Caucasian Ajapsandal or Georgian Ajapsandali is a perfect summer dish since this eggplant stew with fresh herbs tastes best cold. While cooling, the vegetables can absorb the complex combination of typical Georgian spices.
Meat is Optional
Lamb or beef can be added to this dish rich of vegetables with the additional instructions at the end of the recipe. Though, prepare for about 2 hours more to cook the meat tender. Faster is to serve Ajapsandali as a side to grilled meat.
- Traditionally, it has a little heat from a fresh chili pepper, but this is up to you.
- Substitute eggplant with zucchini for a change or if you prefer so.
The Ajapsandali Culinary Spice Kit includes the following spices:
Coriander, marigold, garlic, methi, paprika, caraway, black pepper, fenugreek, hyssop, mint, savory, chili
- 1.5 lb eggplants or zucchini or half-half
- 1.5 lb tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/3 cup cilantro and/or parsley finely chopped
- 8 slices dark bread
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- vegetable oil
- salt & pepper
Ajapsandali Culinary Spice Kit
- Coriander, marigold, garlic, methi, paprika, caraway, black pepper, fenugreek, hyssop, mint, savory, chili
- fresh chili pepper finely chopped
- 1 carrot diced
- grilled meat
- Cut all vegetables into 1-inch pieces.
- In a BOWL, add eggplants and 2 tsp salt.
- Mix well. Let rest for 30 minutes.
- Rinse eggplants and squeeze all liquid out.
- In a PAN, heat 2 tbsp oil over high heat.
- Careful of splatters, add eggplants and fry until they turn brown.
- Add oil as necessary.
- In a POT, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat.
- Fry onions for 5 minutes. Add fried eggplants, garlic, and Ajapsandali spices.
- Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, bell peppers, optional chili and/or carrots, and salt & pepper to taste.
- Mix well. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in cilantro or parsley.
- Serve hot or cold with dark bread and optional grilled meat.
- 1 lb stew beef or lamb, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 cups tomato puree
- Season meat with salt and pepper.
- Dredge meat in 2 tbsp flour.
- Before frying the onions, add the meat, and cook about 5 minutes until it's browned all over.
- Take meat out and set aside.
- Fry onions for 5 minutes.
- Add meat, tomato puree, garlic, Ajapsandal Spices. and salt to taste. Mix well.
- Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 1.5 - 2.5 hours until the meat is almost tender. Add a bit water or tomato puree if necessary.
- Add fried eggplants.
- Continue with the cooking step 4 in the main recipe above.