Table of Contents
This classic and timeless recipe takes me back to Jordan! In the Middle East, stuffed cabbage rolls are a delicacy often enjoyed for lunch or dinner. These stuffed cabbage rolls, or Malouf, as we call them in Arabic, are cooked in a garlicky lemon broth for a light yet vibrant flavor. The cabbage leaves are stuffed with Heshwa, which is the stuffing, and it is generally made with rice and ground meat such as lamb or beef and seasoned with cumin and seven spices.
This traditional dish has been savored in homes for generations, handed down from Mom to us! Simultaneously tasty and hearty, nothing can beat Malfouf, served steaming hot with freshly squeezed lemons. Cook this beautifully balanced blend of flavors at home and relish the comfort food you love!
A few variations of this recipe are made depending on the region. This is a simple recipe that I learned from my mom and aunts. Other versions may include sautéing the meat and then making the stuffing. Some people add tomatoes on the top or the bottom or even cook the stuffed cabbage with chicken or lamb broth! Feel free to experiment and make this dish your own! and if you are a fan of cabbage and you want something lighter, try my recipe of oven-roasted cabbage with tahini sauce; you won’t be disappointed
Tips for Making The Best Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Turn the cabbage head in the simmering water a few times to ensure it is all cooked evenly.
- Pull away the leaves by cutting them with a knife or pulling them away from the core with long tongs.
- You can get a colander ready with a plate underneath to place the cooked cabbage leaves once they are done. That way, they will quickly drain.
- Removing the stems is essential on the big leaves. You can use the knife to thin out the stem for the smaller leaves without cutting through. That way, there is no waste.
- The heart of the cabbage is my favorite. I stuffed the middle part of it and tucked it between the rolled cabbage, or you could save it and make it into salad later!
- Please make sure you do not overstuff the cabbage leaves. The uncooked rice needs space to expand. Unfortunately, you need to eyeball it and judge the amount of stuffing to add. How much you add will depend on the size of the leaves. For example, larger cabbage leaves need about a tablespoon of filling, while smaller leaves need half the amount.
- After cooking, let the stuffing rest, allowing the liquid to absorb and settle.
- You can add as many peeled or whole garlic cloves between the layers of stuffed cabbage as you want.
- If you have any extra stuffing, freeze it in a Ziplock bag.
- I use lamb for my stuffing but feel free to use beef or a mixture of both.
What kind of cabbage should I use?
This recipe can use regular cabbage found in your local grocery store. I recommend picking a cabbage with wide, soft leaves since they can hold more stuffing. Choosing a cabbage with fewer stems on the outer layers is also better since it will be easier to fold and shape.
Can I make this dish vegetarian?
You can easily make stuffed cabbage rolls vegetarian by substituting the meat mixture with a vegetable mixture with ingredients like tomato, parsley, onions, and rice. The vegetable mixture is similar to the filling of stuffed grape leaves.
Malfouf vs. Golabki
While Malouf is the Middle Eastern version of stuffed cabbage rolls, the Polish also have their golabki version. Golabki is similar in that it is also made with cabbage, ground meat, and short-grain rice; however, golabki is usually cooked in a tomato sauce.
What To Server With Stuffed Cabbage?
When serving the Middle Eastern stuffed cabbage with rice and lamb, you’ll want to pair it with some delicious sides that complement its flavors. A traditional Salt Arabia Baladi salad is an excellent choice, featuring a simple blend of diced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and parsley with olive oil and lemon juice. This refreshing salad adds a crisp and bright contrast to the savory stuffed cabbage rolls.
Another everyday Middle Eastern salad to serve with this dish is Fattoush salad, which features crispy pita chips, fresh vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, and a tangy dressing made with lemon juice, olive oil, and sumac.
For a Greek-inspired twist, you could serve the stuffed cabbage with a traditional Greek salad featuring juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and red onions, topped with crumbly feta cheese and a simple vinaigrette.
No matter which salad you choose, these flavorful and refreshing sides add a perfect balance of freshness and crunch to the rich and savory stuffed cabbage dish.
Please Support The SiteHome Cooking is Easy!With These Minimalist Kitchen Essentials
This classic stuffed cabbage roll! This dish is a warm and comforting blend of savory flavors: tender rolls filled with seasoned lamb and rice simmered in a tangy broth. Enjoyed by generations, it’s sure to please palates of all ages. Try it for dinner tonight!
|2 heads cabbage (about 3 lb each)|
|1 ½ cups rice (washed, soaked for 30 minutes, and drained)|
|3 tablespoons olive oil|
|3 tablespoons samneh (Gee)|
|5 garlic cloves (minced)|
|1 tablespoon cumin|
|2 teaspoons Baharat|
|1 tablespoon salt|
|1 teaspoon black pepper|
|20 cloves garlic|
|6 cups water (mixed with 2 lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of salt)|
|4 lemons (cut two in half to be juiced and mixed into the water, and use the other two when you are serving the dish)|
Recipe Tips & Suggestions
How to store and reheat stuffed cabbage rolls?
Can you Freeze stuffed Cabbage?
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
See our full nutrition disclosure here.
Have You Tried This Middle Eastern Recipe?
If So, Mention Us @ranasrecipe
Or Use Hashtag #ranasrecipe
Let’s Start Cooking With Love!
Tell Me How I’m Doing?
Have you made these traditional Stuffed Cabbage Rolls With Rice And Ground Lamb? Love to hear from you! feel free to drop me a comment below.