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Spicy Sarma

Updated: Feb 27

  • This recipe for making sarma is not very simple, but it is worth preparing because it's very tasty, especially for those who like spicy like me. I remember when I made it for my friend in Trieste in one coffee bar, everyone was delighted and asked me to make it again. The recipe is a fantastic! By the way, sarma is the most sought after, it most made on the eve of New Year's and Christmas holidays in Serbia, and even in Turkey. If you are not a fan of spicy food, it is not a problem, you do not have to put hot peppers. Be sure to make them, you will not regret! Follow recipe.

Ingredients: medium, preparation: 30 min., total time 150 min., 4 serving
  • 1 head of sauerkraut, separate leaves

  • 600 g of sauerkraut, grated or cut into thin strips

  • 650 g of dried smoked meat, cut into smaller pieces

  • 1.5 l of water

  • 250 ml of sauerkraut brine

  • 2-3 bay leaves

For the filling:

  • 250 g ground beef

  • 250 g minced pork

  • 50 g of rice

  • 50 g smoked meaty bacon/ cut into smaller cubes

  • 2 cloves of garlic/ finely chopped

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 fresh hot pepper/ if you do not have-you can use hot red ground pepper

  • 1.5 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry herbal spice/Vegeta

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

  • 2 tsp red ground pepper

  • 1 egg

For Spray:

  • 2 Tablespoons flour

  • 1 Tablespoon ground red pepper

  • 4-5 Tbsp of oil

  1. Separately separate the leaves from the cabbage head and thin the root vein with each knife with the help of a knife, for easier twisting of the sarma.

  2. Cut the smoked dried meat into smaller pieces to achieve a fuller taste.


  1. Prepare everything according to the description given above.

  2. Put the chopped onion in a little oil and fry it for about 2 minutes.

  3. Then add minced meat, simmer for about 10 minutes.

  4. Then add chopped hot pepper, chopped smoked bacon, dry spice / Vegeta, pepper and salt to taste, and stir well.

  5. When the water has partially evaporated from the meat, add rice and chopped garlic, ground red pepper and stir, simmer for another 5–7 minutes.

  6. Just before the end, add the egg and quickly mix with a fork and turn off the heat.


  1. Put a full spoonful of minced meat filling on each sauerkraut leaf and wrap the sarma.

  2. When twisting the sarma, make sure that the ends are good closed so that the filling does not come out of the sarma.

  3. The amount of sarma depends on the size of the leaves, on average about 14 sarmas are obtained. You can put unspent sauerkraut leaves on top of each other, then in the bag and in the freezer until the next use.

  4. The rest of the head of sauerkraut — the inner part, also does not have to be thrown away. It can be used to make a salad or put in the freezer.

  5. Take a terracotta pot if you want to bake them in the oven.

  6. Put them in a larger pot of 5 liters, arrange the first grated cabbage on the bottom, then the rolled sarma, dried meat between the sarma, and then the grated cabbage over them. Make sure the sarmas are next to each other. Arrange the bay leaf on the levels.

  7. Arrange according to this schedule until you have used up all the material.

  8. Make sure the grated cabbage is on top.

  9. When you have finished arranging, pour enough water and sauerkraut brine, so that it does not cover the top layer of sarma, leave room for the spray that you will do 1 hour before the end.

  10. Cook over medium heat, 1 hour. Cover the pot.

  11. After 1 hour, make a spray.


  1. Pour the oil into a small saucepan and wait for it to heat up well.

  2. When the oil has warmed up, add 2 tablespoons of flour, mix well as soon as the flour has turned yellow, add the ground red pepper and fry a few minutes.

  3. Pour this mixture over the sarma, stir a little and cover the pot again.

  4. Cook more 1 h and 30 min. Cook until the sarma leaves soften, and the juice becomes thicker.

  5. This sauerkraut go well with boiled potatoes in their shells, if you don't hate cooking, they will go well with this potato. Buon appetito!

NOTE: If you bake sarma in oven, bake on preheated oven 180 °C 1 h 40 min., covered with aluminum foil or with lid. Control the liquid, add the spray at the beginning of baking!

  • Use the contact form for questions or advice.

  • I would be happy if you would comment on my recipes and put like.

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