Mahshy Kromb means Stuffed Cabbages. They're delicious and can be seen in many different cuisines not just Egyptian. Each country has their own way of making this scrumptious meal but I find what makes this way stand out is that the cabbage leaves are cut into small peices that way you get a much bigger quantity and you still feel like your eating a cabbage roll. My mother makes these actually bigger than usual and that's the way I love it.. You can see these at almost every 3ezooma ( dinner invitation) and eaten throughout the year. Let me show you how I make it..
1 Large Cabbage
Some slices of butter
3 cups of broth.
3 large onions diced finely
3 large tomatoes chopped
3 large tablespoons of tomato paste
teaspoon each of: Cumin, chilli powder, 7 spices, Salt, pepper, Cinnamon, ginger powder
Chopped up pints of Dill, parsley and coriander (Add as much as you like. The more you add the better the flavour)
3 Cups of short grain rice
How to make it
This is the most trickiest part. Core the Cabbage from the bottom. Once its corred take a large pot full of water and put it on medium heat until the water is simmering. Place the cabbage in the water the cored side for down for 5 minutes to soften the stubborn edges so that it will be easier for the leaves to remove. Now turn the cabbage cored side up and when the leaves begin to soften you will see that its easy to remove the cabbage leaves one by one. Do not wait until the cabbage leaves turn see-through. Remove them when they are still green but bendeble. About 1 minute for each layer is enough. The trick with this is that you dont want to boil the cabbage leaves you just want to soften them but still keep its freshness because they will go for a second time in cooking process.
Once all the cabbage leaves have been softened and removed, Take each cabbage leave and cut into rectangle shapes, long and wide enough to wrap. They should be cut with the grain of the cabbage leaves, so cut them going across with the cabbage line/veins.
One you've cut all of them, stack them on top of each other on a tray and set aside like this:
Okay by now you should now that this dish will need some patience and time but belive me, its worth it! So lets make the stuffing now!
First saute the diced onions in some oil in a deep pot. Once they are caramalized add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and enough water to make it into a saucy consistancy. Place the lid on the top and simmer until the tomatoes have disintegrated and the sauce become thick, add more water if its too thick. Add the spices and chopped herbs simmer for a further 2 minutes. Now add your rice and stir very well. Keep it on the stove for 5-10 minutes for the rice to partially cook and soak up all the flavours from the sauce. Transfer the rice mixture to a bowl and now you are prepared to stuff.
Take a generous pinch of the rice and place at the top of the cabbage leave, tuck the top under the rice and keep rolling until its closed. Line in a pot straight away. The process is like this:
Keep lining until youve reached the top of the pot..
Place some slices of butter on top and cover with enough broth until it reaches the rims of the pot. Simmer on high first until it starts to bubble then switch on low heat and cook for 1 hour or until the cabbage is soft and the rice is cooked and delicious.. Enjoy!