“I’m making Golabki for dinner tonight.”
“Wow, that sounds cool. What’s that, something exotic you learnt from one of the chefs you follow.”
“Umm…not really, but if you promise to eat it, I’ll tell you what goes into it.”
“Put that way…I think skip the introductions. But don’t cook too much, I may not take a second helping. Also I have a late evening meeting, so I might just eat something there, make a real small portion of that Gol-whetver you’re making.”
And so ended the conversation between my husband and me on that eventful Monday evening. I say eventful because not just did we enjoy the delicious bake, but a couple of friends dropped by too and went home with a stomach full and a recipe! To add to that we had a 30 minute conversation on additions, substructions, permutations and combinations that cam be used to enhance the flavours. No meal at home is uneventful.:)
Golabki does sounds exotic…but when I first read the recipe the thought of making cabbage rolls did get a few wrinkles crease between my brows. However it had all the right catch words: Low GI, fat-free, diabetic friendly, low calories, low carbohydrates and so on and so forth, making it the perfect meal for a Monday after a three-day holiday in Goa, where the bottles clinked more often than ever before.
To start off, forget you’re working with cabbage. Think of it as a natural pasta. Then decide on the meats you would like to use. You can use a combination of pork and beef mince, or just plain pork, chicken or beef mince. Vegetarians can try soya mince, it tastes just as good. Once the meats are zeroed down on, team it with the right cheese. I like a sharp cheddar, but you could use a gouda or mozzarella too.
Traditionally, one uses rice and egg in this dish. I’ve done away with both in an attempt to make it healthier.
- 10 large cabbage leaves, blanched and deveined.
- 1 cup of mince
- 1/2 cup finely diced onions
- 1/4 cup finely diced carrots and cabbage
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley.
- 4-5 tomatoes, blanched and chopped fine
- 2 onions, chopped super fine
- 2 tablespoons of garlic-ginger paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of barbecue sauce
- 2 teaspoons 10-spice herb mix
- 5-6 jalapeno slices
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
For the filling:
- Add a tablespoon of oil to a thick bottom pan, when its hot add a teaspoon of broken pepper, green chillies and 1/2 cup finally chopped onion. Saute till onion is translucent.
- Add the mince and cook till well done. Add the spice mix or barbecue herbs.
- Add the 1/4 cup of finely diced carrots and cabbage and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook till all the water evaporates.
- Add 2 tablespoons of Barbecue sauce.
For the Gravvy:
- In another pan, add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the garlic doesn’t smell raw anymore. Add the tomatoes and 2 finely chopped onions and cook till they blend in well.
- Add water to make a thick gravvy. If you’ve chopped the veggies fine enough, you may not need to blend this sauce. otherwise blend it to a rough consistency.
To make the cabbage rolls:
- Devein the cabbage leaves, so it is easy to roll them.
- Place a heaped tablespoon of the filling in the centre of the leaf. Top with one tablespoon of the tomato gravvy. You can add a teaspoon of grated cheese if you like. Fold in the sides and then roll to make a thick sausage.
3. Make as many rolls as you can in this process.
- Take a glass dish
- Pour a layer of the tomato gravvy.
- Place all the cabbage rolls, with the joint size down on the layer of tomato gravvy.
- Pour the gravvy on top such that the rolls are fully immersed in the gravvy.
5. Top with cheese, you could use a mixture of grated cheese and cheese slices.
6. Add jalapeno slices and sprinkle paprika powder on it.
7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. If the top doesn’t sizzle, change the oven settings to ensure you have a golden cheesy crust.
8. Serve hot with a salad. I served it with a 3 pepper and corn salad.