Syrian Cabbage Rolls (Mihshee Malfoof bi Burghul)
Ready in 45 minutes
Serves : 12
By Pete Romfh
1 medium cabbage
2 1/2 cup chickpeas; cooked
1 cup coarse burghul; – (Bulgar wheat)
2 medium onions; – finely chopped
4 tablespoons Tomato paste
2 tablespoons cilantro; – finely chopped
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons mint leaves; – finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne; as required
1/2 teaspoon Salt; to taste
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper; – to taste
8 cloves garlic; – thin sliced
2 cups Tomato juice
Place burghul in a bowl and cover with boiling or hot water and allow to sit for about 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the burghul is partially cooked.
Place cabbage in a pot of boiling water and cook for a few minutes to soften leaves.
Remove from water and, with a knife, loosen leaves from the base.
If the leaves are still not soft, boil again for a few minutes.
When all leaves are cut free, trim the bottom portion of the thick rib from each leave (e.g. about 2 inches in), leaving a large circle that will be used to wrap the filling.
Note – if leaves are very large, they may be cut in half before use.
To make filling, place all remaining ingredients, except garlic and tomato juice, in a bowl and thoroughly mix.
Place some filling on the wide end of a cabbage leaf and roll, tucking in the ends in the process.
Continue until all leaves are finished.
Cover bottom of saucepan with saved cabbage ribs and any extra leaves.
Arrange rolls side by side.
Sprinkle a little extra salt and add the garlic cloves to the pan.
Pour the tomato juice over cabbage rolls.
Add a little extra water if needed so that the liquid comes up at least half way up the pan. (Opt. – you may place an inverted plate on top of the cabbage rolls to weight them in the pan. Alternatively, use a tight fitting lid.)
Bring to a boil; then cover and cook tomato juice and enough water to cover plate.
Bring to a boil; then cover and cook over medium heat for 50 minutes or until burghul is well done.
Serve hot or cold with a little of the tomato sauce from the pan.
Makes about 10 – 12 cabbage rolls; number will vary based on size of leaves and amount of filling used.
Adapted From: Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East & North Africa
by Habeeb Salloum