Cuisine is one of the important parts of Georgian culture. Georgian gastronomy is the reflection of its history and traditions. Georgian cuisine is famous for its unique spices, which can be found in most of the dishes. There is a significant difference between the regional cuisines of the country. Eastern Georgia is famous with its meat dishes, which often include animal fats, and with its unique wines. While western Georgia is famous for its vegetable and nut dishes, pepper sauces, salads and dairy products. We are glad to present you some popular Georgian dishes.
Maybe you have heard about and even tasted khachapuri, but did you know that it was patented in 2011 as the “national wealth” of the country? Khachapuri is the very heart of Georgian cuisine! In each region, it is prepared in its own way – experimenting with forms and fillings. There are several types of khachapuri: Megrelian, Imeretian, Ajarian, shortbread dough khachapuri, khachapuri curd (Gurian), khachapuri with greens, but Imeretian khachapuri is considered traditional.
- Wheat flour -400-500 g
- Water – 200 ml
- Sugar – 1 tsp.
- Salt – 1/4 tsp.
- Pickled cheese (Imeretian) – 500 g
- Eggs – 1 pc.
- Butter – 30 g
First you need to prepare the dough: from flour, yeast, salt and sugar, and let it rest for 1 hour. The dough is rolled and center is filled with the crushed cheese and a little butter. Thus round khachapuri are made. It is possible to bake khachapuri, in the oven or in the pan. Now let’s talk about other types of khachapuri:
Megrelian – also round, but in addition to the cheese inside, there is also cheese on top.
Adjarian – served in the form of an open boat, but together with the cheese inside, there is also
butter and an egg.
Guruli khachapuri – cottage cheese is shaped like a flat crescent, and boiled eggs are included in addition to cheese. This type of khachapuri is usually cooked on Christmas.
As in Georgia, khinkali are not prepared anywhere else. It appeared almost two hundred years ago and became one of the symbols of the country. If you think this is a big dumpling, you are mistaken. General it is prepared from only dough and meat. Check for yourself by reading the khinkali recipe.
- flour – 400 gr.
- cold water – 180 mil.
- salt – 0.25 tsp.
- minced meat – 300 gr.
- onion – 1 piece;
- fresh cilantro – 1 bunch;
- zira – 1 tsp
- cold water is 100 mil.
- salt, pepper – to taste.
The classic dough for khinkali is kneaded from water and flour, without adding eggs, but modern housewives use eggs and vegetable oil – this dough turns out to be tastier and more elastic. However, many Georgian cooks categorically reject all sorts of additives, especially eggs, arguing that the yolks make the unique dough for khinkali into ordinary pasta. It is advisable to take durum flour and sift it, so that it is saturated with oxygen, and the ideal ratio of water and flour is 1: 2. Once in Georgia, khinkali stuffing was made only from mutton, but now cooks use beef, veal and pork – more often, mixing different types of meat with each other, and sometimes add lamb to mincemeat for piquancy of taste. In the classical methods of cooking the meat is not grounded in a meat grinder, it is finely chopped with a very sharp knife – like onions, and then water is added to this mass. Georgian chefs advise to leave the mince for 20 minutes, then adding spices and salt, so that it is well marinated.
Khinkali are molded as a bag with at least 18 folds. The more skillful a mistress is, the more folds he/she makes. In general, khinkali is a dish that is not made in a hurry, it should be cooked “with feeling, with sense, with arrangement”, choosing a free day, for example, a weekend. Are you now convinced that khinkali are not a big dumpling?
Elarji – just a masterpiece from the Georgian region of Samegrelo, after trying it for the one time, you will fall in love with its taste forever! This is a real cheese delight!
- Cornmeal – 300 g
- Cornmeal flour – 80 g
- Sulguni cheese – 600 g
- Water – 800 ml
Well sifted gergili must be boiled for about two hours, until it turns into a thick mass. Then add finely grounded corn flour. Cook for some time until the mass becomes homogeneous. So you get a saucepan “gomi”. And then to turn it into Elarji, you need a little magic – grated milk cheese. Suluguni cheese must be fresh and lightly salted. Suluguni can be replaced with mozzarella cheese, since they are very similar to each other. Properly prepared Elarji should be of a thick and elastic consistency. Remember, the most delicious Elarji is cooked only in Samegrelo, where you are always welcomed.
Chakapuli is a celebration of flavors, which is made from various fresh and tasty herbs together with young lamb or veal. In Georgia, spring comes with Chakapuli, when the tkemali fruit appear on the trees. This is a spring dish, which is traditionally prepared for Easter in Georgia.
- Veal or lamb – 1.5 kg
- Tkemali – 300 grams
- Estragon (fresh tarragon) – 30 grams
- Cilantro Green – 100 grams
- Green onions – 150 grams
- Parsley – 100 grams
- Water – 0.5 l
- dry white wine – 1 tbsp
- salt to taste
Fresh products are thoroughly washed and cleaned. The meat is cut into small pieces, and the greens are also finely chopped. Meat is placed on the bottom of the pan, the remaining ingredients are placed on top. All this is poured with wine and water, and then some salt is added. In about an hour the dinner is ready. Enjoy your meal!
Georgian cuisine will leave you with many emotions, but this unusual dish from the Samegrelo region will make your gastronomic journey unforgettable! Gebzhaliya is a cheese roll with mint adzhika, and it is served in a sauce of yoghurt.
- Matsoni – 150
- Milk – 1 l.
For Mint adjika:
- Mint – 20 g, Cilantro – 20 g,
- Green capsicum – 1 pc.
- Garlic – 4 cloves
- Salt – to taste
At the begining, mint adjika is prepared: chop mint, cilantro and green pepper until smooth. Finely chopped suluguni is dipped in boiling milk for 3–5 minutes to form a friable mass, and then spread evenly on the board and smeared with piquant adjika. Roll up the mass into the form of a roll, and cut it into several pieces. Gebzhalia is served with yoghurt and mint adjika sauce. Enjoy your meal!
Georgian festive table can not be imagined without satsivi. Many people confuse satsivi with bazhe, but these are two different dishes. Satsivi is boiled, and bazhe just diluted with water. Still, in Satsivi you do not add cornmeal and eggs.
Satsivi comes from the word “Civi”, which translates as “cold”, as it is served cold. Satsivi is usually served with gomi (traditional meal made with corn) or elarji (gomi with cheese), but you can simply serve it with a mchadi (corn tortilla) or with shoti-puri (Georgian bread).
- walnuts – 150 g. Indian or chicken – 700 g.
- Dried ground Kindza – 1 h / l
- Red hot pepper – 0.5 h / l
- Ucho-suneli – 1 h / l
- Ground saffron – 0.5 h / l
- Ground cinnamon – 0.5 h / l
- Ground cloves – 0.5 h / l
- Broth – 2 glasses
- Salt to taste
Firstly, cook the turkey or chicken until it’s half cooked, pour the broth into a separate container and fry the meat in the oven or in a frying pan, and cut it into pieces in the end. In Satsivi, the most important ingredient is a walnut sauce: you need to pick up light and non-bitter nuts, which must be passed through a meat grinder for 2-3 times. Salt, garlic, spices are added to the nuts and together they are kneaded with the hand for 5 minutes. Finely chopped onions are stewed and added to meat. Then gradually warm broth is added to the mixture, while stirring. Transfer all the ingredients to the pan and boil them together. Wait for another 8-10 minutes and a dish is ready!
Churchkhela is the most delicious Georgian candy. It is not only tasty, but nutritious and healthy. Churchkhelas were created by Georgian caring mothers for their sons who went to war or on a long road. Churchkhela positively affects the levels of hemoglobin in blood. In the people, it is also called “Georgian Snickers”.
There are various colors of the churchkhela – white, yellow, green, red, maroon and even black. It depends on the grape variety. Mainly walnuts are used for the filling, but you can also use hazelnuts, almonds, raisins, and even peach or apricot kernels.
- grape juice – 2 l
- peeled walnuts – 200 g
- flour – 200 g
- sugar – 100 g
Grape juice is boiled for a long time, settled and filtered, thickened with the help of corn flour (wheat in some regions). string of nuts is dipped in the resulting mixture. Repeat this action for several times, as intermediate layer is slightly dried. When the churchkhela acquires the desired volume, the product is dried for a week or two and then stored for 2-3 months, wrapped in canvas. These months, the sweetness “ripens” to the desired condition. After the churchkhela dries, it can be stored for a year.
Pkhali is a cold appetizer made from various vegetables and herbs, but its constant ingredient is walnuts and spices. You can try pkhali from beets, spinach, beans, eggplants, cauliflower, etc. but mostly pkhali is made from spinach.
- Fresh spinach – 500 g
- Green Cilantro – 100 g
- Walnuts – 150 g
- Hot green pepper – 0.25 pcs.
- Garlic – 1 clove
- Pomegranate seeds – for decoration
- Salt – to taste
Pkhali most of all resembles the consistency of the pate. For the preparation of this dish all the ingredients will have to be crushed. An ordinary meat grinder is best for this (in a blender, walnuts can be difficult to grind).
Peel the spinach in hot water and boil for 10 minutes. After cooling, grind spinach, together with the fresh cilantro, pepper, garlic and nuts in a meat grinder. As a final step, you can add a little wine vinegar and salt. Enjoy your meal!