The best traditional Georgian food recipes are pulled from regions of the Georgia Republic. Each has its own distinct style of food preparations. Cooks all around Georgia are adamant about buying the freshest local produce, if it isn’t already growing in their own backyards.
This devotion to freshness may be the reason why regional variations in Georgian food have persisted into the twenty-first century, despite the entry of Carrefour and other foreign stores. For instance, stews stained brick red with adjika (chili-garlic paste) in the western regions of Adjara, Guria, and Samegrelo will have you reaching for your water glass. The sparsely flavored grilled meats of Kakheti, to the east, where the cuisine is gentler, are a study in simplicity.
The Republic of Georgia, which is located in the Caucasus at the boundary of Europe and Asia, has a particularly diversified culinary legacy as a result of its geographical and cultural diversity, numerous border cultures, and hilly terrain. There are many additional reasons to adore Georgian cuisine, including the fact that they are famous for khachapuri, a deliciously gooey, eggy, cheesy bread boat that is delicious day or night. Here are some of our favorite Georgian dishes, including hefty bowls of khashlama and fried eggplant packed with walnut sauce.
Georgian Recipes From Traditional Georgian Food
Every region of Georgia has its own distinct style of food preparation. Georgia was one of the countries on the Silk Road, which resulted in travelers influencing Georgian cuisine.
– Abkhazian cuisine uses many spices and walnuts. The most popular dessert is Akuarkuar.
– Though most of the historical part of Lazeti is located in Turkey, Lazes in Georgia still continue to carry their traditional dishes, some of them being:
Bureği / Paponi — Baked sweet pastry filled with milk pudding.
Gresta — Chicken or beef with melted cheese and mushrooms.
Muhlama — Cornmeal with cheese.
– The regional cuisine of Samegrelo can be considered the most famous in Georgia. It uses many spices and walnuts.
Gebzhalia — Rolls of cheese seasoned with mint.
Kupati — Sausage made from pork.
Tabaka — chicken cooked with Ajika, a sauce made of pepper and spices.
Frequently Asked Questions About National Georgian Dishes
What Is The Most Popular of the Georgian Dishes in Georgia?
Khachapuri is the most famous dish in Georgia. The pastry is traditionally topped with melted cheese, eggs and butter. There are different types of khachapuri but it is usually filled with Georgian Sulguni or Imeretian cheese.
What Makes Georgian Cuisine so Incredibly Tasty and Delicious?
It is the flavors. You’ve got flavors from the Mediterranean, as well as Turkey and the Middle East. The most common ingredients are walnuts, pomegranate, kidney beans, cheese, honey, coriander and garlic.
Is Georgian Food Spicy?
Though it’s a small country, Georgian cuisine is regionally diverse. Georgian food ranges from quite spicy in western regions like Samegrelo or Guria, to the more reserved kitchen in the east. All dishes are complemented with Georgian wine – quickly gaining an international reputation for exclusivity.
Is Georgian Food Similar to Turkish Food?
Western Georgian food is said to have been influenced by Turkish cuisine while Iranian influences are more prevalent in the east. In the west, Georgian-style cornbread (mchadi) and poultry like chicken and turkey are favored while meat dishes made with pork, beef, or mutton are more prominent in the east.
What Spices Are Used in Traditional Georgian Food Recipes?
Kondari, Summer Savory. The rest of the Georgian spices are the familiar variety such as coriander, cumin, black pepper, chili pepper, dried basil, lovage (celery leaves), dill, mint, and parsley. Often in Georgian recipes you encounter kondari, which is summer savory, Satureja hortensis.
The History of Georgian Food
The famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin once famously stated that all Georgian dishs are poetic. This is, without a doubt, the best way to put into perspective how elaborate and exquisite the Georgian cuisine is in a region so small, yet so flamboyant. He wasn’t only talking about the flavor and the artistic presentation of the foods and drink in the region are, but rather the entire process of how the region creates its foods, and how the Georgians created and refined their cooking methods and techniques.
Traditional Georgian cuisine combines fresh vegetables, fresh meats, spices, and herbs into distinctly flavorful dishes that are regarded among the healthiest in the world. Whether preparing the cuisine for an everyday meal or for a celebratory supra, Georgian cuisine always finds its most genuine expression at home, among friends. The history of the republic itself is very much intertwined with the cuisine of the region.
Georgian society, from cuisine to culture, was without a doubt heavily influenced by the Greeks, the Mongols, Turks, Asians, and Arabs who used the route. That being said, in a weird way, a lot of what can be considered true Georgian culture has not been lost or eroded in any way.
Take for example wine and the incorporation of wine into Georgian cuisine. Georgia is one of the oldest wine-growing and making regions in the world. Over 8000 years ago, the Georgians created the art of winemaking. The viticulture in the region began when they discovered the wild grapes growing in the region.
Long ago, the Georgians would turn grape juice into wine by burying the juice, in a container, in a shallow pit and leaving it through the winter. This method entailed the use of clay jars, and it is known as Kvevri.
Another drink almost synonymous with Georgian culture is vodka. Georgia was once part of the Soviet Union, and the region was well known for making vodka. Even after the Soviet Union was broken up, some regions of Georgia, especially those in the northern region, held firm to the tradition.
Cuisine and culture, in almost every part of the world, are always intertwined. It is thus paramount to emphasize the importance of family, friends, and an overall sense of society when it comes to Georgian cuisine.
One of the most intricate and important parts of Georgian cuisine is the supra. Supra directly translates to a tablecloth, but it entails the meals that families, friends, and guests have together, which is vital for the Georgian people.
Old-style Traditional Georgian Food and Cooking Techniques
Georgians have actively endeavored to make sure that their old-school cooking techniques, foods, and drinks transcend from one generation to another without being eroded, and if there are, the outcome is always a better tasting and looking dish or drink. Thus, most of the traditional Georgian cuisine is alive and well to this day.
Another thing to be understood about Georgian cuisine is that it isn’t ubiquitous to the entire region. Granted, some dishes are in all the cities and towns, but in most cases, you will find some towns and cities have specific dishes and foods they are renowned for making.
Some of the old-style traditional Georgian dishes include:
This is, in layman’s terms, Georgian dumplings. Taking inspiration from Asian cuisine culture, it is twisted knobs of dough that have been stuffed with spices and meat. It can be either boiled or steamed. Black pepper accentuates the taste of the dumplings.
The name sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it? This is because it is, in many ways, similar to kebabs. Brought in by the Arabs, it is a dish comprising of grilled minced meat, with onion slices and sumac, wrapped in a lavash-like bread. This is one of those Georgian dishes you will find in almost every single town in Georgia.
This stew is one of the traditional Georgian dishes made from herbed lamb. Veal can also be used. Onions, white wine, garlic, and of course, traditional herbs are used as the seasoning.
Fire-roasting is one of the most used methods of cooking in Georgian cuisine. This particular dish features fire-roasted chunks of pork. The seasoning used is so good, it is considered one of the best barbeque meals in the world.
Traditional Georgian food is well known for the wide variety of beads that it has. Perhaps the most well known of these is Khachapuri. It is cheese-stuffed bread, though some variations include egg toppings.
Modern Cooking Techniques for Georgian Foods
In the same way that Georgians have embraced their culture from long ago, they have also embraced their cuisine. Parents, and the elderly generation at large, make sure that the cooking methods and foods from long ago are passed down to their children. Thus, each generation grows up not only knowing the foods but also appreciating them for what they represent in the culture.
That being said, the Georgians are also always trying to make what they have better and better. This prevents the cuisine in the region from getting monotonous.
Some of the Modern-day Georgian Cuisine include:
Most of the time, it is Armenian brandy that gets the spotlight. However, Georgian brandy is also well known for its quality, and it is slowly becoming entrenched in the Georgian food culture.
Matsoni is sour yogurt. It is somewhat of an appetizer and goes well with some of the traditional dishes. It is also well known for its medicinal purposes.
This is a confection made from a grape extract that has been boiled and then pressed. It is often used as a dessert.
25 Traditional Georgian Food Recipes
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1. Adjaruli Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese and Egg Bread)
Khachapuri in myriad forms — all of them having some combination of dough and melty cheese — is the go-to snack of traditional Georgian food. Our adjaruli khachapuri is the fun one: diners tear off pieces of the homemade bread canoe to scoop up gobs of bubbly filling, a mix of creamy mozzarella, sharp feta and just-barely-set egg. It makes a great communal snack, or part of a satisfying lunch or dinner with a green salad. And it’s simple to make: the yeast dough rises in less than 1 hour and bakes up crisp and tender on a pizza stone in just 15 minutes.
2. Tkemali (Georgian Plum Sauce)
Tkemali is a very flavorful and nutrient-dense Georgian plum sauce that is a great healthier alternative to ketchup or cranberry sauce. Use this sweet-sour vibrant condiment for almost everything: grilled food, roasted veggies, burgers, potato wedges, any kind of protein, in salad dressings, as a bread spread and so much more! (Look for the many recipes below using this Georgian food sauce.)
3. Kuchmachi With Walnuts
Kuchmachi is made with the heart, liver, kidneys, spleen and lungs of pigs, young beef or chickens. In this recipe we have used pig. Kuchmachi can be made with or without walnuts and is usually garnished with pomegranate seeds. This is a great example of Georgian cuisine.
4. Khinkali (Meat-filled Dumplings)
Khinkali are Georgian dumplings. They’re one of the country’s most popular Georgian recipes and a favorite item at long dinner parties known as supras. These meat version—with a brothy spiced-meat filling, like soup dumplings—is the most common. They’re designed to be eaten by hand: Hold each dumpling aloft by its stem (like an open umbrella), sprinkle it with black pepper, and take a small bite from the side of the cushiony top, sucking out the hot broth before chewing your way into the filling.
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5. Chakhokhbili (Chicken Stew with Herbs)
Chakhokhbili is one of the well know Georgian dishs of stewed chicken and fresh herbs. It is originally made with pheasant, but most people use chicken. If you try this Chakhokhbili recipe, I highly recommend serving it with Georgian cheese bread (khachapuri).
6. Kubdari (Georgian Venison Kubdari)
Kubdari are meat-filled breads from the Svaneti region. This traditional Georgian food is usually stuffed with a mixture of chopped pork and beef. I used chopped bottom round steaks from a whitetail leg instead, which worked beautifully. The meat is seasoned with a special salt blend also found in the Svaneti region.
7. Gupta (Meatball Soup)
Gupta is a popular dish of Georgian food. There is a lot of leeway in this recipe. You can add dried/fresh basil/parsley to the meatball mix. You can add a little bit of fresh garlic to the meatball mix. You can basically add anything you want to the meatball mix. The tomato in the broth/water is optional as well. It’s hard to go wrong here.
8. Lavash or Pita (Georgian Bread)
A delicious aromatic bread with a crisp crust and a soft chewy center is an intregral part of the Georgian cuisine. Traditionally it is cooked in a circular brick oven and the raw dough is slapped on the sides of it and allowed to bake. As I am assuming you do not have one of these special ovens in your home kitchen, this is a simple recipe for you to make it at home.
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9. Chicken Tabaka (Special Fried Chicken)
Chicken tabaka is one of the unique western Georgian recipes where a whole chicken is flattened and pan-fried while being weighed down by another pan or heavy object. The chicken ends up golden brown and crispy on the outside while staying juicy inside. This rustic and simple dish is often served with garlic sauce or tkemali, a Georgian wild plum sauce.
10. Chakapuli with Lamb and Wine
It is considered to be one of the most popular of Georgian dishes. A mixture of new Tkemali, Tarragon and wine creates an amazing aroma. The most popular Chakapuli is made with lamb, but others can be made with either beef or mushrooms.
11. Shkmeruli (Chicken in Garlic-Milk Sauce)
This traditional Georgian food is a decadent chicken dish cooked in a garlic milk sauce. The backbone of the chicken is removed so that the whole chicken lies flat. The sauce is incredibly simple and just made with milk, butter, and a LOT of garlic. It is served in the sauce with an ample amount of crusty bread to soak up the delicious gravy.
12. Chvishtari (Cornbread with Cheese)
There are several types of Chvishtari and in this Georgian food recipe we will show how to make one of the most popular. Chvishtari should be served hot. Enjoy!
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13. Kupati (Pork Sausage)
Georgian cuisine uses spicy sausage with distinct flavor. There are different versions of Kupati : made from beef or pork. Usually the sausage is made beforehand and is fried just before serving. If you don’t have the opportunity to visit Georgian restaurant then follow this recipe and make delicious Kupati for yourself.
14. Tashmijabi (Cheesy Mashed Potatoes)
Georgian recipes of Mashed potatoes use Sulguni (a brined Georgian cheese). It is one of the heavy dishes, more like side dish, mashed potato with lot’s of melted cheese, yummy! Usually we eat it with chicken, beef or pork meat.
I have recently discovered this dish. We all know about “Elarji,” but making it is not easy and it is time-consuming. “Tashmijabi,” is for those who love mashed potatoes, “Elarji” and hot stretching cheese.
15. Kharcho (Beef Soup)
Kharcho is one of many traditional Georgian dishes that are known well outside of Georgia itself. The soup is exceptionally delicious and has a characteristic rich flavor thanks to the spice mix that goes in it. This soup is traditionally made of fatty cuts of beef – chuck or brisket. As a result, the soup is rich and comforting. To balance out the richness of the soup sour plum sauce called Tkemali is traditionally added.
16. Trout with Pomegranate Seeds
Traditional Georgian food recipes use flavors of ground coriander, fenugreek and marigold are combined with sour cream to create a mellow but flavorful coating for delicate baked trout. Pomegranate seeds, coriander and lemon wedges provide a balance of sweet and sour, allowing the delicate flavor of the fish to shine through.
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17. Kebab – Georgian Style
When selecting the meat, make sure the Georgian food is a bit fatty, because otherwise the kebab will be dry. Mince the meat or put it through a meat grinder using the largest grid. Make sure the result is chunky. Add thinly chopped onions and garlic to the meat.
18. Nigvziani Badrijani (Eggplant Rolls)
It is a staple of any Georgian cuisine. The dish is usually enjoyed as an appetizer or as a side dish. Eggplant slices are fried and rested before being filled with walnut stuffing and tightly rolled to make Nigvziani Badrijani. The stuffing is made with finely ground walnuts, garlic, spices, and vinegar mixed together to a spreadable consistency.
These Georgian recipes of Mtsvadi, or grilled meat skewers, are made from well-marbled pork shoulder tossed with raw onions and finished with freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. Leave the fat intact for sizzling, juicy meat with plenty of crispy bits. In Georgia, the skewers are often grilled over the embers of grape vines. They’re traditionally served with tkemali, a fantastically sour plum sauce.
20. Satsivi (Chicken in Garlic Walnut Sauce)
This chicken in garlic walnut sauce is a fresh way to enjoy chicken! Chicken Satsivi is an incredible dish for hot and sticky summer nights that will satisfy your craving for comfort food but will not leave you feeling stuffed and heavy.
The sauce base is made of herbs, spices and walnuts. My entire family immediately fell in love with this chicken in garlic walnut sauce. Serve it with flat Lavish Bread, and a simple fresh salad. This is one of the many healthy Georgian dishes, simple and delicious.
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21. Churchkhela (Georgian Grape & Walnut Candy)
This is traditional Georgian food at its best and one of Georgia’s favorite sweet. Resembling candlesticks, this Georgian candy is sweet but fairly nutritious compared to other desserts. Churchkhela are strings of nuts that are coated in a concentrated grape juice mixture and left to cure for a few days (and up to a few months!).
22. Tatara (Georgian Grape Pudding)
Tatara is made only from wheat flour, while Pelamushi is prepared either with corn flour or with mix of them. In order to get perfect Tatara or Pelamushi, it is important to use good quality Georgian food – natural Badagi, thick grape juice. Here we offer a very simple recipe of Tatara that will certainly please you and your family or friends. As for the color of Tatara, it depends on what sort of grape juice you use.
23. Georgian Pakhlava
Perfection with walnuts with syrup or honey. It is a staple of Georgian cuisine and is also found in Central and Southwest Asia. This sweet pastry is very popular in Turkey as well. Here we present the Georgian version of this delicious dessert.
24. Kada Pie
Each region has its own special Georgian recipes of preparing it. Yet sweet Kada also varies, the difference is in technique and shape. There exists plain round Kada, also layer Kada which is cut before it is backed and also small Kada pies. Here we offer you a very simple recipe of a traditional sweet Kada pies.
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25. Medok (Georgian-style Honey Cake)
The cake was incorporated in Georgian cuisine from Russian Federation. Yet in comparison with traditional recipe, in Georgia, the cake is usually prepared with milk cream instead of sour cream. The dessert is especially delicious when prepared using Georgian organic honey. Medok is usually prepared on different occasions, yet it is so soft and tasty that one cannot refrain from consuming these Georgian dishes on ordinary days as well.
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