You will need:(for 2-3 people)
Half a medium cabbage (the larger the cabbage the better as that would give you larger leaves)
1.25 cups of arborio rice (you can soak for 10 mins to reduce cooking time)
Handful of each parsley, corrinder and dill. Chopped medium fine.
2 medium ripe tomatoes pureed
2 medium onions. Grated
Approx 6 tablespoons of oil + 2 tablespoons of butter for sauteeing onions
6 tablespoons of oil extra
2 tablespoons tomato paste
salt to taste (approx 1.5-2 teaspoons)
Black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of dry ground corriander (optional)
Pinch of chilli powder (optional)
Approx 1 cup of stock or seasoned water. (i use either fresh chicken broth or tap water with a bit of salt)
Sautee onions in enough oil + butter on low heat for approx 5-10 mins. You want the onions to become lightly golden and some bits to pick up a little bit of colour. If using corriander you can add it at the end and toast for a few seconds to realease flavour.
Mix all ingredients (including the onions) in a bowl and mix together.
Pour enough boiling water in a pot on the stove. Add washed cabbage leaves into the water and allow to cook for a few minutes. You want the leaves to be soft and maliable enough to roll but not over cooked. You can switch off the stove and allow to sit in the hot water to soften.
You want to cook the cabbage leaves whole. So take care when peeling them out like so:
Once done strain out of the water and allow to cool. If in a hurry you can rinse with some cold water.
To roll you will need between 0.5- 2 tablespoons of rice mix depending on how big your leaf portions are and how big you want the rolls. I make medium sized ones with approx 10 X 15cm pieces of leaf (half a leaf) with 1 tablespoon of rice mix.
Roll tightly and line closely in a small pot.
You may want to line the bottom of the pot with the thick stems of cabbge or leaves that are too thick. This prevents the bottom from burning. Ideally you want a layer that is approx 1cm thick.
The rolls should be closely packed together in layers. Once finished, gently press down so they are close.
Add remaining juices from the rice into the pot. Add stock (approx same amount as rice). Bring to boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer for approx 20-30 mins depending on whether you soaked rice and the brand.
You should know when it is ready as you can see the rolls enlarge in size. Half way through cooking gently help the stock down the bottom of the pot by placing a spoon down the side and gently moving the stock down the pot. This will ensure even cooking.
To check if done. Gently remove one roll from the top or poke open to look at the rice.
Once done allow to cool and enjoy. They are delicious hot, warm and cold!