Georgian food recipes are very diverse – Georgia has always been at the junction of European and Asian cultures, thanks to which Georgian cuisine is very diverse. In general, Georgian food recipes combine several factors – this is the widespread use of a large amount of fresh herbs, spices and grape wines. But in Georgian food recipes for various dishes, there are quite large differences depending on the region of Georgia. In eastern Georgia, the use of wheat bread, meat dishes from beef and lamb prevails, and in the western regions of Georgia they prefer tortillas and bread made from corn flour – mchadi; also instead of bread, they sometimes use gomi – a dish reminiscent of dense corn porridge. But the differences in Georgian food recipes in different regions of the country do not prevent Georgian cuisine from preserving the flavor and originality of the recipes for its national dishes.
Georgian cuisine is one of the most interesting national cuisines in the world. And one of the great advantages of Georgian cuisine recipes is their simplicity. Georgian cuisine recipes include meat and poultry, vegetables and herbs, cheeses and various spices. Georgian cuisine is rich in sauces and wines known throughout the world. Many dishes of Georgian cuisine have become widespread in other countries as well – Georgian shish kebab and kharcho soup, chicken tapaka and khinkali, Georgian sauces and spices are also widely known – satsebeli and tkemali, adjika and khmeli-suneli.
Georgia is a country professing Christianity, therefore in Georgian cuisine there are no religious restrictions on the use of meat of certain types of animals. Thanks to this, Georgian cuisine has become the owner of a huge number of recipes for meat dishes prepared from lamb, pork, beef, as well as poultry meat – chicken and turkey. Well-known are such Georgian recipes for meat dishes as mtsvadi – Georgian shish kebab or chakhokhbili – a dish originally cooked from pheasant, and now from chicken meat. The usual dishes of Georgian cuisine are not very well-known dishes: chakapuli – meat stewed with spices and herbs, as well as ojakhuri – meat fried with potatoes. Buglama, hikali and many other dishes of Georgian cuisine are also prepared on the basis of meat.
Meat of various types of poultry is widely used in Georgian cuisine recipes, mainly chicken and turkey. One of the traditional Georgian cuisine recipes is widely known – tobacco chicken, although it would be more correct to say tapaka chicken, since it is cooked in a frying pan with a load, called "tapa". Also, everyone knows the Georgian dish chakhokhbili. In the traditional recipe for chakhokhbili, pheasant meat was used, which gave the dish its very name – the word "khokhobi" in Georgian means "pheasant". But nowadays, the recipe for chakhokhbili from chicken has become more widespread, due to the greater availability of chicken meat.
Among the soups, the best known is the recipe for kharcho soup – a soup based on beef. It is beef that is used in the kharcho recipe, although there is a widespread misconception that kharcho soup is made from lamb. Everything is very simple, the literal translation of the word "kharcho" is "beef soup". The recipe for kharcho soup contains a lot of fresh herbs and walnuts, as well as tklapi – dried cherry plum puree, which gives kharcho soup a unique taste. Another well-known recipe for Georgian soup is chikhirtma, it is prepared on the basis of broth from poultry or lamb meat, to which wine vinegar is added and a raw egg is added, as a result of which a specific taste of chikhirtma is created.
Although there are many meat dishes in Georgian cuisine recipes, vegetable-based dishes occupy a huge share of Georgian cuisine recipes. Vegetables in Georgian dishes are used both raw and fried or boiled, stewed or baked, and pickled and salted vegetables are also used. The bulk of Georgian vegetable dishes are cooked from beans and tomatoes, beets and cabbage, eggplants and other vegetables. Also, in the recipes of Georgian dishes, nettle, purslane, tops of young cauliflower and beets are used. The traditional Georgian dish lobio, made from beans, is widely known.
Georgian cuisine is famous for its various baked goods recipes. For example, khachapuri, a cheese-based pie that has dozens or even hundreds of different cooking recipes, has become widely known. On the basis of cheese, achma is cooked – a Georgian puff pastry made from boiled dough with a unique taste. In Svaneti, in the north-west of Georgia, they prepare a kind of khachapuri with meat – kubdari. Wheat bread is baked in Georgia – shoti-lavash and others, as well as mchadi cakes made from corn flour, which are used instead of bread in many regions of Georgia.
One of the distinctive features of the national cuisine of Georgia is the wide use of nuts in Georgian recipes. Almonds, hazelnuts, hazelnuts, beech are used in Georgian cuisine, but, of course, walnuts are the most widespread. Walnuts are used in completely different dishes of Georgian cuisine, in sauces and sweets. Both kharcho and satsivi soup and sweet churchkhela and kozinaki are prepared with walnuts.
Another distinctive feature of Georgian cuisine is the use of a large number of cheeses in its recipes. Basically, recipes for Georgian cuisine use pickled cheeses – suluguni and others. But, unlike most other national cuisines of the world, where cheese is mainly a separate dish, in Georgian cuisine cheeses are used as ingredients in recipes for Georgian dishes. In Georgian cuisine, cheeses are fried in a pan or spit, cheese is boiled in water and boiled in milk, baked in dough, pounded and soaked, cooked with the addition of spices, spices and oil. It is difficult to count the number of Georgian recipes that are based on cheeses. The most famous Georgian cheese-based dish is khachapuri, which also has many recipes.
Speaking about Georgian cuisine, one cannot fail to mention such a significant thing as Georgian sauces. In terms of composition and recipe, Georgian sauces are very different from most traditional sauces in other countries of the world. For the cooking of sauces and seasonings such as satsebeli, tkemali, kand-dzmari and others, a fruit and berry base is used – sour juices or mashed potatoes from tkemali, pomegranate, blackberries, tomatoes.
Various spicy herbs play a special role in Georgian cuisine. To improve the taste of Georgian dishes and give them a specific Georgian flavor, many recipes include herbs such as cilantro, parsley, dill, mint, basil, savory, tarragon. Often, spicy greens are simply served with meat dishes, and sometimes some Georgian dishes are cooked from them, for example, jonjoli or phali. In Georgian cuisine, herbs are used fresh and dried, individually and in mixtures, stems, leaves, fruits and roots. For example, adjika is known all over the world – a spicy Caucasian seasoning based on hot chili or hops-suneli – a fragrant Georgian mixture of many dried herbs.
There are also recipes for sweets and desserts in Georgian cuisine. The traditional sweet dish is kozinaki, or gozinaki, which is usually cooked for the New Year. Kozinaki are peeled and chopped walnuts drenched in honey. Another Georgian dessert is pelamushi, a thick jelly made from wine and corn flour, served with kozinaki or simply peeled nuts. In addition, one more traditional Georgian dessert is cooked on the basis of pelamushi and walnuts. Churchkhela consists of pieces of walnuts strung on a string and dipped in pelamushi several times and then dried.
Georgian wines are a topic for a separate conversation about Georgia and its culinary traditions, since it is simply impossible to reveal the topic of Georgian wines in one paragraph. The history of Georgia and its national cuisine is closely intertwined with the history of Georgian winemaking. Suffice it to say that Georgian wines are of high quality and are appreciated almost all over the world. Various wines are produced in Georgia, both white – Rkatsiteli, Tsinandali, Tvishi, and red Saperavi, Khvanchkara, Kindzmarauli, Mukuzani and other varieties. Also widely known is the strong alcoholic drink of chacha, obtained by distilling fermented waste of winemaking.
It is difficult to describe all the variety of recipes for Georgian cuisine, but even the mention of several well-known names of dishes – shish kebab and kharcho soup, lobio, chicken tobacco and satsivi from chicken, satsebeli and tkemali sauces, Abkhaz adjika, Georgian wines Rkatsiteli and Kindzmarauli, are forced to to have deep respect for the art of Georgian culinary specialists. Ideally, Georgian cuisine should be tasted in Georgia, but not everyone and not always have such an opportunity. But it doesn't matter, you can use the Georgian recipes presented on the site and feel the unique taste of Georgian cuisine without leaving your home.