sarmale christmas party

Sarmale aka cabbage rolls – traditional Christmas dinner in Romania

If you heard a little something about Romanian cuisine, you probably heard the word “sarmale” too. And since the winter holidays are already knocking at our doors, there’s no Romanian family without sarmale on their table, wheter they are meatbased or vegetarian (with mushrooms).

Here at Transylvania Hostel we had a small sarmale workshop, followed by a Christmas party.

sarmale christmas party

But don’t worry if you missed it, because we also though about you and we will share our recipes so you can try them anywhere you are.

If you know about sarmale, you might have also heard they are pretty complicated to make. We are here to blast that myth, but, on the other hand make sure you have a couple of free hours before starting cooking and don’t forget to wash your hands!

Here are the ingredients you will need:

For the meat-based sarmale

sarmale christmas party

  • cabbage
  • onions
  • pepper
  • rice
  • sunflower seed oil
  • thyme and dill
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetable stock
  • minced meat

For the vegetarian sarmale

  • mushrooms (for the vegetarian version)sarmale christmas party
  • carrots
  • cabbage
  • onions
  • pepper
  • rice
  • sunflower seed oil
  • thyme and dill
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetable stock

Related:Christmas tradition in the northern Romania

Preparing the cabbage:

First of all, start with the cabbage, boil it for 15-20 minutes. After you take it out of the water, keep it in a pot with a lid for a few more minutes. After it cools down, carve the stub then take each leaf separately and remove the hard parts, so folding them later will be a lot easier.

sarmale christmas party

sarmale christmas party

Composition

For the meat-based sarmale

Chop the onions and pepper and put them to fry, first the onions, then the pepper, followed by the rice and in the end the minced meat. Do not forget the salt, pepper and vegetable stock.

Related:Interview with owner of the traditional Romanian restaurant Roata from Cluj

For the vegetarian sarmale

Chop the vegetables (onion, pepper, carrots and mushrooms) and then fry them adding them gradually, start with the onions, then the carrots and pepper, then the mushrooms and rice. Do not forget the salt, pepper and vegetable stock.

sarmale christmas party

Folding and arranging them in the pot

And now, the real challenge: folding them. But we hope the pictures are self-explanatory.

sarmale christmas party

sarmale christmas party

The last step is arranging them in the pot. First, put some cabbage leafs at the bottom, season them with thyme and dill and now you can start positioning them. Chop the rest of the cabbage and put it on top of the sarmale. Before putting the pot on the stove, you have, of course, to add some water in which you will add some vegetable stock and also some sunflower seed oil. Simmer them for about an hour.

Alexandra

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