Collard Sarma Recipe
Today we are together with the collard sarma, which is the most beloved recipe of the Black Sea region cuisine of Turkey and probably will expose me to the lynching of the Black Sea people. Collard sarma is mostly made with ground beef, or even cooked with meat and bones. But there is one problem. When I think of not only the collard sarma, but all the sarma recipes with ground beef, my lip curls involuntarily.
It took me years to admit that I don't like certain things. For example, many people immediately put cinnamon in desserts and cakes in which they use walnuts, sprinkle cinnamon on milk desserts, and if they are going to use apples, they definitely put cinnamon next to it. I don't think of cinnamon in any of these cases. I used to attribute this to the fact that I don't know some duos well. You know, apple and cinnamon or walnut and cinnamon are inseparable ingredients, but since I didn't internalize it, I thought it didn't come to my mind. But I realized much later that I don't like cinnamon and my brain is acting in line with this information. I don't hate cinnamon, it's not like I can't eat anything with cinnamon, but I don't feel the lack of it when it's not used in a recipe.
I have exactly the same opinion about having ground beef, whether it's vine leaves sarma, cabbage sarma or swiss chard sarma. If someone offers it, I'll eat it, but if I'm going to make my own sarma, I don't think of making it with ground beef. That's why today's collard sarma is also ground beef-free. Of course I will definitely share a ground beef version of it and this is our recipe for today.
The hardest part of making collard sarma is finding collard. It's not common in every country and region. In Spain for example it's more common in Galicia region and hard to find in Madrid. But when I can find it I don't miss it.
If you have found collard, the rest of your work is very easy. Prepare the filling, soften the leaves by soaking them in boiling water, clean the stems and thick veins, cut the leaves into wrapable pieces, put the stuffing and wrap them.
While serving, you can prepare a tomato paste sauce and pour it over the sarmas. I don't like it in vine leaves sarma, but I make it for chard sarma and collard sarma from time to time. If you haven't tried it before, try it once. For this, add a tablespoon of tomato paste to 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and stir fry it until its smell is gone. If the tomato paste is salt-free, add a little salt and water and cook by mixing until it constantly until it becomes a homogeneous mixture. You can pour it directly over the sarmas or first pour yogurt and then the sauce.
Enjoy the recipe...
- 2 bunches (approximately 750 g) collard,
- 1 cup of rice,
- 1 onion,
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste,
- 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil,
- Black pepper,
- Dried mint,
- Wash the leaves,
- Boil plenty of water in a deep pot,
- Soak the leaves in water and boil them until they become soft and remove them from the water,
- For the stuffing, heat the oil, add and fry the very finely chopped onion,
- Add the tomato paste and stir fry until the smell comes out,
- Add the rice and stir fry for a few minutes, stirring,
- Add water, salt and spices and mix,
- Cook until the water is absorbed and remove from the heat,
- Cut the stems and thick veins in the middle of the leaves,
- Arrange the veins and stems under a medium-sized pot,
- Cut the leaves into pieces that can be wrapped,
- Put stuffing on the leaf according to its size, fold it from the edges to the middle first, then roll it forward,
- Place the sarmas in the pot,
- Drizzle olive oil on them.
- Place a layer of leaves and a plate to cover and press the sarmas,
- Add enough boiling water to cover them,
- Close the lid and cook until the rice is soft,
- Remove from heat and rest for 15 minutes without opening the lid.
Enjoy your meal…