Spices, condiments and sauces of Georgian cuisine: fragrant aromas of Georgia

Table of contents:

Spices, condiments and sauces of Georgian cuisine: fragrant aromas of Georgia
Spices, condiments and sauces of Georgian cuisine: fragrant aromas of Georgia

Georgian spices, herbs, sauces. Composition, application, features of use. Useful tips and videos. The hospitable and unique Georgian cuisine is renowned for its mastery of cooking, which includes a stunning fragrance of all kinds of herbs, spices, spices and sauces. In sunny Georgia, about 70 types of seasonings and spices are produced, which give unsurpassed folk color and flavor to dishes. Therefore, having visited Georgia, each hostess stocks up on Georgian gifts. Since it is Caucasian spices that will make any treat delicious, festive, add a unique flavor and enrich it with an unforgettable aroma. Let's get acquainted with the varieties of Georgian spices and seasonings.

Famous Georgian spices and seasonings

Glasses with different Georgian spices

Spicy spices are the soul of any Georgian cuisine dish. Incomparable herbs add a real Georgian flavor to everyday treats and turn an ordinary dinner into a festive feast.


Bowl with hop-suneli seasoning

Georgian cuisine chefs prefer to use compound mixtures of ground spices called "suneli", which means "aroma". The most common type of this series is considered to be khmeli-suneli, the most popular seasoning in Georgia. It has a bright and intense aroma, so it is added little by little in order to preserve the taste and smell of the rest of the ingredients. Every Georgian dish is prepared with this spice: satsivi, kharcho, lobio, khachapuri … In different regions of Georgia, the composition and proportions of the components change. But traditionally the mixture includes: dried dill, basil, cilantro, saffron, coriander, marjoram and savory. The dried herbs are crushed, mixed and stored in a tightly closed container so that the contents do not become damp. Sometimes other ingredients are added to the composition: parsley, celery, bay leaf, tarragon, fenugreek, fennel.

Utskho suneli

Utskho suneli spice slide

Another classic Georgian national spice of light yellow color is utskho suneli. The spice is not spicy and does not have a pronounced smell. It simply adds additional flavor to the dish, which unfolds in the finished dish, giving the treat a spicy nutty flavor. Utskho-suneli harmoniously combines with young lamb, gives originality to chicken, emphasizes the taste of fish and complements vegetable snacks well. The spice contains the seeds of the highest grade blue fenugreek so that the seasoning does not taste bitter. Before grinding, hard grains are subjected to heat treatment, after which they are ground.


Saffron close up

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. However, in Georgia, it is available and sold everywhere, both in powder form and in whole flowers. Imeretian saffron has a sophisticated floral aroma with pronounced notes of fruity accents. The color ranges from yellow-orange to red-brown tones. It is used in cooking for cooking rice, soups, meat dishes, snacks, sauces. Essential oil is added to alcoholic beverages to add a sweet flavor. Saffron is prepared from marigold flower boxes, which are first dried in a dark place, and then ground into powder. The sun's rays help the essential oil evaporate.

Savory or kondari

Bowl with savory seasoning top view

This is a classic spice that has an exquisite pungent bitter taste, a spicy aroma reminiscent of the smell of black ground pepper. The spice is used in dry and fresh form for cooking meat, fish, vegetable and mushroom dishes.

Red capsicum

Red capsicum on white background

The pungent detail of Georgian cuisine must not be missed - the red chilli pepper. It is not used as a primary component, however, it is rather difficult to find a colorful recipe without it. Pepper is added in moderation, while people who are not used to spicy foods will find it difficult to cope with the initial burning sensation.

Crushed walnuts

Crushed walnuts on a white background

Chopped walnuts are often used in sauces and various dishes. They are served along with fermented milk drinks like tan and yogurt. They allow you to weaken the baking effect of spicy foods.

Famous Georgian sauces - names and photos

Five bowls with Georgian sauces

Fragrant and rich sauces are another characteristic feature of the Caucasian cuisine. They add uniqueness and originality to national dishes.


Bowl with adjika close-up

Adjika can be either wet, in the form of tomato sauce, or spicy dry, in the form of a seasoning. The main component is tomatoes, red ground pepper, paprika and a bouquet of spices, which give a spicy bittersweet flavor: coriander, savory, cilantro, basil, marjoram … When you add wine vinegar, a pinch of sugar and coarse salt, you get a spicy hot sauce with bitterness and sourness, which brings pleasure to all lovers of spicy food. Spicy and at the same time sweet and bitter adjika will transform any food, and the aroma will awaken an unprecedented appetite. The spice is widely used. It is used with meat dishes, it gives a unique combination to poultry, rice, spaghetti, vegetables, soups.


Bowl with satsebeli sauce

Satsebeli is a tomato sauce made from nuts, fruits, and many fresh herbs and spices. It is often considered a versatile sauce that goes well with meat dishes, fried or boiled poultry and any side dishes. The sauce can be served cold and warm (not hot). The main ingredient is walnuts, which are complemented by chicken broth, garlic, red pepper, cilantro, saffron, and unripe grape or pomegranate juice.


Bowl with satsivi sauce

Satsivi is a special kind of sauce. Its distinctive feature is the content of a large amount of grated walnuts, which are seasoned with wine vinegar or broth, as well as lemon or pomegranate juice. The set of spices is constant, and necessarily includes cinnamon, cilantro, saffron, hop-suneli, garlic, pepper. In some regions of Georgia, the sauce is thickened with chicken yolks or flour.


Tkemali sauce top view

Another original Georgian sauce is tkemali. It is based on sour plum puree, garlic and herbs (coriander, red hot pepper). But now there are many modifications of it, where the sour plum is replaced with sour gooseberries or red currants. When preparing classic tkemali, a spice is always used - marsh mint (ombalo). It is added during the cooking process to avoid fermenting the plums. An extraordinary and sour sauce according to the consistency of the density of sour cream is mainly served with meat, fish, poultry, potato side dishes and pasta.

Georgian spicy herbs

Baskets with various Georgian spicy herbs

Special attention is paid to spicy herbs in the Caucasus. They are never excluded from cooking. The most common herbs of Georgian cuisine: basil, mint leaves, wild garlic, cilantro, tarragon, parsley, tarragon, dill seeds, savory, coriander, cloves, ground cinnamon. Wild Georgian herbs such as purslane, mallow, dzhondjoli, chin, nettle are also often used. They are used to decorate ready-made meals, as well as to prepare sauces, dressings, soups, meat and fish delicacies. This is not a complete list of Georgian herbs, but having such a set, you can prepare many delicious, aromatic, luxurious and interesting dishes with a Georgian touch.

Svan salt of Georgian cuisine

Svan salt hill close up

Georgian cuisine has a special attitude not only to spices and herbs, but also to salt. Since ordinary rock salt, housewives prefer to use the universal Svan salt.This is a legendary seasoning that is a mixture of all kinds of spices. Since ancient times, salt has been an invaluable product, to which spices have been added to increase supplies. This combination turned out to be very successful, so the tradition has been preserved to this day. It is prepared with utskho-suneli, red pepper, saffron, cilantro, dill, caraway seeds and garlic. The ingredients are crushed and stored in a tightly closed glass jar. Svan salt is added to soups, marinades, salads, meat, fish and vegetable dishes.

If you want your everyday dish to become original, then use Georgian spices with a unique smell, taste, color and origin. With them, the culinary life will become more aromatic, brighter and more luxurious. At the end of the article, we suggest watching a video review of the most commonly used spices, herbs and seasonings in Georgia, as well as recommendations for their use.

Popular by topic