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These cabbage rolls are a labor of love but don't be dissuaded by that – they are well worth it. The delicious blend of spices compliment the hardy filling and when you wrap all that up in a cabbage leaf topped it in a tasty tomato sauce, you have a truly special dish. These rolls will be show stoppers at any party.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in Tomato Sauce [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Ingredients You Need for Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in Tomato Sauce [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

For the Stuffing:
  • 3 1/2 ounces French green lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black Pepper, to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5 1/3 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/3 cup, walnuts, chopped finely
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 3 1/2 ounces white basmati rice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 large green cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 14-ounce can of chopped tomatoes, chopped

How to Prepare Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in Tomato Sauce [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

  1. Place the lentils in a large saucepan with the bay leafs, cover them with room temperature water and bring the water to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat, cover the pan partially with a lid, and simmer until the beans are al dente. This should take about 20 minutes.
  3. Drain the lentils and set aside and discard the bay leaves.
  4. In a large pan, heat up the olive oil and sauté the onion until it's slightly golden about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil then stir in the turmeric, curry, red pepper, and paprika. If you notice that the spices are getting stuck to the bottom of the pan, add few drops of water and stir it in to release the spices from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add garlic and mushrooms and sauté them for another 2 minutes.
  7. Add the carrots, walnuts, and lentils and to cook them for another 2-3 minutes.
  8. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  9. Stir in the rice and tomato paste and cook for further 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
  10. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down.
  11. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water mixed with a teaspoon of salt to boil.
  12. Throw the cabbage leaves in cook them over a medium heat for about 2 minutes. You might have to cook the cabbages in batches. Also, if you face difficulty in removing the leaves without breaking them, cook the whole cabbage in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. If you end up doing this, after you remove the leaves, cook them in batches for another 1 minute to ensure the leaves are flexible enough to shape. In the removing process of the cabbage leaves, if you have broken small pieces of the cabbage, keep them as you will use them later.
  13. After the leaves are cooked remove the leaves and let them cool slightly. Then cut out the thick part of the stem at the bottom of each one in a V-shaped notch and discard.
  14. At this stage, your stuffing mixture is fully cooled, so stir in the chopped herbs and set aside.
  15. To assemble, lay a cabbage leaf flat, coarse side up, on the work surface. Cut the bigger cabbage leaves in half so all your cabbage rolls will be similar sizes.
  16. Add the stuffing mixture at the end of the leaf closest to you. Then tightly roll up the leaf from all sides to completely close the stuffing inside.
  17. Repeat the last step with the remaining cabbage.
  18. Dissolve the tomato paste, turmeric, curry, red pepper, paprika, sugar, dried oregano, salt, and pepper in the vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes, and half-a-cup of water and set aside.
  19. In a Dutch oven, heat a tablespoon of olive oil gently and then take a piece of cabbage, or the pieces of the broken cabbages, and place on the bottom of the Dutch oven to cover the bottom fully.
  20. Layer the cabbage rolls, seam-side down, in the Dutch oven.
  21. Top the tomato mixture to cover the top layer of the cabbage rolls. Place a plate on top of the cabbage rolls.
  22. Cook on high heat for 5-7 minutes until the liquid starts to boil.
  23. Season them to taste with salt and pepper.
  24. Reduce the heat to low. Leaving the small plate in, cover the pot with the lid and cook for 1 hour or until the liquid has been absorbed.
  25. Transfer the rolls to a serving platter and serve them.
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