Let me make one thing clear: I am not a vegan (and not going to becone one soon)! One of my besties is a vegan, so I know how hard it is to travel to different countries as a non meat or diary eater!
I’ve teamed up with Georgia Starts Here to share with you the top 10 Georgian dishes that are suitable for vegans.
1. Lobio and marinades
Photo Source: georgianrecipes.net
Beans? Yeap, beans, but with onion, garlic, herbs, and local seasonings and this is delicious! The best Lobio is served in a clay pot. Consider ordering some marinades with it. Among cabbage, cucumber, tomato, pepper, and other more or less familiar vegetable marinades, you can find Jonjoli – Georgian bladdernut. Jonjoli is a medium sized bush producing long stemmed flowers, which are harvested just before they flower in May and consumed throughout the year.
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Mchadi is a local cornbread and is usually eaten with Lobio. Simple, crispy, and tasty! If you enjoy spicy taste, be sure to add a pinch of Ajika (local hot sauce made from mixture of pepper, tomatoes, carrots, nuts etc.) or assorted pickled vegetables.
3. Ghomi and Baje
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Ghomi is made of cornmeal and corn flour. It is usually served with cheese and sometimes even as a side dish to meat or poultry. However, we advise to try it with Baje – a local nut sauce. Pour the sauce on Ghomi and enjoy. Remember that Ghomi is best prepared in western Georgia, specifically in Samegrelo, so should you travel there, don’t forget to taste Ghomi with Baje.
4. Nigvziani Badrijani
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Eggplant with nuts. Sounds nothing interesting? You are so wrong! Slices of eggplant are fried and then nuts, cilantro (coriander) and garlic mix is rolled inside these slices and usually it is all seasoned with pomegranate. It is nothing you have ever tried before.
6. Lobiani and Pkhliani
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So, Lobio was our #1 and Pkhali was our #5 but there is more to try. You have probably heard of the most famous Georgian dish – Khachapuri, which is basically cheese stuffed in bread, so Lobiani and Pkhliani are Vegetarian alternatives and they are not a bit worse than Khachapuri. If you are a Vegan, don’t forget to ask the cook if any butter was used to fry the dish. It is usually not the case, but better to be on the safe side and check.
7. Soko Kecze
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Soko Kecze is the most widespread dish of mushrooms. These are simply fried mushrooms on the clay plate. Sometimes they come with cheese, so make it clear if you prefer them plain. Another delicious dish is Nikvi – fried Caesar’s mushrooms. It is a seasonal dish and you can find it only in the summer and early fall, mostly in the western Georgia.
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And eggplants again, but this time with a completely different flavour. This dish is well known not only in Georgia, but in some other neighbour countries. Major ingredients are eggplants and tomatoes. They are boiled together with potatoes, garlic, pepper, and some herbs. This is a very popular dish during summer, though we love it all year around.
9. Tarkhunis Ghvezeli
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This is a bread stuffed with tarragon and other seasonings and it has a very particular taste. Tarragon is a perennial herb widespread in many countries, though probably no other nation loves it as much as Georgians do. Local aromatic sub species of Tarragon are used to prepare several kinds of soups, lemonade, candies, and to season meat. But if you want to fully enjoy its specific flavour try out a Tarragon Cake. There are several varieties. A vegan version is baked with rice and onion.
10. Akhali Kartopili
Photo Source: georgianrecipes.net
Fingerling potatoes, with a pale yellow skin and buttery flesh appear in early May. Its inseparable companion is freshly made tkemali sauce (Local sauce made of green plums, garlic, and herbs. Also seasonal). Authentic way to serve the dish is with chopped thyme on top of potatoes. Enhance the flavours with a spoonful of Georgian salad.
Article developed in collaboration with Georgia Starts Here