bit.
MAKING CABBAGE LOAFS:
Cut a cabbage leaf in half and remove the core.
Roll into a loaf and put it into a baking dish. Do not roll too tight, because the rice is still raw and it needs space to expand while cooking. Otherwise you will end up with crunchy rice inside a tasty cabbage loaf. Not appetizing at all! You will end up with 40 – 42 cabbage loafs.