Preparation time: 40+ min
1 medium head of sauerkraut
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup lentils
150 g soybean pieces
150 ml tomato puree
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs spelt flour
3 bay leaves
½ tsp thyme
3 tbs nutritional yeast
Soak the lentils overnight. Drain, wash and cook them the next day.
Prepare the sauerkraut. Carefully remove the leaves of the head of the sauerkraut one by one. You will need about 15 - 17 leaves. Remove the hard stem, at least a few centimeters. Save the leaves.
Cut the rest of the sauerkraut to strips and remove the core of the head. Water-fry 1 chopped onion, add bay leaves and thyme. When the onion turns yellow, add 2 chopped cloves of garlic. Add sauerkraut strips, water, tomato puree, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
Prepare the stuffing. Cover the soybean pieces with boiling water and leave them to soak for a few minutes then drain. Fry the other chopped onion in a large frying pan, and when it turns golden, add the rest of the chopped garlic. Finely chop the carrots and cauliflower (you can also chop them in a food processor) and add them to the pan. Gradually add water while frying to keep the vegetables from burning. Add cooked lentils, pieces of soya, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and let it cool a bit before filling up the sauerkraut leaves.
Fill up the leaves with 2 full spoons of the stuffing (depends on the size of the leaf). Start rolling at the hard part of the leaf. When you roll over the stuffing, bend first the left and the right side of the leaf to keep the stuffing in the middle. Then roll the last part. This way, the stuffing will stay inside. Continue rolling until you use up all the leaves.
Take a large pot and place sarma and sauerkraut on top of one another. Start with the sauerkraut and place a layer to the bottom of the pot, then place a layer of sarma, and cover them with a new layer of sauerkraut. Continue like this until you use all of the sarma and sauerkraut. Finally, add the sauerkraut liquid to the pot. If necessary, add some water so that all the sarma is covered in liquid. Cook for one hour and a half.
When sarma is almost done, you can prepare the sauce. Fry some flour on olive oil and add some liquid from the sarma. Constantly mix, as the sauce will thicken quickly. Add the liquid until you get a creamy sauce and add it to the pot with sarma. You make the sauce to thicken the liquid in which the sarma is cooking. You can use whole grain flour, tapioca flour, or chickpeas flour.
Sarma is one of those dishes that is better when warmed up the next day. It is traditionally a dish we eat on January 1 in the Balkans.
Use your imagination and tailor the recipe to your taste. Enjoy creativity and Bon Appetit.