I started a series “Arabic cuisine” featuring my traditional food. Today the dish is Malfouf bel Lahmeh (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)
When I wanted to make this recipe, I meant to call mom, since I didn’t make malfouf before.(My husband is not a fan of it). And before the time comes, I totally forgot to ask mom! I made this recipes at night, and its no way I can call mom, because of the time difference (8 hrs). So I was looking at the cabbage I bought, wondering what should I do, and why I put myself into this situation.
I was lucky, I used to watch mom cooked maflouf in the past. I didn’t cook it myself before, or help her cooking it, but watching the process over, and over, make it a lot easier to remember the whole process.
Is a nutritious veggie from the cruciferous family. It’s low calorie food with good amounts of vitamins, like C, A and K. Also, minerals like magnesium , selenium and calcium. But the goodness of cabbage comes form other compounds just like the sulfur-compound that is believed to be an anti-cancer. Also it has antioxidants,and the red one has the highest content.
How cabbage can protect from cancer, or used in therapy is not fully understood yet. We know that there is a correlation of eating cabbage, and reducing risk of multiple cancers like colorectal, gastric and breast cancer, and we know the compounds, but furthers studies still needed.
Cabbage can lower cholesterol too can causes gases for some people, when its cooked. try to eat raw if you feel you can tolerate better this way.
When I was searching for fellow bloggers making malfouf, I didn’t find any non-arab bloggers making it. But I was surprised that cabbage rolls are very popular, I know there is Asian infused ones, but really there are elevated dish of cabbage rolls. It’s sad, how little we know about food cultures!
Now lets get to the recipe!
- Small head of cabbage
- ¼ lb of minced meat (lamb or beef)
- few pieces of whole peeled garlic
- ¼ cup of uncooked white rice
- Spices: 7 Arabic spices , salt , pepper
- Soak the rice for 30 minutes, and set aside.
- Put the cabbage head in hot water, the leaves will fall apart. Get it out slowly, and with caution, you don't want the leaves to break.
- Mix rice with meat, and spices. You can add olive oil or ghee if you want (optional but recommended)
- Cut the stems, add the stuffing to cabbage leaves, and roll.
- Set them tightly in a pot.
- Add enough water just to cover it, and garlic pieces.(You can add broth instead of water)
- Put a plate over the rolls to make sure they are pressed, so it won't open during the cooking.
- Leave it until its done.
- Serve it warm, or cold with fresh lemon to squeeze over.
Have you tried stuffed Cabbage rolls before? How do you make it? Please share!