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Kis Sarmasi (stuffed winter greens)

Kis Sarmasi (stuffed winter greens)

Stuffed winter greens with ground meat and rice.

Ready in: 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves: 6

Complexity: easy

kcal: 287

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400 g winter greens with large leaves
1 cup ground beef, lamb or turkey
1 large onion, grated
2 cups long grain rice
3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, fine chopped
1 tbsp rice bran oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup (or little more) water
1 tbsp rice bran oil for cooking
1 tbsp hot pepper paste
2 tbsp rice bran oil
4 tbsp water
chilli flakes to sprinkle
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed in salt & fine chopped
1 cup plain yoghurt
salt to taste
½ tsp dried mint


Large leafy greens like Swiss chard is ideal for stuffing, making sarma.
Bring a pan of water to boil. Cut the stalks of your winter greens (if you’re using Swiss chard, you may need to cut the stem and separate from the leaves). Refresh the wilted leaves in a bowl of cold water.
Place the fresh, trimmed leaves in to the boiling water until they wilt, for about 25-30 seconds. Drain and refresh the leaves in a bowl of cold water, this will help retain their colour then drain the leaves and spread on a tray, ready for stuffing.
Place the filling ingredients in a bowl and knead well. Grate the onion and put with the remaining filling ingredients in a bowl. Season with SIDS SALT & PEPPER and bind them all with 1 tbsp oil and knead well.
Lay one of the leaves on a flat surface and place 1 tbsp (depending on the size of the leaf, adjust a little less or more but avoid over filling) of the stuffing at near end of the leaf (towards you). Bring the top end of the leaf over the stuffing.
Now fold in the sides and then roll into a tight log. Repeat with the remaining filling and leaves.
Arrange the stuffed leaves, seam side down, in a wide, deep pan. Pack them quite tightly in circles, this will keep them intact. You may need to make more than one layer, depending on the size of the pan. Mix 200 ml water with the juice of lemon and 1 tbsp oil and pour over the stuffed leaves. This liquid should cover at least half way up the top layer; add some more water if you need to. Season with salt and place a wide flat plate over the rolls (so that they stay intact).

Cover the pan and turn the heat to medium. Once it starts to bubble, cook over low heat for about 40 minutes, until the filling is cooked and the rolls are tender.
While the rolls (sarma,as we call in Turkish) are cooking, prepare the garlic yoghurt. Simply combine the chopped garlic with yoghurt and mix well. You can season with sea salt and ½ tsp dried mint, if you like.
For the hot pepper paste sauce, stir in 1 tbsp Turkish hot pepper paste, biber salcasi or tomato paste and 2 tbsp oil in a small pan, over low heat. Stir and pour 4-5 tbsp water and gently simmer for a minute. Season with SIDS SALT & PEPPER if you like.
Drizzle the hot pepper paste sauce over the cooked rolls and sprinkle a little Turkish red pepper flakes (if you like) and serve hot, with garlic yoghurt aside.