Recently, a debate has been sparked on social media regarding the use of eggs in sarma. While some argue that eggs are essential for binding the ingredients together and making the dish firmer, others argue that they have no place in sarma. As a journalist, we wanted to investigate this matter further and explore different recipes and techniques.
After conducting research, we came across a recipe from the ‘Book for Every Woman,’ published in Zagreb back in 1952 by the Croatian Peasant Press. According to this book, eggs are indeed used in sarma as a key ingredient.
To prepare sarma using this recipe, first, mix all ingredients listed under ‘Sarma filling’ well in a bowl. Then, remove the leaves from each head of greens and cut them into thinner pieces without damaging them. Next, place a spoonful of stuffing on each leaf and fold the end of the leaf closest to your little finger to cover it completely. Wrap up any remaining uncovered ends with your fingers and press down lightly to shape them into small packages.
Once you have prepared your sarma filling, boil water or soup with chopped greens and salt until it reaches a boiling point. Add your sardines on top of the greens and cover the pot tightly with its lid before cooking slowly over low heat for three to four hours or until the greens become tender and soft enough to eat through easily. If you notice that your greens are too sour-tasting, add one or two sugar cubes to balance out their acidity or use whey instead of water if you have it available.