11 pieces of big cabbage rolls + 3 pieces of dried red peppers

This is my favorite dish for Christmas Eve. You can also fill the dried red peppers with the same stuffing. It is delightful. Bake them in the same tray so that the aromas blend. Just perfection! Do not be surprised I have only 3 peppers in the recipe. I had decided to prepare only sarma, but the ready stuffing appeared to be more than needed … and hence …

Products for the stuffing:

1 kg large sauerkraut leaves – well drained (if they are too salty, rinse them);

3 pieces dried red peppers (optional, as I already mentioned, I got more stuffing and I used it for them);

5 leek stalks, finely chopped;

black pepper to taste;

3 tbsps. savory;

1 and ½ cup rice (I use Basmati, which does not turn mushy);

340 g pitted olives (mix of green and black, cut into 1/2);

sunflower oil to taste (the more, the better)


In a saucepan, fry the leek. Add spices and rice. Stir shortly so that the aromas to blend (the temperature is very low when the rice is in the saucepan). Finally, I add the olives. Stir for a few more seconds and take off the hob to cool. The stuffing is ready. You noticed that I do not add any water (some home cooks do it).

In the middle of the unfolded cabbage leaf, I put the stuffing – about 1 tablespoon, however it depends how large the cabbage leaves are. You can put more stuffing.

Fold the edges of the cabbage leaves in length to cover the stuffing completely or almost. Then I fold it in the same way from the other two opposite sides or roll it like a roll. It all depends on the size and the quality of the leaves – do improvise! You do not have to adhere to strict rules when rolling. Be sure that rolls are tightly wrapped so that the stuffing does not run out.

I put them in a tray. Add oil to the taste and water to cover the sarma entirely (the rice will absorb it completely).

Seal the tray with aluminium foil and bake for about 1 hour in a preheated oven at 200ᴼC. Shortly before they are ready, remove the foil and turn them one by one to stay on the opposite side. I leave them for a while to get roasted. If all the water is absorbed, I add a little more.

A tip:

If you fill the dried peppers, you must soak them in warm water beforehand, and then deseed them.