Spicy red cabbage parcels

    1 hour 10 min

    Eating well to feel good does not mean relying only on modern recipes for inspiration, as many more familiar dishes fit the bill perfectly. In this updated version of stuffed cabbage, mellow-flavoured red cabbage leaves are filled with a hearty mixture of turkey, lentils, rice and cashews and baked in a simple tomato sauce.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 55 g (2 oz) long-grain rice
    • 8 large red cabbage leaves
    • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 1½ tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 3 tbsp mango chutney, chopped if necessary
    • 45 g (1½ oz) salted cashew nuts, coarsely chopped
    • 1 can green lentils, about 420 g, drained
    • 100 g (3½ oz) cooked turkey or chicken, without skin, diced
    • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
    • 200 ml (7 fl oz) tomato juice
    • salt and pepper
    • sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley to garnish

    Prep:40min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:1hr10min 

    1. Place the rice in a small saucepan. Pour in 300 ml (10 fl oz) of water and bring to the boil. Stir once, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover the pan. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the rice to stand, without removing the lid, for 10 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Trim off the tough stalk from the base of each cabbage leaf. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add half the leaves, bring back to the boil and blanch for 30 seconds. Use a draining spoon to remove the leaves from the pan and plunge them into a large bowl of cold water to stop them cooking. Repeat with the remaining leaves. Drain the leaves well and leave to dry spread out on a clean tea-towel.
    3. Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion for 2–3 minutes or until softened. Add the cumin seeds and ground coriander and cinnamon, and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
    4. Add 2 tbsp of the mango chutney to the onion mixture together with the cashews, lentils, turkey or chicken, parsley and seasoning to taste, and mix well. Stir in the rice until thoroughly combined.
    5. Lay a cabbage leaf flat on the work surface, with the stalk end towards you. Place some of the rice mixture on the leaf. Fold the base of the leaf over the filling, then fold in the sides and roll up the leaf to enclose the filling in a neat parcel. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.
    6. Mix the remaining 1 tbsp of mango chutney with the tomato juice and seasoning to taste. Pour about one-quarter of this sauce into a large ovenproof dish. Pack the cabbage parcels into the dish and pour the rest of the sauce over them. Cover loosely with foil and bake for about 30 minutes or until the leaves are tender. Garnish with parsley and serve hot with a salad or vegetable accompaniment, such as lightly cooked sugarsnap peas.

    Some more ideas

    *Savoy or other green cabbage can be used in place of the red cabbage. *For Chinese-style cabbage parcels, use blanched Chinese leaves instead of the red cabbage, and replace the lentils with 150 g (5½ oz) baby sweetcorn, sliced and cooked in boiling water for 4–5 minutes. Add 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger and 1 large garlic clove, crushed, to the onion. Use plum sauce instead of mango chutney and add 30 g (1 oz) toasted sesame seeds to the rice mixture. If preferred, peeled cooked prawns can be used instead of the turkey or chicken. *Experiment with different types of rice: try basmati rice for its delicate flavour, or a mixture of wild rice and white rice. For more fibre, use brown rice – it requires longer to cook than white rice, so follow the packet instructions. *Cooked ham or lean roast pork or beef can be used instead of the turkey or chicken.

    Plus points

    *Red cabbage provides useful amounts of the B vitamin folate and vitamin C as well as potassium. Potassium helps to protect against the adverse effects of a high salt intake on blood pressure. *Turkey and chicken, without skin, are both first-class sources of low-fat protein.

    Each serving provides

    C, E, B6, folate, iron, copper, selenium, B1, niacin, potassium

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