Dolma, lahanayov (Stuffed cabbage)

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DOLMA, Lahanayov (Stuffed cabbage) Serves 6

Ingredients:

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


Directions:


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.