Caucasian Ajapsandal or Ajapsandali is a perfect summer dish since this eggplant stew with fresh herbs tastes best cold. Lamb or beef can be added. Traditionally, it has a little heat from a fresh chili pepper. The spice blend includes marigold which is also called Georgian saffron.
- 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.
Additional instructions for Ajapsandali with beef or lamb: You need
- 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.