Dolma, lahanayov (Stuffed cabbage)
DOLMA, Lahanayov (Stuffed cabbage) Serves 6
1 medium sized head of cabbage
1lb coarsely ground American lamb (shoulder preferred)
1 cup rice
1 6-oz can tomato paste
¼ cup lemon juice
3 cups water
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp allspice
¼ tsp ground Aleppo red pepper
1. Remove core from cabbage head. Boil cabbage in hot water until soft, (approximately 5 minutes), then drain and remove outer leaves. Reserve the inner leaves for lining the pot.
2. Combine lamb, rice, salt, pepper, allspice, and red pepper in a large bowl, and mix together.
3. Dilute ½ can of tomato paste in 1 cup water, and add to mixture.
4. Take one leaf of the cabbage at a time and place it flat on a working surface. Place a heaping tablespoon of the mixture on one edge of the leaf, and roll it up into a cigar shape.
5. Place the dolmas in rows in a large enough pot to accommodate all.
6. Dilute remaining tomato paste in 2 cups of water, and add lemon juice.
7. Pour solution over the dolmas, and, if necessary, add water to cover.
8. Place an inverted dish on top of dolmas, and a small pot of water on top of the dish to keep the dolmas compact.
9. Heat over a low flame for approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours
Note: Dolma is best served with crusty bread dipped in the jinj (gravy).
Alternatively, it may be garnished with cold plain madzoun, or madzoun with crushed garlic.