From Cookipedia

Sarma (Turkish: sarma, Southern Slavic: сарма or sarma, Armenian: սարմա, Romanian: sarmale, Arabic: يبرق yabraq or malfuf) is the name of a dish of stuffed and rolled grape leaves, cabbage leaves or chard leaves common to European and Middle Eastern countries such as Armenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Ukraine.

It is a great hearty winter meal.

Please excuse my poor interpretation of this recipe. See comments for my excuses!

Sarma and pitta bread
Servings:Serves 6 to 8 people
Calories per serving:556
Ready in:4 hours
Prep. time:30 minutes
Cook time:3 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:JuliaBalbilla
First published:24th October 2012

Best recipe review

Too much cabbage!


There is only so much cabbage I can eat in one go!

Paul R Smith


Printable 🖨 shopping 🛒 list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe

Mise en place

  • Preheat the oven to 177° C (350° F - Gas 4)


  1. Fry the onions in a oil until soft and translucent
  2. Add the garlic, minced pork and minced beef, nutmeg and stir-fry for 3 minutes
  3. Add the rice, salt, paprika, nutmeg and pepper and fry for a minues or so
  4. Remove from the heat, whisk the eggs and stir into the mixture together with the chopped mint, allow to cool
  5. Cut the base of the cabbage and separate into leaves
  6. Trim and remove any tough central stems
  7. Place a heaped tablespoon of the meat mixture into each cabbage leaf, roll from the thick end, tucking the edges in to close
  8. Line the base of a very large casserole dish with the half of the sauerkraut
  9. Place the filled cabbage leaves on the sauerkraut, seam-side down
  10. Add another layer of sauerkraut and top with the smoked meat selection
  11. Finish with a final layer of sauerkraut
  12. Add the tomato juice and enough water to cover the only the cabbage rolls, not the whole dish!
  13. Bake for 1 hour at 177° C (350° F - Gas 4)
  14. Reduce to 163° C (325° F - Gas 3) and bake for a further 2 hours
  15. Allow to rest for 15 minutes
  16. Serve hot

Serving suggestions

Serve with pitta breads or polenta or potatoes (mashed or boiled) and accompaniments such as sour cream, yogurt or horseradish.


Use grape leaves or chard leaves instead of cabbage leaves

Use chicken stock or onion soup instead of tomato juice

Add a little red wine to the water.

Omit the smoked meats for a change.

Chef's tip

I Tried this with savoy cabbage which was a bit too bulky and difficult to roll so the end result didn't look great, it tasted great though! It's also worth noting that the overall flavour of the dish is very much influenced by the smoked meats that are used in the layers, so choose them carefully. Junk in - junk out.

The casserole dish I used was really too small, this could have been better done in a two smaller dishes or a lesser quantity to start with.

Chef's notes

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