Persian Cabbage Dolma known as “Dolme Kalam”

Recipe and Video courtesy of Tahdigers

Chopped fresh herbs are mixed in with the seasoned ground beef, rice, and split peas and wrapped in cabbage, and layered and cooked in a tomato sauce.


-Rice ~1 Cup

-Ground beef ~1/2 lb

-Tomato Paste ~3 tablespoons

-Split Peas ~1 cup -White Cabbage ~1 medium sized

-Onion ~1 medium sized

-Fresh herbs (Parsley, Dill, Tarragon, Cilantro, Mint) ~3 Tablespoons of each

-Scallions ~1 Cup

-Oil ~as needed

-White vinegar ~2-3 Tablespoons

-Sugar ~1 teaspoon

-Turmeric ~1 tablespoon

-Salt and Pepper ~as needed

-Saffron ~1 tablespoon

-Dried Savory ~2 tablespoons


  • Soak Split peas in water for an hour
  • Wash rice until water runs clear then add water, add salt and let it soak for an hour
  • pull out fresh herbs (parsley, dill, tarragon, mint, cilantro) from their stems and soak in water for 30minutes
  • Slice scallions and put aside
  • once soaked, remove herbs from water onto a large basket
  • once fully dried, finely chop your fresh herbs and set aside
  • bring a small pot of water to boil and add split peas
  • let the split peas boil until they can be CUT in half with your nails ~10minutes (not too hard not too soft)
  • drain split peas and set aside
  • bring a small pot of water to boil, add rice, let rice boil until it can be squished between two fingers
  • drain rice and put aside
  • slice your onions
  • pour 4-5 tablespoons of oil in a large pan
  • fry onions until golden brown
  • add ground beef to onions and sauté until brown
  • add turmeric and sauté
  • add tomato paste and sauté
  • add scallions and chopped herbs
  • add salt and pepper as needed
  • add rice and split peas
  • add dried savory
  • mix well and take off the stove
  • bring a large pot of water to boil -cut out the hard end of the cabbage
  • place the cabbage in boiling water and place lid on pot
  • let cabbage boil for 20-25 minutes
  • remove cabbage from boiling water and place in cold water
  • slowly starts removing each petal from the cabbage (If the middle of not fully cooked, you can place it back into the boiling water after peeling the cooked petals)
  • add oil to the bottom of a large pot
  • place some of the ripped pieces of cabbage at the bottom of the pot
  • place a cabbage petal on your palm
  • add 2 tablespoons of your rice and split peas mixture onto the cabbage
  • wrap by bringing in each side of the cabbage, making sure not to rip it yet keep it tight (I know! It might need some practice but you got this!)
  • place your wrapped cabbage in the large pot
  • try to place them next to each other rather than on top of each other
  • continue the last two steps until all cabbage petals are wrapped
  • add 3 tablespoons of oil to a small pot
  • add tomato paste and sauté
  • add white vinegar
  • add salt and pepper
  • add sugar
  • add saffron
  • and sauté sauté sauté
  • add a cup of water and voila! Sauce is done
  • place your large pot of wrapped cabbages on the stove
  • pour your sauce over them
  • place a large plate/pot lid over the cabbages to prevent them from falling apart midway
  • cover pot with lid and let it simmer for 40-45 minutes
  • gently remove your Beautifully wrapped and filled cabbages and enjoy its bold flavors!

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