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Join date : 2010-02-15

PostSubject: Sarmi   Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:24 pm

This was sent to me by my sister who got it from a Bulgarian friend I have tried it here in the UK but I got better results when I visited my sister and used fresh leaves



Grape leaves
One onion (finely diced)
1 cup white rice
1/4-1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 TBSP paprika (Hungarian kind)
1 TBSP spearmint
1 TBSP (summer) savory
salt and pepper to taste
Makes about 3 dozen sarmi.

How to prepare

Add oil to a pan. (Since the recipe is pretty healthy I use quite a bit of oil.) Chop one onion. Add onion to oil and fry until golden. Add rice to onion and oil and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice becomes transparent. Then add 1 TBSP paprika. Stir for about 1 minute taking care not to burn the paprika. (Burnt paprika becomes bitter.) Your rice and onion mixture will be a nice reddish brown color now. Add 1 cup water. Cook until the rice absorbs the water. Once the rice has absorbed all the water add spearmint, savory, salt and black pepper. Mix well. Remove mixture from heat and let sit until cool enough to handle.

Try to use undamaged leaves, save any leaves with holes or missing top nodes to line the cooking pan. Spread out a grape leaf on a flat surface with the veined side up. Place 1 teaspoon of the rice and herb mixture at the bottom center of the leaf just above the stem (the rice in my picture is a bit high, put the rice right above the stem). Fold in the bottom right and left nodes of the grape leaf to cover the rice, then fold the center right and left nodes over. Roll the leaf up around and over the mixture up to the top of the leaf. Repeat until all leaves are stuffed and rolled.

Make sure that you have a plate that will fit inside the pot you choose to cook your sarmi in. Line the bottom of a pot with grape leaves (I use a large stock pot). Then neatly stack your sarmi inside. Place the plate upside down over your sarmi. Pour 2-3 cups of warm water over the sarmi. Boil your sarmi on a low setting for 45 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Once cooked you can carefully turn your pot over holding the plate. Slip the plate out carefully, it should be stacked neatly with sarmi, with the lining leaves on top. Remove the lining leaves. Eat any popped sarmi while they are nice and warm to test for quality.

n small town and rural Bulgaria, this is a very cheap albeit slightly time consuming dish. Almost everyone grows grapes in (over) their yard by building a frame for the vines to grow up. These spices are in everyone's kitchen. Here in America they were a bit more costly. I had to buy grape leaves (grown in California) for about $5-6 a jar. Savory was particularly difficult, the Spice Island brand is very expensive. I bought a jar of the expensive kind ($4-5) about 1 month before I found a place in Cincinnati, Ohio on a business trip that has the spice in bulk ($1.50) for a very large bag of it. At least they sell dried mint in bulk at the World Food store.

Its nice though, to make something that is very normal in Bulgaria and have it treated like a rare amazing treat here in America.

[size=85:z2l7ruai]Original author Samantha
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Posts : 706
Join date : 2009-09-05

PostSubject: Re: Sarmi   Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:19 pm

Nice recipe it looks like one I have tried when I was in BG but I'll give it a try and see if its the same thank you T

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