Wednesday, March 04, 2015

In praise of Georgian food

The Washington Post muses on March 3rd, 2015, whether the Georgian food might be the next big thing. It certainly deserves much more attention, if you ask me. There was this incident almost ten years ago, when Kuidaore's Joycelyn began her cookbook meme (memes were a big thing in the early days of food blogging) wondering whether she really needs a Georgian cookbook. I left a long comment insisting she does :)

I've been a fan of Georgian food as long as I remember. The food is so flavoursome and colourful, providing plenty of textures and variety. The picture here is from the chapter dedicated to the cuisine of Georgia in my third cookbook, "Nami-Nami. Maailma maitsed 1" that was published in October 2013 (see my blog post here).  Doesn't it look really appealing and appetising?

Supra. Gruusia pidusöök. Georgian feast.

There are 99 photos in my  Georgian album over on Flickr, most with links to the Estonian-language recipe. However, there are plenty of excellent Georgian recipes here on Nami-Nami as well for you to browse, helping you to get familiar with the "next big thing". Enjoy!

Georgian-style green beans with herbs and garlicky yogurt or mtsvane lobios borani (pictured at the bottom right, below) is a wonderful side dish (#glutenfree #lowcarb).

Gruusia _06

Beet salad with walnuts and garlic, pkhali, is a potent vegetable salad that brightens up any festive table (#glutenfree #Paleo):

GEORGIAN FEAST: beetroot pkhali/ beet mkhali GRUUSIA PIDU: peedi-phali

Cucumber and tomato salad with fresh cilantro/coriander is a delightfully different way to serve the summer favourites, tomatoes and cucumbers. Tomato and cucumber salad, Georgian style / Gruusia stiilis tomati-kurgisalat

Chicken in a cold walnut sauce, satsivi, is another winner from Georgia (pictured in the front, below). Georgian cuisine is rather unique in that they use walnuts a lot as a the main ingredient, not just to give some extra flavour or texture. Here the walnuts and mixed with spices and fried onions to form a wonderfully aromatic sauce. (#glutenfree #lowcarb #Paleo)

Gruusia _03

Creamy mushrooms with spices and herbs, is a great way to cook and serve those rather bland-tasting cultivated white mushrooms (#glutenfree #lowcarb):

Georgian mushrooms / Koores ja vürtsidega hautatud seened Gruusia moodi

Walnut and egg salad,  are here pictured on crispy toasts (#glutenfree #lowcarb):

Georgian egg salad / Gruusia munasalat

If you can get hold of the salty Suluguni cheese, then it's excellent when fried in butter:

GEORGIAN FEAST: fried suluguni cheese / GRUUSIA PIDU: praetud suluguni juust

Yet the most wonderful way of using the Georgian Suluguni cheese is to make a Georgian cheese pie, khatchapuri. There are lots of different versions about that Georgian cheese bread. I've got three recipes in my cookbook, but the recipe you find here on the blog is the simplest one, Imeretian khatchapuri.

Hatšapuri x 3

Chicken with herbs and tomatoes, chakhohbili (pictured at the centre, below), was the first Georgian recipe to appear here on Nami-Nami, and still finds its way to our table quite regularly (#glutenfree #lowcarb #Paleo)

Gruusia _02

So, which Georgian dishes have you eaten? Which one would you cook first from this selection here on Nami-Nami?


tanita✿davis said...

Oh, YUM - Georgian food seems to be summer food - I remember making that mushroom dish and the cucumber, tomato and red onion salad. I am a bit timid with the beet and garlic, but that's next, perhaps.

I love how foods trend. Who even knows how the "next big thing" happens? I'm glad that we have wider and more varying tastes, these days, however! if I can just find some of that Suluguni cheese...

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and these wonderful recipes with beautiful photos! Do let me know if you ever find yourself in Washington, DC. I'd love to meet you!
-Jenny from The Georgian Table

Saffron said...

Thanks for posting this, Pille. Georgian food has been on my mind a bit this week, as I'm brain-storming cooking class ideas to do with my Persian cooking teacher, and a study of Persian and Georgian cuisine is a no-brainer : )

Here in Tokyo we have a fab Russian/Georgian resto that I have a strong urge to visit again very soon. I wrote about it here: