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EGYPTIAN CABBAGE ROLLS

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It is not unusual for countries sharing a common border to have some similar, if not entirely the same, recipes.

In many cases the differences in the recipes is caused by the availability of raw ingredients.

It is not surprising therefore that North African countries bordering on the Mediterranean Sea have some similar recipes to southern European countries which border on the same sea.

Egyptian stuffed cabbage leaves or mahsi kromb may be likened to the relatively more famous Greek recipe for stuffed vine leaves or dolmades / dolmathakia.
The Egyptian substitution of cabbage leaves in mashi kromb is due to the shortage of vines in that country.

Egyptian Cabbage rolls are generally made as a vegetarian dish, the most common stuffing being a mixture of rice, onion, tomato, herbs and spices.
Meat is rarely used in Egyptian stuffed cabbage rolls which are arranged in a pot and boiled in a tomato-based sauce.

This recipe differs from the traditional Egyptian mashi kromb in that the cabbage rolls are stuffed with minced lamb in addition to tomato and onion, whereas the rice is omitted.
The method of making the rolls has been somewhat simplified.
The stuffed cabbage rolls are then covered in the tomato sauce and grated cheddar cheese and baked in an oven.

Cabbage Roll Ingredients:

1 cabbage
1 small onion (1/2 large onion)
1 tomato
8oz (225g) Cheddar cheese
3 Tbsp (45ml) vegetable oil
1lb 2oz (500g) minced lamb
2 Tbsp (30ml) fresh breadcrumbs
Salt & Pepper to taste

Tomato Sauce Ingredients

3 cloves garlic
2 large onions
2 green chillies
10 basil leaves
Small bunch of fresh green parsley
3 Tbsp (45ml) extra virgin olive oil.
2 X 141/2oz (410g) peeled tomatoes
Salt & Pepper to taste

To make the Cabbage Rolls


Separate the cabbage leaves and remove the thick middle stalk from each leaf.
Slice and chop the small onion
Plunge the tomato into boiling water to loosen the skin and then remove the skin and chop the tomato.
Grate the cheddar cheese
Place the cabbage leaves in a pot of boiling water and blanch until soft but not limp.
Mix the onion, tomato, vegetable oil, mince, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper together.
Place 1Tbsp (15ml) of the mixture in each of the cabbage leaf halves and wrap to form rolls.

To make the Tomato Sauce.


Crush the cloves of garlic
Peel and chop the onions
Chop the green chillies
Chop the basil leaves
Chop the parsley

Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the garlic and onions until soft.
Add the canned tomatoes, chilli, basil leaves and parsley and cook for about 30 minutes.
Season with the salt and pepper.

To complete cooking the Cabbage Rolls


Preheat the oven to 350 deg F (180 deg C) do this while cooking the sauce
Pour half the sauce into a glass or ceramic oven proof dish
Arrange the cabbage rolls in the sauce and pour the remaining sauce over the top.
Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top.
Bake for +/- 45 minutes

Serve your Egyptian Cabbage rolls hot with a starch of your choice
You should find these extremely tasty and well worth the effort of preparing them

Serves 4-6 depending on appetite

Preparation Time 20 minutes
Cooking Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Total time 1 hour 55 minutes

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Date Published 21st April 2016
Author: Michael Tracey - Africhef

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