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Serbian Posna Sarma

What you need: 

1 cabbage
4 or 5 onions, diced
2 or 3 stalks celery
1/3 cup oil
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 cup rice, cooked
1 cup ground walnuts
1-16 oz. can whole tomatoes
salt

What you do: 

Serbian sarma is similar to Greek dolmas, though its made with cabbage instead of grape leaves. The usual sarma is made with ground pork and chuck, resulting in a rather disgusting combination of meat, oil and cabbage. We take it down a notch for lent, during which most days are spent fasting on a vegan diet. Hence: lenten (posna) sarma. This recepie sounds a bit odd, so one could use grape leaves instead to Greek it up.
Cut out the hard core of the cabbage; or, if using sweet cabbage, boil it and then separate each leaf. Heat oil in a skillet, then add onions, celery and pepper. Fry until soft. Add cooked rice, stir and fry the whole deal. Remove from heat, add salt and walnuts, mix well. Scoop approximately a tablespoon onto cabbage leaf and roll that baby up. Place the rolls in a large pot, adding tomatoes and enough water to cover them up. Cook over a slow boil (medium heat) for about an hour. Keep covered until its time to eat.

Preparation Time: 
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
6-8
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

The cabbage would be much more flavourful if you could use pickled cabbage leaves instead of fresh ones, there is a quick cheat method to boiling the cabbage with some vinegar if you dont have the real deal available.  Perhaps some polish/slavic stores might have them.  I will ask my mother about the cabbage. 

To finish off the sarma once it is sufficiently cooked you are really supposed to add a 'zaprzka'.  This is basically: 2-3 tbs of oil heated in a skillet, add 1-2 tbs of sweet ground paprika along with 1 tbs of white flour.  Mix quickly once added to the hot oil and let it bubble and combine evenly.  This should not be a hard paste, it should rather be oily and still somewhat liquidy so if you find all the oil has been soaked up add some more.  Once the mixture has boiled and the paprika sufficiently toasted add it to your pot of sarma and bring everything to a final boil.  This method of the paprika and flower is used by my family and most other families that know what they are doing for most stew like dishes to finish off the flavours and bring some thickness with the flour so that the stew is not too watery. 

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