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Romania. Maybe some of you have not heard so many things about this country, or if you’ve heard, it’s probably not been too glamorous. Well, when it comes to eating, Romania should be praised all over the world. By intersecting various cultures, the Romanian cuisine was influenced by the Balkan, German, Serbian, Italian, Turkish, and Hungarian cuisine, as well as many others.
Over time, through these influences, the Romanian cuisine has developed in a surprising way, combining some of the most special and impeccable tastes in the world.
- The recipe I’ll start with is sarmale with mamaliga and sour cream (there are no words in English for the two dish names in Romanian). This recipe can be made very quickly. You just have to be patient, because the boiling time is higher than usual (120 min), but definitely worth it!
It is a pork based recipe (it can be made with a mixture of pork and beef stew), and the special ingredient is mamaliga (the most famous traditional Romanian dish).
The ingredients required for the preparation of sarmale, are:
- 500g minced pork or mixture
- 30 pieces of pickled cabbage leave (here you can see a photo)
- half a cup of rice
- 1 onion
- 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
- 3-4 tablespoons of oil
- 1 canned tomato paste
The ingredients for mamaliga are:
- 500 milliliters of water
- 180g of cornflower
- 1 teaspoon of salt
Now, how to prepare sarmale :
- Boil the chopped onion in oil for two to three minutes, then add sweet paprika, and then the rice and mix well for five minutes, then take the pot off the fire and add the minced meat as well as four to five tablespoons of tomato paste.
- Add one tablespoon of the meat composition in the cabbage leaves and stuff it. Put the sides inwards and then roll them.
- Place it in a pot with minced pickled cabbage. The remaining tomato paste is then poured over the sarmale.
- Place the pot in the oven for about two hours and then you’re done!
How to prepare mamaliga (very easy to do).
- Place 500 milliliters in a pot, on high heat. When the water reaches the boiling point, you can start adding the cornflower, stirring constantly.
- After you finish adding the cornflower, make sure you turn the heat down on low and leave it to boil. To avoid sticking, mix constantly with a wooden spoon.
- When you notice that the margins of the mamaliga have begun to gather to the center, turn off the fire and turn it over a large plate.
This is all! For one serving, put on the dish as many sarmale as you want, mamaliga and sour cream and eat it all together. It is delicious!
- The second recipe is bean soup in a bread bowl:
It’s an ingenious way to serve the soup, right in the bread. In Romania, there is soup (as is in the rest of the world) and ciorba. Ciorba is different from soup, having a much more liquid consistency.
So, this recipe is bean ciorba, not soup.
For this recipe you will need:
- about 500g of beans (not canned beans).
- 400g of smoked pork bone, Kaiser or smoked bacon.
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup of tomato juice
- a bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- green parsley
- 2 peppers
- 50g of celery
- dried basil
For the bread you will need:
- about 500g of flour
- 200 ml of warm water
- a cube of yeast
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
How to prepare ciorba:
It’s a very simple recipe to follow.
- Wash the beans and boil them. After the water boils a few times, squeeze the beans, tossing the boiling water and adding new water, then boil with salt and the greens cut finely.
- After the beans have boiled and soaked well, add the olive oil and the bacon, then add tomato juice. Add everything to the beans and let them boil a few minutes. Afterward, turn off the heat, and add the bay leaf, basil, and thyme.
How to prepare the bread:
- For the bread bowl, knead the dough, add the warm water in which we dissolved the yeast, salt, and oil. Knead by hand until the dough isn’t sticking, then cover and let it grow warm. The dough crosscut is divided into two, then placed in two round shapes, taller, with a bit of oil and baked in the oven.
- Remove the margins from the moulds, cut off the lids, scoop up the core and then put it in the oven for another five mins to let it dry well inside.
This is it. A delicious and tasty meal.
You can serve the beans ciorba in bowls of bread with red onion or hot pepper.
These are the two traditional Romanian recipes that you should definitely try, for the great taste and easiness of preparation, available to anyone!
If you enjoyed this article, feel free to leave a tip to support me in my future cuisine adventures.