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Lahano Dolmades : Cabbage Dolmades ©

January 30, 2013





For all those who love dolmades, there is a very popular ‘winter version,’ when there are no fresh vine leaves available……. cabbage  leaves are the perfect substitute!

This again is for my daughter, never did I think she would like “Lahano Dolmades,” until she came back from a friend’s house and said she had tried “Lahano Dolmades”!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it. So all you Mothers out there who have despaired that their children don’t eat this and that, wait until they are in their late teens…….growth and hunger set in and they begin to try all those strange things like green vegetables and tomatoes!!!!! Wish I had known this when they were young!

We are now making this delicious dish once a week and apart from making a good tasty stuffing, using beef and pork meat, the other trick is to make a generous amount of Avgolemono/egg and lemon sauce, of which there can never be enough!

This is a wonderful, traditional Greek dish, taught to me by dear Varvara. I am sure every Greek house hold has their own special recipe, but you can’t go wrong with this one. I have really enjoyed creating it for you, keep it safe in your archives!



Lahano Dolmdes

Easy- medium



8-10 Persons




1 large loose leaf/ afrato Cabbage

1/2 k. good mince meat, ( no fat ) 1/4 beef, 1/4 pork is best

6 spring onions finely chopped

3 tbs finely chopped fennel leaves

1 tbs fresh chopped mint

50 g glace/ pearly short grained rice

50 g butter cubed

2 tbs olive oil

salt pepper


For Boiling Dolmades

Chicken stock enough to cover. 1 liter.

1 lemon juice

25 g butter

salt and pepper


For Egg and Lemon Sauce/ Avgolemono

2 whole eggs

1 lemon juice

1 heaped tsp Corn Flour

Stock from the boiling of the dolmades. aprox  1 liter.



When buying your cabbage, it should be large and feel light, unlike the ones which one chooses for salad which have their leaves tightly packed and are heavy. When you tap it with the palm of your hand it will sound hollow.

1. Wash and remove outer damaged leaves of cabbage. Cut outer layer off main stalk. Using a large cooks knife, cut cabbage in half, cutting through the stalk, so that you are left with two halves.

2. Half fill a large saucepan with water and 1/2 tsp salt. Place half cabbage upside down, heart upper most in saucepan. 1 half may be enough.

Place on stove to boil. Once it comes to the boil turn it over. Using a large fork prize off large leaves as they become cooked enough to come away.  This is an on going process. They need to be soft enough to role up, but not so soft that they disintegrate.

3. In the mean while, wash and chop spring onions finely along with fennel leaves and mint. ( Take care to wash these vegetables well, discarding any older leaves and lastly soaking in generously salted water for five minutes, in case of any hidden bugs. The salt makes them rise to the surface of the water.)

4. Place mince meat in large bowl, add finely chopped onions, fennel, mint, rice and cubed butter, 2 tbs olive oil, salt 1 tsp and pepper.

5. Mix up your filling using clean hands or a spoon. If your mince sticks to your hands add a little more olive oil.

6. By now you should have most of your cabbage leaves pulled away and placed to drain, on a large plate.

7. On a chopping board, cut away any thick stalk parts and cut leaves into suitable sized pieces to use for wrapping. (10 cm x 8cm)

8. Place your board in the center, cabbage leaves to the right and mince stuffing to the left.

9. Place a small teaspoon of mixture near the top of your leaf, fold over , bring in side and keep rolling until you have a neat little parcel. Place in the oiled palm of your hand and give a small squeeze.

10. Line small saucepan with cabbage leaves and pack your dolmades close together. Proceed to second layer, until all the mince meat is used up. You may find you need to boil second cabbage half.

11. Finally cover dolmades with cabbage leaves and a suitable plate to weigh them down, so that they do not unravel during cooking.

12 Pour over stock, lemon juice and a few pieces of butter. Stock should just cover dolmades. This will give you plenty of  stock for sauce later on.

13. Simmer gently for 1/2 to 3/4 hr. Try one for tenderness. If ready it should melt in the mouth. If leaves are in any way tough, simmer a little longer.

14. Remove dolmades carefully one by one and place in heat-proof serving dish.

15. Place whole eggs in bowl, beat with a whisk to dissolve and slake/mix corn flour in small glass together with sieved lemon juice. Pour this into eggs and add a laddelfull of stock. Return this to saucepan with stock and heat carefully, whisking all the time until it thickens. Do not allow to boil, or eggs will separate. Taste for seasoning and make sure it does not taste floury. If so heat a little more.

16. Pour avgolemono sauce over dolmades and serve straight away. If wishing to serve latter, pour half the sauce over the domades, reserve the rest of the sauce in saucepan to be re-heated later. Heat through dolmades in oven at 150.C. covered with tin foil, so that the moisture is kept in.

Pour re-heated sauce over dolmades, just before serving. Garnish with a little parsley or fennel.

Varvara makes these, in no time, like most recipes it becomes easier with practice.


Lahano Dolmades

Choose nice large, loosely packed cabbage, light in weight and hollow to the tap of your hand.

Wash and remove outer bruised leaves.

Lahano Dolmades

Using a large cook’s knife, cut away outer layer of stalk.

Lahano Dolmades

Cut through stalk and cabbage, so that you are left with two halves of the cabbage.

Lahano Dolmades

Reserve one half and place the other in a large saucepan of salted water.

Lahano Dolmades

The water needs to only come half way up the cabbage, the steam will do the rest. Turn on to high heat.

Lahano Dolmades

In the mean time trim and wash spring onions, together with fennel leaves and fresh mint. Do a last soak

in salted water and leave for a few minutes to be sure there are no bugs. Drain well in colander.

Lahano Dolmades

Cube butter into small pieces so as to add to mince meat.

Lahano Dolmades

Rinse short grain pearly rice.

Lahano Dolmades

Mix all ingredients together, including cubes of butter. This Varvara says is an old school trick!

Lahano Dolmades

Turn cabbage over. As cabbage cooks, the leaves will be ready to prize off.

Lahano Dolmades

As leaves cook prize off with fork.

Lahano Dolmades

Place leaves as they come off, to drain in large suitable container.

Lahano Dolmades

Leaves come off easily.

Lahano Dolmades

Cut away thick stalks.

Lahano Dolmades

Cut leaves into suitable pieces for rapping. About  10 cm x 8 cm.

Lahano Dolmades

Line saucepan with cabbage leaves. Have your board ready, bowl of stuffing and cut leaves.

Lahano Dolmades

Place meat near top of leaf, role top of leaf over, tuck sides in and continue rolling. Once complete, give a

gentle squeeze in the oiled palm of your hand.

Lahano Dolmades

Pack into saucepan. After first layer, continue for second layer.

Lahano Dolmades

Cover with spare cabbage leaves .

Chicken Stock

Cover dolmades with chicken stock.

Lahano Dolmades

Pour over chicken stock to just cover and add juice  of one lemon and butter. Season. Remember if you are

using good quality stock cubes, not to add any extra salt!


While dolmades are cooking, place two whole eggs in a bowl and add lemon juice slaked/mixed with corn

flour. Add a laddleful of stock from the cooked dolmades and then pour egg mixture back into saucepan

with stock.


Heat gently over a medium heat until the “Avgolemono Sauce” begins to thicken. It should coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow to boil, or eggs will curdle. Check for seasoning. It should be tasty and lemony and not have a floury feel. If it does cook a little longer, with out boiling.


Once dolmades are cooked, try one first to make sure, it should melt in the mouth. If the cabbage is a little tough, leave to simmer another 5-10 minutes after which arrange in oven-proof dish.

Lahano Dolmades

Arranged in oven-proof dish. If you are serving straight away, poor avgolemono sauce over and serve.

Otherwise pour half the sauce over the dolmades and reserve the rest to heat later. Re-heat when ready

to serve in oven covered with tin foil. 150.C . Pour sauce over at the last minute.

Lahano Dolmades

Garnish with fresh parsley or fennel.

Lahano Dolmdes

Final Result!



4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2013 10:38 pm

    Oh my gosh I remember these, yes you’re right, you can never have too much avgo lemono sauce!
    There’s an old english country saying “I could eat these until the cows come home” !!
    Lovely recipe x


  2. Lynn Markham Beebe permalink
    January 31, 2013 1:56 am

    Sounds so yummy AND comforting in the midst winter……like like like Dear Jane!


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