Stuffed Cabbage Leaves


        1 medium sized cabbage
        1 1/2 cups ground meat
        1 cup rice
        1 chopped tomato (optional)
        1 cup lemon juice
        1 1/2 cups water
        1 1/4 tsp. salt
        1 tsp. pepper
        1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
        8 garlic cloves
        1 tsp. dried mint
Separate leaves from cabbage head. Cut each into several triangular pieces, cutting away stems. Dip leaves a few at a time in boiling salted water until they become pliable. Prepare stuffing of meat, rice, tomato, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Place tablespoon of stuffing on each triangular leaf, fold sides toward center and roll up from bottom into a cigar shape (see illustra- tions with stuffed vine leaves). Press together firmly. Place layer of meat bones to form a rack on bottom of pressure cooker. Add two whole garlics. Put cabbage rolls in layers over the bones, placing them close together so that they will keep their shape. Add water, lemon juice and sprinkle with more salt. Cook under pressure 20 minutes. Open cooker and sprinkle mahshi with the cloves of garlic which have been crushed with the dried mint and salt. Sprinkle with half a teaspoon of sugar if desired. Simmer several minutes more. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve hot. This amount makes about 50 rolls.

To serve, pour off the sauce and carefully turn the cooking pan upside down so that the cabbage rolls are turned onto a platter, or dip fingers in cold water to facilitate handling the hot rolls, and arrange the rolls one at a time on a serving platter. Cook without pressure if desired. Prepare as above and simmer gently until rice is tender in barely enough water to cover.

(From Food from the Arab World Marie Karam Khayat and Margaret Clark Keatinge, Khayat's, Beirut 1959)