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Lenten sarma – recipe:


  • 1 leek or 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2-3 spoons of oil
  • 80 g of rice
  • 70 g of soy flakes (or a mix of different flakes: oat, rye, barley)
  • a bit of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground dry vegetables
  • salt to taste

For sarma:

  • 10 big sour cabbage leaves (or 20 small ones)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • ground paprika to taste
  • 0,6 dl of oil
  • 3-4 additional sour cabbage leaves (to put on the bottom of the pot)
  • water if necessary
  • a dry red pepper or 3-4 pieces of smoked fish (carp) to taste

For roux:

  • a bit of oil
  • 1 spoon of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika


Fry finely chopped leeks or onion in oil. Add rice, soy flakes (boil them, let them cool down and strain them before adding them to the mixture), finely chopped or grated carrot and spices. Fry everything for 5 to 10 minutes and then let it cool down.

Wash sour cabbage leaves and cut off the thick part.

Put filling on every leaf and roll in gently in a small, firm wrap until there are no leaves left.

Put sarmas in an oiled pot with a few cabbage leaves on the bottom. Place sarmas next to each other so that there is no space between them, in a few rows. Put a couple of bay leaves in the pot, 3-4 dry red peppers or smoked fish, preferably carp.

Pour cold water into the pot and cook sarma on a low heat for 3-4 hours.

In a pan prepare roux with oil, a spoon of flour and a teaspoon of paprika, pour it over sarmas, put a lid back on and let it cook for another half an hour. Lenten sarmas are the best if prepared on a wood-burning stove, the well-known smederevac.

Photography: Wikimedia

Translation: Marija Đurđević

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