Cookbook:Cabbage Rolls in Yogurt Sauce (Sarmi)

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes


Sarmi is a Bulgarian dish of stuffed cabbage leaves, which shows significant Greek influences.



  1. Boil the vine or cabbage leaves in salted water until they look cooked and are just bendable enough to roll. Drain and allow to cool during the follow steps.
  2. Lightly fry the finely chopped onions in a small amount of oil, stir in a teaspoon or more of paprika and mix.
  3. Add the meat, rice, pepper, mint and finely chopped parsley and cook until the meat looks almost done.
  4. Add 3/4 cup of water, bring to a boil, then immediately cover and reduce heat to a bare minimum for 10 minutes, until the water is absorbed by the rice. Uncover and fluff as needed with a small spatula or spoon. Allow to cool to handling temperature.
  5. Put one teaspoonful of the meat mixture on each leaf and make into a rolled, fully enclosed, package, similar to a small egg roll. A bit more filling can be used if you are using large cabbage leaves, but try to make all the rolls somewhat uniform in size.
  6. Arrange the rolls in a saucepan, add 1.5 cups of warm water, cover and simmer gently on a low fire.
  7. In the meantime, mix the yogurt with a bit of paprika, for color (or omit if you wish to keep the dish somewhat white in color), and other spices as you desire.
  8. When rolls are done, allow to cool a bit, gently remove to a dish, and add the yogurt mixture to coat.
  9. Serve with vegetables of your choice. Enjoy!

For a gathering you may wish to consider presenting these somewhat 'white' rolls side-by-side with a dish of cabbage rolls in tomato sauce.

See Cabbage Rolls in Tomato Sauce (Holubtsi)