Cabbage stuffed with rice, chickpeas and raisins

Cabbage stuffed with rice, chickpeas and raisins

Malfoof

By
From
Hazana
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Mowie Kay

In this dish, cabbage leaves are stuffed with a mixture of rice, chickpeas, onions, raisins and spices, and simmered in a tomato sauce flavoured with tamarind, which gives it a delicious sweet and sour flavour. Malfoof is often served for Sukkot.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 large head green cabbage, about 1.5kg, cored and leaves loosened without being removed
salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the stuffing

Quantity Ingredient
125g long-grain rice
125g cooked and drained chickpeas
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 tablespoons raisins
25g finely chopped €flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the tomato and tamarind sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
250g canned plum tomatoes, forced through a sieve or pureed in a food processor
225ml hot water
1-2 teaspoons tamarind paste, diluted in a little hot water

Method

  1. Place the cabbage in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 7–8 minutes or until the outer leaves are pliable. Lift out the cabbage and cool slightly, then remove the outer leaves without tearing them and return the cabbage to the pan. Repeat until all the leaves have been cooked and removed. The larger leaves will be stuffŽed, but reserve some smaller inner leaves too.
  2. To make the stuffing, cook the rice in lightly salted boiling water for 10–15 minutes. Drain well and mix with the chickpeas, onions, raisins, parsley, spices and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the garlic over a moderate heat for 1–2 minutes without browning. Add the tomatoes and water and bring to the boil. Stir in the tamarind and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, working with one leaf at a time, and with the stem end of the leaf nearest you,place about 2 heaped tablespoonfuls (depending on the size of the leaf ) of the filling close to the stem and fold over the sides to enclose the filling. Roll up the leaf away from you, towards the tip, to form a parcel.
  4. Pour a little sauce into a large pan and cover with the reserved smaller leaves. Arrange the stuffŽed cabbage leaves side by side, seam side down, over the top, pouring a little sauce over each row. Pour over the remaining sauce and place an inverted, small heatproof plate on top to prevent the parcels from unrolling. Cover the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1 hour or until the parcels are tender. Transfer to a serving platter and serve hot.
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