298. Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

I can’t pinpoint the real origin of stuffed cabbage leaves (or cabbage rolls), as it is one of those dishes that every culture has their own version and claims as their own. Just like dolma.
What I can claim, though, is that it is very popular in Arab cuisine: from Egypt to the Gulf nations, to the Shami (Levantine) region, where it goes by the name of malfoof (ملفوف).
Its popularity is undying even amongst the Turks and Greeks. So this recipe is a mish-mash of several recipes I have come across (especially Dr. Ola), which you can make vegetarian or add some minced meat as you would prefer..


1 cabbage

2 cups rice (washed & drained)
1 bundle dill (finely chopped)
1 bundle parsley (finely chopped)
1 large onion (finely chopped)
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp oil
300g minced meat, if using

1 Tbsp hotsauce
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups stock


Using a sharp knife, stab around the stem of the cabbage.
Put the cabbage in a pot of boiling water and boil 5 to 7 minutes on one side, turn the cabbage over, and boil 5 to 7 minutes more.
Remove from water.

Carefully & slowly remove each cabbage leaf.
Cut the cabbage leaves into pieces that you will latter stuff.
Remove the stem & the hard parts to coast the base of the pot the rolls will be cooked in.
Prepare the stuffing mixture:
Mix thoroughly rice, dill, parsley, onion, tomato paste, meat (if using), hotsauce, garlic paste, oil, salt, and pepper.
Stuff each cabbage leaf with the rice mixture.

Put the stuffed Cabbage in a pot lined with some hard cabbage ribs in the bottom to prevent the stuffed cabbages from burning.

Add the hot stock to the stuffed cabbage.
Place inverted plate on top, to stop the cabbage from floating around and subsequently becoming undone.
Simmer covered over medium heat for an hour till completely cooked, making sure the water hasn’t dried out.

I like to serve my cabbage rolls with some pomegranate molasses on the side for a touch of fruity tanginess.
 صحة و عافية
(Visited 133 times, 1 visits today)

7 thoughts on “298. Stuffed Cabbage Leaves”

  1. Salam alaikum, I couldn’t find a recipe for mahshi. Can I use this stuffing or dolma stuffing to make mahshi? I am doing a big huge dinner for some of the women in the Iraqi community here. I just want to stuff onion with the mahshi filling. Though this looks delicious too. We have something similar in my family stuffed cabbage leaves but the spices are different.

  2. My husband said honey you can’t feed woman mahshi with just onions. So, I am making dolma but using cabbage instead of grape leaves or Swiss chard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *