The image is from Wikipedia Commons
|Region or state||Middle East, South Caucasus, Balkans, and Central Asia|
|Serving temperature||Room temperature or hot|
|Main ingredients||Vine leaf, rice|
|Variations||With cabbage leaves, mince meat and bulgur filling (served hot)|
Sarma, commonly marketed as stuffed grape leaves, is a type of dolma—a stuffed dish of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire from the Middle East to Southeastern Europe—comprising vine, cabbage, monk's rhubarb, kale or chard leaves rolled around a filling of grains (like bulgur or rice), minced meat, or both.
Terminology and etymology
Sarma made with vine leaves are called yaprak sarması (lit. 'leaf sarma') or yaprak dolması (lit. 'leaf dolma') in Turkey, yarpaq dolması (lit. 'leaf dolma') in Azerbaijan, and dolme barg mo (دلمه برگ مو, lit. 'vine leaf dolma') in Iran and waraq 'inab (ورق عنب) or waraq dawālī (ورق دوالي) in Arabic. In Armenia, they are called missov derevapatat, derevi dolma and derevi sarma. In Greek they are called γιαπράκια yaprakia, γιαπράκια γιαλαντζί yaprakia yalandzi, ντολμάδες dolmadhes, ντολμαδάκια dolmadhakia, ντολμαδάκια γιαλαντζί dolmadhakia yalandzi, σαρμάδες sarmadhes, or σαρμαδακια sarmadhakia.
In Bulgarian, Macedonian and Romanian, cabbage and vine leaves are not usually differentiated.
A vine leaf roll is a dish consisting of cooked grape-vine leaves wrapped around a variety of fillings. Stuffed vine leaves without meat are sometimes called yalancı dolma, which means "liar's dolma" in Turkish. Vişneli yalancı dolması is a variation of stuffed vine leaves where the rice is seasoned with cinnamon, allspice and mint. The dolmas are slowly cooked together with morello cherries (vişne), and plums may be used also.
Vine leaves may also be used to wrap stuffed celery root. Before wrapping, the celery root is stuffed with rice that has been seasoned with cinnamon, salt, pepper, allspice, pine nuts and sugar. (This type of rice is called iç pilav.) Dried fruits like fig and apricot may be added to the rice mixture before the celery root is stuffed, wrapped and baked in the oven. Some variations may include quince.
Regional and national variants
Amasya and Tokat, Turkey
In the Turkish provinces of Amasya and Tokat, sarma is prepared in a style similar to maklouba, with different fillings. One version made with fava beans is called bakla sarma. The filling for this variant from Amasya is made with dried fava beans and a coarsely ground wheat called yarma cooked in a seasoned tomato sauce. The wrapped sarma are layered over bone-in lamb chops and simmered slowly in the cooking liquid. The finished dish is served upside down. A similar variation from Tokat is stuffed with a lentil, bulgur and chickpea filling. Homemade red pepper paste may be substituted for some of the tomato paste.
In North Macedonia, sarma made with sauerkraut, minced meat and rice is a standard dish for New Year's Eve.
Romania and Moldova
In Romania and Moldova, sarmale is popular in all historical regions, Moldavia, Transylvania, and Wallachia. It usually consists of minced pork, rice, onion, eggs, thyme and dill rolled in a leaf, usually a cabbage leaf. The baking dish is lined with chopped cabbage and sauerkraut layered with bacon or pork belly and the cabbage rolls, then topped with more sauerkraut and dill sprigs. The cooking water is poured over the assembled tray, a mixture of sauerkraut juice and seasonings. It is typically accompanied by mămăligă (polenta) and smântână (sour cream). It's a traditional dish to be served for Easter and Christmas meals.
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- "Romanian Stuffed Cabbage (Sarmale)".
- "Serbian Recipes for Orthodox Lent".
- This page is based on the Wikipedia article Sarma (food); it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.