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Sarma




Sarma is great to serve as meze or tapas, or even as a main with lots of fresh bread and Feta cheese. My recipe for Sarma will feed up to 4 people (or make up to 50 mini Sarmi) and can be altered by replacing the vine leaves with cabbage leaves.


Ingredients
  • 200 grams of minced meat (I prefer to use pork)
  • 150 grams of white rice
  • 1 jar of approximately 50 preserved vine/grape leaves (I prefer to soak the leaves in warm water for an hour beforehand to get rid of the strong smell of the vine leaves) 
  • 1 brown onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 handful of finely chopped leak (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of red paprika
  • Vegeta, salt and pepper to taste
  • Smoked bacon or smoked meat (optional)

Method
1. Combine the chopped onion, garlic, carrot and leak in a pan and fry in Olive Oil until onion is soft and clear

2. Add the minced meat, parsley, Vegeta, salt and pepper, and fry until the meat is cooked. Stir in rice and add paprika

3. Depending on the size of each vine leaf, place a tablespoon of the mixture in the centre of the leaf, then tightly wrap the leaf around the mixture. This step can be a little time consuming


4. Place the Sarmi in a deep baking dish and cover with Olive Oil and seasoned water. Make sure every leaf is totally covered by water, as we do not want to burn them (burnt vine leaves do not taste very nice!). You could also cover the dish with foil to avoid burning. Also, you can place some smoked meat in between the sarmi for a more intense flavour


5. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 40 minutes (or until the rice has cooked). I prefer to bake the stuffed vine leaves in a traditional clay pot for an authentic taste. Some people choose to boil the stuffed vine leaves in a saucepan instead of baking them; however, this could end up being quite messy due to the leaves unfolding. 

 6. Serve with sour cream or Greek yoghurt

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