There is a variety of onions called salamouni here, with an elongated graceful shape; they taste just like regular yellow onions but the neat thing about them is that once boiled, their skins stay curled up, making them perfect for stuffing.
This recipe is shared by Asma, my wonderful Kurdish friend, who told me it was her father’s favorite dish. I will post a short video of Asma making this in the next 48 hours.
The stuffing here is the basic rice and ground meat one with a generous amount of sumac. Cabbage leaves are included in the pot as well.
- 1 pound of beef or lamb bones (preferably from the ribs)
- 1/2 pound of ground beef or lamb
- 2 cups of Italian or Egyptian or sushi rice
- Spices: 1 tsp of salt (or more), 2 tsp of seven-spice (or half cinnamon, half allspice, a touch of nutmeg), 1/4 cup of sumac (or more, to taste).
- Olive oil, as needed
- 1 pound of onions
- 1 pound of cabbage leaves
- 1 bouillon cube
- 1 large lemon juiced (or 1/2 cup of lemon juice)
- Blanch the onions and cabbage leaves in plenty of salted water till thoroughly wilted and soft. Drain and set aside while preparing the stuffing briefly.
- In a bowl, mix the rice, meat and spices; add one or more tablespoons of oil to the mixture if it feels too dry. Heat a large pot and brown the bones; set aside.
- Stuff the onion leaves one by one, removing the translucent skin covering between each layer of skin. Stuff the cabbage leaves, removing the stalks and keeping them aside to line the pot. Place the cabbage and onion leaves side by side in the pot. Cover with a small plate to hold them in place (place a rock on top of the plate if necessary for extra protection). Sprinkle sumac over the leaves, add water to the top and bring to a simmer; add the lemon juice gradually as the pot simmers gently for one hour.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.