This meat dumpling is a popular dish in Georgia. Made with minced meat, khinkali is boiled in the water, not steamed. Thus, the meat inside produces a broth making the dish juicy, soft and very delicious. It originated in the mountainous regions of Georgia, but later on spread across the country. Even though the original recipe calls for meat, restaurants make vegetarian options too. You can find potato, mushroom or cheese khinkali as well.
Khachapuri is another favorite meal of many Georgians. It’s a pizza-like dish made from a saltier mozzarella-like local cheese called Sulguni. But unlike pizza, the cheese is not on top, it’s put inside the dough; so when you bake it, the cheese melts inside the two layers of dough.
There are different types of khachapuri depending on a region. They all look alike, just have minor differences. However, only Adjaruli khachapuri is distinguished by shape and presentation. The dough is shaped like a boat and baked in a brick oven. Once the khachapuri is done, the chef cracks a raw egg on top and adds a knob of butter on it. Once served, you have to mix everything, break the crusty ends of the boat-shaped-bread and dip in the cheese-egg-butter mixture.
Mtsvadi, another staple of Georgian cuisine, is a meat cubes on a skewer, grilled over the coals of an open fire. Georgian restaurants offer mtsvadi made from different meats, but most common is pork mtsvadi. Usually, Georgians eat mtsvadi with a local sauce called tkemali, made from sour plums. There are two varieties of tkemali – red (sweeter) and green (sour).
In Georgian, the word ‘lobio‘ means beans and the meal lobio is made from various beans. Just like khachapuri, there are different varieties of lobio, cold or hot. But the most famous meal is a thick black bean soup, served with pickles and mchadi.
This dish from Samegrelo region is made from corn flour, cornmeal, and sulguni cheese. Cheese is added after the cornflour and cornmeal thicken in a pot, resulting in a stretchy and cheesy meal. You can eat elarji plain, or pour some bazhe on it. Another variety of elarji is ghomi – plain cornmeal and corn flour meal. You add sulguni afterward on your plate. Similar to elarji, you can eat ghomi as it is, but most of the time it’s a side dish of chicken satsivi.
This is another dish from Samegrelo region and consists of cheese rolls dipped in a mixture of milk, sour cream and nadughi (ricotta-like cheese). Cheese rolls are flavored with salt, pepper, and mint.
This meat-pie is the national dish of Svaneti region. The filling of kubdari contains chunks of meat, which can be pork, lamb or goat, flavored with onions and Georgian spices.
Churchkhla, often called Georgian Sneakers, is a local candy, made from toasted walnuts and nuts dipped in a grape juice and hung to dry. This candy is sweet and fulfilling, and a great snack during a long day sightseeing in Tbilisi or elsewhere.