Thursday, March 8, 2012

My Georgia: Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Tolma recipe)

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Georgian style) served with Texas toast
This dish is truly universal.  I have met people from the US, Europe, Middle East and of course Caucasus who prepare stuffed cabbage rolls.  Each region has their own twist.  My Mom and I fix cabbage rolls using products available here in the US.

Cabbage - one medium head, whole
Ragu - small jar, Traditional flavor

Stuffing Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 small onion finely diced
1 1/2 cups "minute" rice
1/2 cup Pace Picante Sauce
Italian Seasoning to taste
Oregano to taste
Salt to taste
Georgian spice called Khmeli Suneli to taste (you can substitute with Savory or Cavender's All Purpose Greek Seasoning)

By the way, I call Khmeli Suneli Georgian magic spice.  It makes anything taste great even chicken livers!  Every time someone comes to visit from Georgia I ask them to bring me some magic spices.  I was beyond happy to find out that sells Khmeli Suneli now. 

Mix all the stuffing ingredients and set aside.
Rinse cabbage head in cold water.  De-core cabbage and place the whole cabbage into a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes.  This process steams the leaves and this way it's easier to separate the leaves you need for wrapping.
Set cabbage in colander and allow to cool.  Then separate leaves.
Roll meat mixture into small or medium balls and wrap each ball in cabbage leave.  Set wrapped rolls in the bottom of a large pot covering each layer of rolls with Ragu sauce.  Put some weight on top of rolls (like a heavy plate) to keep rolls in place.  Add water just enough to barely cover the top layer.  Boil and then cook on low for about 45 minutes to an hour.

This dish has different names in different regions.  You might have heard golubci, dolma or tolma.  Cabbage can be substituted with bell peppers, tomatoes, or grape leaves.  What do you call this dish in your country?  Check out my friend Danielle's Southwestern Stuffed Peppers recipe here.


  1. I love stuffed cabbage! I havent made it in a while though because its so labor intensive.

  2. Oh, голубцы!)))) Or dolma, or tolma)))
    Love them, every kind of them (in cabbage leaves or in grape leaves). My grandma, been an absolutely awesome lady, always makes one pot of vegetarian ones especially for me)



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