Lahana Sarma Recipe (Turkish Cabbage Rolls)

Grape leaves dolma is a healthy and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed by everyone.

By xp5u9
February 14, 2023
Rating: 0.00

Turkish cuisine is known for its diversity, and one of the most popular dishes among Turkish food enthusiasts is Lahana Sarma recipe. Also known as Turkish Cabbage Rolls, this dish has become a staple in many households around the world. It’s a perfect combination of fresh vegetables, ground meat, and aromatic spices that create a mouth-watering flavor.

If you’re looking for something new to try in your kitchen, give Lahana Sarma recipe a try! This traditional Turkish dish will surely impress your friends and family with its unique flavor profile. Plus, it’s relatively easy to make at home once you get the hang of it.

What is Lahana Sarma?

Lahana Sarma is a traditional Turkish dish that is made with stuffed cabbage leaves. It is a delicious and nutritious meal that has been enjoyed by generations of families in Turkey. The dish is made by stuffing the cabbage leaves with a mixture of ground beef, rice, onions, and spices.

The Lahana Sarma is then cooked slowly in a pot with tomato paste and water until it becomes tender and flavorful. This dish of Lahana Sarma recipe is usually served with yogurt on the side to balance out its richness. It’s perfect for cold winter days when you need something hearty to warm you up.

Lahana Sarma Recipe

How to Blanch Cabbage?

Cabbage is a versatile and nutrient-rich vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Whether you’re making coleslaw, stir-fry, or sautéed cabbage, blanching the cabbage first can help to bring out its flavor and texture. Blanching involves briefly cooking vegetables in boiling water before plunging them into ice water to stop the cooking process.

Blanching cabbage is an easy and quick process that can enhance the flavor of your dish. There are two main ways to blanch a whole cabbage or just its leaves. The first method involves boiling the cabbage in water, while the second one may requires even just steaming it.

To blanch cabbage, start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is heating up, prepare the cabbage by removing any tough outer leaves and chopping it into bite-sized pieces. Once the water is boiling, add the cabbage to the pot and cook for 1-2 minutes until it turns bright green and becomes slightly tender.

After 1-2 minutes of boiling, immediately remove the cabbage from heat and transfer it to an ice bath using a slotted spoon or tongs.

If you want to blanch individual cabbage leaves instead, start by separating them from the head and trimming off any tough stems. You can then either steam them for 2-3 minutes or boil them for about 1 minute until they turn bright green.

How to Make Lahana Sarma or Turkish Cabbage Rolls?

Lahana Sarma or Turkish Cabbage Rolls are a popular dish that originated in Turkey but is now enjoyed all over the world. This classic dish is made by wrapping spiced ground beef and rice filling inside cabbage leaves and then simmering them in a flavorful tomato sauce. Although it may seem complex, making Lahana Sarma at home is actually quite simple if you follow these tips.

To make these delicious cabbage rolls at home, start by boiling a large head of cabbage until the leaves become soft and pliable. Once the cabbage cools down, carefully remove the outer layers without tearing them apart. Next, prepare the filling by cooking rice and ground meat together with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and other seasonings like paprika, cumin or coriander.

Why Avoid Red Cabbage or White Cabbageto Make Grape Leaves Dolma?

Many people enjoy the crisp texture and unique flavor of cabbage in their salads or cooked dishes. However, there’s one common mistake that many shoppers make when selecting their cabbage: choosing red or white varieties. While these cabbages may look appealing with their bright hues, they’re actually not the best choice for easy meal prep.

One of the biggest issues with red and white cabbage is that their tightly packed leaves can be difficult to separate. This can be frustrating for home cooks who want to quickly chop up some cabbage for a recipe without having to spend extra time trying to pry apart each leaf. Additionally, these tight heads can make it more challenging to wash the leaves thoroughly and remove any dirt or debris.

Luckily, there are other types of cabbage that offer a better experience for home cooks. Savoy cabbage, for example, has looser leaves that are easier to separate and clean.

Lahana Sarma Recipe Turkish Cabbage Rolls

Lahana Sarma Recipe (Turkish Cabbage Rolls)

The combination of aromatic spices and tender cabbage leaves provides a unique and satisfying taste.
Servings 6
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 1 saucepan
  • 1 Large Bowl
  • 1 Cutting board



  • 1 head cabbage
  • 2 cups rice
  • ½ lemon (juice only)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 small onions (finely chopped)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 small tomatoes
  • ¼ cup parsley (finely chopped)
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp all-spice
  • cup fresh dill (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ lb ground meat optional
  • coriander optional


  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried mint 
  • 2 cups water preferred hot
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • 1 large garlic clove (mashed)


  • To start, use a large mixing bowl to mix all the ingredients to create a delicious filling for your stuffed cabbage rolls.
  • Blanch the cabbage leaves boil a large pot of water and blanch the cabbage leaves. Once cooled, remove the tough center ribs from each leaf and set aside.
  • Take each leaf and place approximately 2 tablespoons of filling at the center of the leaf before rolling it up tightly like a burrito.
  • Place your stuffed cabbage rolls up side down in a pan with enough room between them so they don't touch each other. In the pan use unwanted or extra cabbage leaves as a bottom layer.
  • Cover baking dish with foil and bake for about an hour or until cooked through.
  • To prepare the sauce use a saucepan and mix all ingredients for the sauce. Add the hot water and bring to boil. Remove from the heat.
  • Pour the sauce over the stuffed cabbage rolls and place it over medium heat for 5 mins. Cover the pan and then reduce the heat and continue cooking for another 40-45mins.
  • You can sprinkle on top fresh dill and slice of lemon and serve warm. Enjoy!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Turkish
Keyword: Cabbage rolls, Sarma

Explore More Sarma Recipes?

Did you make this Lahana Sarma recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @thebalkanrecipes on Instagram and hashtag it #thebalkanrecipes.

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