Help me navigate the wonderful world of (the former Soviet) Georgian cooking
May 31, 2014 1:02 PM   Subscribe

After stumbling across the blog Georgian Recipes (and specifically this recipe for Acharuli - Ajarian Khachapuri) I realized I've got a lot of eating to catch up on. If you know about Georgian food, please give me your tips, tricks, substitutions for hard to find ingredients, ingredients that should never be substituted, links to your favorite Georgian recipes, and basically everything you think I should know about it.

I'm a pretty advanced home cook, and assume I have access to a wide variety of ingredients. I don't have any particular dietary restrictions (I hate coconut & avocado, but it looks like that won't be an issue) and every recipe looks delicious so I don't have a preference about specific types of dishes. Recommendations for Los Angeles-area restaurants are also welcome!

I have a tiny kitchen so a heads up if a recipe requires a ton of dishes or counter space is appreciated. Oh, and I'm not queasy about food prep and ingredients that don't conform to USDA "Don't eat that or you'll die!" standards.
posted by Room 641-A to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
they have a dish, chicken tabaka iirc, where the chicken is crushed under a heavy weight, like a brick, first, then fried.

also, plum sauce made with slivovitz.
posted by bruce at 1:43 PM on May 31, 2014

So, this Georgian cookbook was written by a friend of mine's mother who happens to be an expert on Georgian cuisine. The reviews and another friend who spent time in Georgia attest to its accuracy, and it includes a section on Georgian history and culture.
posted by MadamM at 1:50 PM on May 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

I can vouch for the cookbook recommended by MadamM.
posted by Area Man at 1:53 PM on May 31, 2014

That Darra Goldstein book is the reference in English.

I've used tomatillos and lemon juice instead of sour plums.

Plum sauces aren't made with silvovitz AFAIK.

Actually I'm sort of obsessed with Georgian Food. And that's saying a lot if you knew how into food I am.

But I live in NYC so no reccs on places.

I love the walnut/garlic paste dishes cold dishes- spinach, green beans, eggplant, etc.
posted by JPD at 2:34 PM on May 31, 2014

There's some earlier reference in the regional section of George and Helen Papashvily's Russian Cooking from the Time-Life Foods of the World series; their book Anything Can Happen, about his experience as a Georgian immigrant to the US in the 1920s, is highly entertaining and contains some great descriptions of food and cooking.
posted by nonane at 3:17 PM on May 31, 2014

Look into khinkali- a popular Georgian dumpling dish.
posted by ChickenBear at 8:43 PM on May 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I run a blog and Facebook page called The Georgian Table:

Check them out! You can find all these things there, including a video showing how to form the dough for acharuli khachapuri.

Russian grocery stores usually have some Georgian sauces (tkemali, ajika, satsebela, etc.), but homemade is always better. Persian grocery stores may also be useful for things like marigold powder, fenugreek, sour green plums, etc.
posted by georgiantable at 7:37 PM on June 1, 2014

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