5 Must-Have Dishes from Georgia

Georgia (the country, not the US state!) is widely known around the world for being the birthplace of wine. Yes, sad singles and stressed-out people around the world have Georgia to thank for the beverage they drink just as much as water.

However, did you know that wine isn’t the only thing Georgia should be recognized for? Georgia has a ton of other dishes that are worthy of praise because of its coastal and mountainous environment. Today, let’s take a look at these dishes from Georgia that you should try out!


1. Khachapuri Adjaruli

Khachapuri adjaruli is a dish you’d love to have on your Instagram feed. These boat-shaped pastries are filled with a generous heap of cheese and baked in the oven until the pastries are crisp and the cheese is ooey-gooey. Once it’s out, the chef adds a ton of butter and a freshly-cracked egg inside the canoe. Then it’s served to the customer while everything is nice and piping hot!

To eat khachapuri adjaruli, you need to mix everything in the canoe together to cook the egg and melt the butter. Do so until the mixture turns bright white and orange. Then, before the mixture solidifies, you tear off bits and pieces of the pastry to dip with.

Khachapuri comes in plenty of varieties. You can add meats, vegetables, and other goodies into the canoe if you’d like.


2. Kharcho

Kharcho is one of the most beloved comfort dishes in Georgia. It is a hearty stew that’s made with meat (traditionally beef, but you can also use chicken), pureed cherry plums, walnuts, and a lot of herbs like garlic and coriander. All ingredients are stewed for a couple of hours until meat is fork-tender and infused with herbs and other ingredients. The dish is served with chewy bread that’s perfect for mopping up all the broth.

Kharcho is popular in many households around the country, and thus there are regional variants of this dish. Depending on where you’re from, the spices used may be different.


3. Ajapsandali

Ajapsandali is a dish that many of our vegan readers will undoubtedly love. It’s made of eggplants, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, peppers, and/or basically any other vegetable you’d love to add in! There’s no real recipe for the ajapsandali—oftentimes, you just add in whatever vegetables are in season or easily accessible. All the vegetables are then cooked with a ton of herbs and spices.

Ajapsandali is oddly reminiscent of French ratatouille. However, it definitely knocks the French dish in terms of flavor. With this Georgian dish, you’d be scrambling to find as much bread as you can to lick off every drop!


4. Khinkali

Making the perfect khinkali is the mark of an amazing Georgian chef. They say that if there aren’t at least twenty folds in these little dumplings, then you’re nothing more than an amateur. The dumplings should have a topknot with which to hold the dumpling, and the filling should also be packed with a ton of flavorful broth and filling!

Here’s how to eat khinkali. First, use your hands. Grasp the topknot and turn the dumpling upside down. Bite gently into the side. Slurp as much of the broth as you can before eating the rest of the filling and dumpling. Then, put the used topknot back into your plate and keep eating—the topknots will serve as your count. The more you eat, the more you are respected!


5. Churchkhela

These colorful sweet dishes from Georgia will have anybody and everybody looking twice at them. You may think they’re some weird type of sausage or candle, but they are actually walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts that have been threaded together and thickly coated with fruit juices. It takes a lot of work to make churchkhela since you have to pour the juice over the nuts, let it dry completely, then pour some more until the whole thing is thick and chewy.

Churchkhela is loaded with calories and sugar. A dentist would say no to them, but a drill sergeant would wholeheartedly welcome them. Georgian warriors used to carry these around when they were at war to replenish their energy.