My mother is a fabulous cook and as much as I love her Malouf, I recently discovered Joudie Kalla’s recipe from her acclaimed cookbook “Palestine on a Plate”. She combines a beautiful mixture of caraway, oil and garlic that makes these cabbage rolls incredibly addictive. I prepared them for my family and they were a huge hit.

Check out her recipe…

Preparation Time

  • 30 minutes 

Cooking Time

  • 1 hour


  •  6 pax


  • 1 Middle Eastern Cabbage (about 1.5kg)
  • 2 cups Egyptian short grained rice
  • 250g ground lamb
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 whole heads of garlic (1 with skin and 1 with peeled and crushed)
  • 1 tbsp ground caraway
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • Greek yogurt on the side


  • Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  • Cut center core out of cabbage and place, core side down, in boiling water.
  • Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until soften, drain and cool.
  • Peel the leaves from the cabbage and remove the stalk.
  • In a large bowl, mix rice, cinnamon, salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • Place one cabbage leaf, the thinnest part toward you on a surface and put about 1 tsp of the rice mixture along the edge closest to you. Fold and roll upwards until it looks like a small cigar.
  • Put the garlic cloves with skin in the base of the pot and sprinkle caraway and dried mint.
  • Arrange the stuffed Cabbage rolls on top so they fit nice and snug.
  • Scatter crushed garlic and cover with 1 ½ cups of water.
  • Cover the pot and bring to boil for 10 minutes. Lower the heat and simmer for a further 45 minutes.
  • Once the liquid has evaporated, add the lemon juice and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Serve with yogurt on the side.




Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Tanya knew that Palestine was her symbolic homeland. Always curious about her identity and connecting with her roots, she was eager to strengthen her ties to the Levant and traveled the region, desperate to learn more. It wasn’t until her first trip to Palestine that she became spiritually and emotionally connected.

She studied Political Science and Sociology at the University of Toronto. She then moved to the UAE, supporting numerous NGOs related to children’s welfare in the region. When she had her own family, she created the My Olive Roots platform in the hopes that her children and the Arabs diaspora would have a place to connect, learn and preserve their roots. Tanya enjoys discovering humanist stories and exploring the connection of food and art with culture.

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