Tag Archives: holishkes

Holishkes – stuffed cabbage leaves

28 Oct
These were the leftovers for lunch the next day…

For 12 stuffed cabbage leaves


For the sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 tsp tomato purée
Dried oregano
1 bayleaf
Salt and pepper to taste

For the stuffed leaves
1 Savoy cabbage (easier to work with than white cabbage)
100g basmati or other long grain rice
100g brown or green lentils
2 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


For the sauce

In a medium sized saucepan, gently sauté the chopped onions in the oil until they are soft and transparent but not turning brown.
Add the tinned tomatoes and the tomato purée. Then add a pinch of oregano, a bay leaf and salt and pepper.
Stir, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes so it starts to thicken, stirring occasionally.
Spread the sauce over the bottom of an ovenproof baking dish that’s approximately 20cm x 30cm and 5cm deep.

For the stuffed cabbage leaves

The leaves
Put a large saucepan of salted water on to boil.
Carefully remove 12 outer leaves from the cabbage without tearing them, then cut out about 1.5cm of the thick stem at the bottom of each in a narrow triangle.
When the water is boiling, place 3 leaves at a time in the pan. Using a slotted spoon, remove them after 3 minutes, so they are blanched but not too soft to handle.
Leave them in a pile on a plate to cool.

The stuffing
Wash and check through the lentils to make sure there are no stones.
Boil them in plenty of water (without salt) for about 30 mins or until soft. Drain and leave on one side.
At the same time, wash the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear.
Put the rice into a saucepan and add twice its volume of cold water.
Bring to the boil then put a lid on the pan, turn the heat down low, and cook for 10 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
While the rice and lentils are cooking, gently fry the chopped onion and leek in the oil until they are just beginning to brown.
Mix the cooked lentils, rice, onions and leeks in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 2000C/4000F/Gas Mark 6.

To stuff the cabbage leaves
Lay a cabbage leaf on a plate or board with the (cut out) stalk end nearest to you.
Place a heaped tbsp of the rice/lentil mixture in the centre.
Fold the side edges of the leaf over each side of the filling, then carefully roll up the leaf over the filling, starting from the edge nearest you, to make a cigar shape.
Repeat for each leaf.
Arrange the stuffed leaves in a single layer on the tomato sauce base and cover with foil.
Bake in the oven for 25 mins until heated through. Remove the foil and return to the oven for a further 10 mins until the holishkes are just tinged with brown.


You can replace the lentils with cashew nuts. Brown them gently in a little olive oil in a frying pan before adding them to the rice.