Varză á la Cluj

Hey! I am Levi and I am a volunteer from Romania at Urbana Mladez. I am here to work on a project named “Youth mobility – Cro – EU”, where we have the aim of helping you to find out more and more about opportunities regarding traveling at low cost and volunteering but also to present you different cultures by showing you stories, pictures, and why not food recipes.

Varză á la Cluj or “cabbage like at Cluj” as the translation would sound is a dish beloved by romnias and hungarians likewise. It is easy to make, cheap and a true goodness. I am not sure about the origins of this dish but I am pretty sure it has to do something with the Ottoman occupation. Just as the “sarma” this dish can be found all around the Balkans in different varieties, this is the Romanian version. The name comes from the city of Cluj Napoca, situated in central Transylvania, a city built on the place of the roman city Claudiopolis what was build on the pre-roman city of Napoca. The city was the old capital of  Grand Principality of Transylvania. Nowadays the city is home of some of the biggest music festivals in Romania and it is magnet for students and tourists thanks to its universities and cultural activities.


– 600 pickled cabbage

– 4 onions
– 60 ml of oil
– 600 g of minced meat
– 150 g of rice
– Salt- Black pepper
– Thyme- Sour Cream

– 4 spoons of tomato sauce (optional)


Chop the pickled cabbage, squeeze it and place it in a pot. Place a little branch of thyme add water so it covers the cabbage and boil it until it soften. In a different pot boil the rice in salty water (1 cup of rice = 3 cups of water).

Chop the onion and temper it then add the meat, spice it up with salt, black pepper and thyme. Stear and add the tomato sauce (optional) and  50 ml. of water and boil it for 30 minutes. After this the final step is on, in a thermoresistant bowl place a layer of cabbage, a layer of meat, a layer of rice and another layer of cabbage. Bake it in the oven for 30-40 minutes then top it with some sour cream and enjoy it with a big cup of vine!

This article is part of “Youth mobility – Cro – EU” project which is funded by the European Union. Objective of our project is to inform Croatian youth and involve them in various educational, work related, volunteering and traveling opportunities. If you want to be updated on various opportunities “Youth mobility – Cro – EU”, please, subscribe to our mailing list by sending us email on with title “Subscribe” and put in your name and surname and year of birth.