Sunday, March 26, 2017


SARMAKA is a sarma made in moussaka style.  I didn't feel like rolling chard leaves, so I decided to create this hybrid where I layered sarma ingredients like you would do with moussaka.  Coincidentally, my last post was chard sarmas.

Chard is one of my favorite crops to grow in my garden, because of its versatile use and also because it requires very little care and it doesn't get aphids.  I hate aphids.  I've been fighting them on my kales and collards.  My Brussels sprouts were microscopic in size, and had aphids jammed in between the leaves.  After 6 months of care and taking a prime real estate in my garden, I ended up pulling them out and throwing them away without harvesting anything. Meanwhile, my chard has been continuously producing perfect looking leaves for 1.5 years strait, and still going strong.  

The ingredient amounts are arbitrary.  It really doesn't matter whether you have more or less of meat, potatoes, rice or chard.  As long are you have your sarma ingredients and you're layering them like a moussaka, you can be sure that you are making a sarmaka.  

1lb ground pork
1lb ground beef
12 small potatoes
about 30 leaves of Swiss chard (2 bunches)
1 large onion
5-6 garlic cloves
1 cup rice
5-6 tablespoons of oil
Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
1 cup water

5 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

Sour cream or yogurt to serve 

Heat the oil over medium heat and saute onions and garlic. When onions become translucent, add meat and stir breaking up the chunks.  When the meat is cooked (about 10 mins) add rice and continue cooking and stirring for another 10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and paprika.  Add water to the mixture, stir and turn the stove off.  

While the meat and rice are cooking, prepare the potatoes and chard.  

Slice the potatoes thin.  I used the grater to make evenly thin slices.  

Wash the chard leaves and cut the stems off.  You can also leave them on, but its awkward to work with them, they get in the way.  

Arrange the chard leaves in the bottom on the baking dish.  This is going to be your first sarmaka layer.  You can even make it double!

Next, layer of potatoes.

Then, layer of meat. 

Seconds layer of chard.  

Seconds layer of potatoes.  

Seconds layer of meat.

Depending on the shape of your dish and what you are trying to build, you can make a 3rd layer, or just use all all your meat in the 2nd layer and then cover with chard and potatoes.  Press down with your hands.  The card leaves make up look fluffy, but they will cook down, so it's OK if your sarmaka is overflowing at this time.  

Cover it and cook for about 20 mins at 450F in the oven.  

In the meantime, make béchamel sauce.  Use the same pan to melt butter, add flour, continuously stirring to break up the clumps, add milk.  Once your mixture looks homogeneous (should take about 1-2 mins), turn off the heat.  Mix an egg on a bowl, add the béchamel sauce to it, stir together.  

Take the sarmaka out of the oven, uncover, pour over the mix you just made and put it back in the oven, uncovered this time.  

Cook until the potatoes start to brown.  Maybe another 20 mins.  

Yum yum yum!  Eat with sour cream up top.

If you are still wondering what is this recipe exactly a hybrid of, here you go:
chard sarmas AND Serbian moussaka 


Post a Comment