Bosnian sarma is a traditional dish that is enjoyed by many in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in other countries in the Balkans. It is made with a variety of ingredients, including minced meat, rice, and vegetables, which are rolled in cabbage or vine leaves and then cooked in a savory broth.
The origins of sarma can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire, which ruled over much of the Balkans for centuries. In fact, the word “sarma” is derived from the Turkish word “sarmak,” which means “to wrap.” Sarma is a popular dish in many countries in the region, including Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia, and each country has its own unique version of the dish.
To make authentic Bosnian sarma, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 pound of minced meat (traditionally, a mixture of beef and pork is used)
- 1 cup of uncooked rice
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely grated
- 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 cup of finely chopped parsley
- 1 cup of finely chopped dill
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 head of cabbage or a jar of vine leaves
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 6 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
To begin, mix the minced meat, rice, onion, carrot, bell pepper, parsley, dill, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Take a cabbage leaf or a vine leaf and place a spoonful of the mixture in the center. Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling and roll it up tightly to form a cylinder shape. Repeat with the remaining filling and leaves.
In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the sarma rolls to the pot and cook them for a few minutes, until they are browned on all sides. Add the tomato paste and 6 cups of water to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sarma for about 1 hour, or until the meat is fully cooked and the rice is tender.
Serve the sarma hot, with a side of sour cream or yogurt. It is traditional to serve sarma with ajvar, a roasted red pepper condiment, and pogaca, a savory bread.
Sarma is a comforting and flavorful dish that is perfect for a cold winter evening. It is also a great way to bring people together, as it is often served at celebrations and family gatherings. Whether you are hosting a dinner party or simply looking for a new recipe to try, Bosnian sarma is a delicious and authentic option that is sure to impress.
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