Sarma is traditional healthy winter dish.  Sarma can be eaten for four-five days. Just keep the dish in the refrigerator and use as many as you need at the time. When reheat the dish just add extra liquid to the pot and bring to boil. Serve with mashed potatoes or just with fresh bread. 

1 head of sour cabbage, approximately 3-1/2 to 4 pounds (1.75 kg to 2 kg)
1-1/2 pound (0,75 kg) ground beef
1-1/2 pound (0,75 kg) ground pork
2/3 cup rice
1 large onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 eggs
2 to 3 thick slices of smoked bacon cut into small squares
3 to 4 slices of dried smoked meat or smoked bacon
2 to 3 dried bay leaves
3 pints (1,5 l) cold water 

For Sauce: 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons tomato paste


  • In the large bowl mix the ground beef, ground pork, chopped bacon, washed rice, finely chopped garlic, eggs, salt, black and white peppers and paprika.
  • In the frying pan put 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and chopped onion and fry gently until transparent and golden.
  • Add the fried onion with its oil to the meat mixture and mix well.
  • Peel of the cabbage leaves and trim the thick ribs at the base. If cabbage leaves tastes to sour wash the cabbage leaves in cold water.
  • Put the meat mixture (about 2 to 3 tablespoons - depends on size of the leaves) in the center of the cabbage leaves in which they will be rolled.
  • Roll the leaf over the meat and fold over one end, finish rolling and tuck in the free end.
  • Slice finely rest of the cabbage and cover the bottom of the pot or casserole.
  • Place the cabbage rolls on the sliced cabbage, side by side in the pot or casserole. Form layers but between the layers put the slices of smoked meat (or bacon) and bay leaves. 
  • In the frying pan heat the oil, than add in the flour and cook until light brown.
  • Put in red paprika and tomato paste, mix and than add approximately 3 pints (around 1,5 l) of cold water and bring to boil.
  • Pour this sauce over the cabbage rolls. The layer of liquid must cover the rolls. Add more water if needed. Cover the pot or casserole and bring to boil. After that reduce the heat and cook slowly for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Bake the sarma in oven for 45 to 50 minutes. 

  • Serve hot.