Muzna's Cabbage Rice
Before even talking about the recipe, I must introduce Muzna. She and I have been friends for more than 20 years.
Muzna is also my Su-Chef and helps me in my workshops. We know each other so well that I don't even have to talk. I raise my eyes and she knows what I want to say. Muzna occasionally accompanied me to the professional trips abroad that are published on my travel page. Muzna used to make this wonderful dish for my classes students and after many requests the recipe was published already on my old site.
Another amusing story related to this dish is the Bahar, which is the dominant spice in this dish. Muzna insisted that it was called Bahar and not a Baharat that was a different spice.
After long searches in the markets, it turned out that the mysterious Bahar is none other than English pepper also known as Allspice. For years I have been trying to figure out what this Allspice is. None of the English speakers friends and relatives knew, so I assumed it was a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I was wrong. It is a single spice that stands on its own. And thank you very "poppy" spices, for finally solving this riddle for me. Bahar I assume is the arab name for it)
Recipe for 16 servings
1 medium cabbage
3 cups Persian rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Bahar (English pepper/allspice)
Cumin (a pinch)
Separate the cabbage leaves and boil them until soft.
Grease a wide, heavy pot in olive oil and line the bottom with half the cabbage leaves.
Rinse and season the rice (except for the cumin)
Place the rice on the cabbage leaves.
Cover with the other half cabbage leaves and
sprinkle the cumin on top.
Add 7 cups of water, bring to a boil and cook on a low heat until the rice softens.
Serve in the pot, slice it like a cake.
Yes!!! I tried to turn it over on a tray. Don't bother, it will fall apart every time. Plus, the pot keeps it hot for much longer.
I like to add a few drops of lemon juice even though a Muzna says that is not how you eat it.