Festive Foods

Biryani Stuffed Cabbage

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Savoy Cabbage is always seen as: the veg that will do for Soups, Stir fries or Stews.

But I wanted to make this winter vegetable the star of the dish. Whilst going through some old recipe books came across a delightful recipe for Traditional stuffed Cabbage. These are still popular in some eastern European countries. I just had to put my mark on this dish.

I am pretty confident, it will be a welcome delight for any Festive Meal with a fusion of flavours as a first or second course for a Dinner Party. You and your Guests will love this fusion of East meets West . As for the (deceiving) clear broth; it has all the flavours of the vegetables and herbs the Stock was made with, it will leave you asking for more broth!

What I find really lovely about this dish, is that everyone at the dinner table, vegetarian and non veg, will be served the same (looking) dish, just the stuffing in these Cabbage rolls will be different (use Quorn mince for vegetarian option).

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Quick blanched Savoy Cabbage leaves patted dry

Hope you get to try this recipe. It is not hard to work with the leaves, once blanched and patted dry. I made the cabbage rolls and stock the night before (peacefully). All that remained was to cook them in the stock an hour before serving with a helping of homemade Tomato Sauce.

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Biryani Stuffed Cabbage

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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A dish that will leave you saying 'I love Cabbages'... That is if you don't like Cabbages. On the other hand, if you DO like Cabbages then your will love this dish.

Ingredients

    Filling
  • Fry 250g of Mince (veg Option: use Quorn Mince); add a small diced onion, press 3 to 4 cloves of Garlic, 1tsp: Ginger paste, Chilli flakes, Coriander and Cumin powder, 1/2tsp Turmeric, 1 Bayleaf, a tablespoon of Tomato puree, salt and pepper to taste and 100ml of fresh stock of your choice. Stir and allow to cook over a medium heat for 30 minute. (at the end it should not be too dry at the same time not to be too wet either, enough moisture to bind in the Rice.) Allow cooked mince to cool down. Add fried potatoes (a small peeled and diced potato lightly fried and drained), chopped Mint and Coriander leaves. Don’t forget a generous squeeze of fresh Lemon juice . Also add to the Mince mixture 200g of cooked Rice. Mix well and set aside.
  • Cabbage Leaves
  • Carefully remove 10 to 12 whole leaves. Cut in halves, removing the centre hard stalk. Bring a pan of salted water to boil (at the same time have a large dish of cold water to cool down the blanched leaves rapidly) DO THIS IN BATCHES: add the leaves and allow to cook for 90 seconds. Remove and submerge leaves in the cold water pan. Remove and drain the leaves. Lay flat on tea towels and pat them dry. Ready to use.
  • On a chopping board lay one half of Cabbage leaf flat. place 1 tablespoon of biryani mix towards the bottom leaving enough leaf to fold over. Bring the 2 sides over and the bottom fold over and roll. Lay the rolled cabbages with end tip on the bottom. Repeat with the rest of the Leaves.
  • Stock Place 1 litre of cold water in a pan. Add peeled and roughly chopped (2)carrots, (3) Onions, (3) Celery sticks, a tied bunch of herbs (I’ve used Parsley, Bay, Rosemary and Sage from the Garden), 1/2tsp Sea Salt and 1tsp Black peppercorns. Bring to boil, skim away any froth that gathers at the top, close pan with a lid. On a medium heat allow to simmer for an hour at the least. Top up with hot water if necessary. At the end you should be left with 800ml of Stock. Optional: 10 minutes before end at 1tbsp of Mushroom Ketchup (you could use Worcestershire Sauce or even light Soya sauce). This for me, just adds a little depth of flavour. Strain liquid, discard veg contents. Stock is now ready to use for the next part of the recipe

Directions

  1. In a fairly wide oven proof dish (with lid), place 3 to 4 pieces of celery sticks on the bottom. This will prevent the rolls from sticking to the bottom of the Pan.
  2. Tuck rolls on the celery sticks, pour hot Stock until it just covers up to the top of the rolls.
  3. Close with lid and place in preheated oven (170˙C) for 45 minutes.
  4. Remove with slotted spoon into individual bowls with more broth drizzled over. Served with a helping of homemade tomato sauce.

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