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Sarma is a dish originally from the Ottoman Empire and is eaten in several countries, such as Turkey, Romania and several countries in the Balkans. However, sarma, like most dishes in the Balkans, is prepared in different ways for each country. I will share the recipe as known from my father. Sarma means ‘’rolled up’’. This recipe is made with sauerkraut leaves, which you fill with minced meat. Serve with traditional sausage (Kransjke kobasice) and boiled potatoes.


*1 sauerkraut

*500 gram minced meat

*bit of rice (1 teacup)

*100 gram smoked bacon bits

*1 egg

*1 onion

*olive oil

*1 beef stock cube


*2 cloves of garlic

*flour 1 to 2 tablespoons (optional)

*salt, pepper, paprika, nutmeg, vegeta


  • put a dash of olive oil in the pan and fry the onion and garlic
  • cook the rice
  • mix the above with the minced meat, the egg, salt, pepper, paprika, nutmeg, parsley and chopped bacon bits. It is important to mix all this well
  • boil water with the bouillon cube
  • remove 2 large leaves from the sauerkraut and place on the bottom of the pan. Then carefully peel off the cabbage further, roll a small ball of the mince and press slightly flat. Roll the mince up tightly in a sauerkraut leaf until all is used up.
  • fill the pan with the rolls and add the bouillon. Cut the remaining cabbage into strips and divide among the rolls. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for about 2 hours.
  • cut the sausage into pieces and add at the end of cooking time. If you want the sauce to be thicker, you can add some flour.

Stuffed vine leaves go well with a piece of Turkish bread, or for a change, it’s also delicious with mashed potatoes. Enjoy your meal!