Georgian Ajapsandali

Georgian Ajapsandali

SpiceBreeze
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.
Cuisine Georgian
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Optional

  • fresh chili pepper finely chopped
  • 1 carrot diced
  • grilled meat

Instructions
 

Prepare

  • 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.

Fry

  • 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.

Cook

  • 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

  • Serve hot or cold with dark bread and optional grilled meat.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

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
Prepare
  1. Season meat with salt and pepper.
  2. Dredge meat in 2 tbsp flour.
Cook
  1. Before frying the onions, add the meat, and cook about 5 minutes until it's browned all over.
  2. Take meat out and set aside.
  3. Fry onions for 5 minutes.
  4. Add meat, tomato puree, garlic, Ajapsandal Spices. and salt to taste. Mix well.
  5. 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.
  6. Add fried eggplants.
  7. Continue with the cooking step 4 in the main recipe above.