Stuffed Cabbage, Lakhana Malfuf

Published February 7, 2018

Sitto’s #Syrian Stuffed Cabbage, her Lakhana Malfuf, fed us all on just 2 heads of cabbage! Smiles all around the table could be seen, with no thought to how frugal a dish this really was! My uncles would love this dish and even if they popped in to see Sitto, they always left with a portion to take home. I don’t know if it was the garlic and lemon scent, the Dibis Riman, her homemade Tamarind Syrup, or just the fact that they missed their Mom, but this was always a winner with everyone!

The amazing thing about Stuffed Cabbage, is that it is made in so many countries. In fact, it’s a dish that will “tell” you which country produces it by the spices and the simmering juices. This Syrian version includes ground spiced lamb and rice, the stuffing giving another clue as to its origin, which is #Aleppo’s cuisine! It’s universally loved and as I mentioned, a budget-conscious dish that has been enjoyed for generations. I can talk to any number of people who remember their immigrant grandmother making their own country’s version of this dish to perfection!

Years after my grandmother made her version, when I was newly married, I learned my mother-in-law’s version. Mary put more of the tamarind syrup in her sauce, which prompts me to mention the generational differences between these two wonderful #Syrian cooks. When the children were young, I would fluctuate between the two recipes, my grandmother’s or Mary’s. Over the years, I couldn’t tell you which one I favored – but the kids loved their grandmother Mary’s version. Either way, you’ll love the Aleppo spices and the fact that this dish gets even better when left over! For all the delicious details and both recipes, see page 84 and 85 of Sitto’s Kitchen II cookbook.