One of my favourite dishes in Georgia is Ajapsandali, and I’m blessed with having the best neighbours in the world, who make this dish really well. In the village, we pretty much just had khajapuri and bread, so it wasn’t until I moved to Tbilisi that I got to try this very tasty dish. Ajapsandali is a bit like ragout. It is made from aubergine (egg plant if your American), potato, tomato, and peppers. And it was lovely to come home from my yoga session today, to be greeted by my neighbour (one of my best friends in Georgia) and a bowl of their very tasty, homemade Ajapsandali.
Here is their recipe, in case you want to make it for yourself, though aubergine’s were always quite a luxury item in the UK as they were always expensive, but thankfully here they are pretty cheap, produced locally, and available almost all year round, though the quality and size changes depending on season. A massive thanks to my lovely neighbours for this recipe and for my very tasty lunch (sadly I ate it all up and then thought about taking a photo, so I’l upload one another time). Am going to be making some strawberry jam and other Georgian recipes with my neighbours when I get some free time, so will hopefully share those with you as well.
4 eggplants ( peeled if you like) and cubed
2 peeled and cubed potatoes
1 large onion and some garlic
2-3 bell peppers (any color) cut up in chunks
2-3 large fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped (or canned tomatoes blended)
fresh herbs (coriander, parsley, basil) a bunch (to your taste) .
about 2/3 of a cup oil (sunflower or olive to your preference)
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
1. Prepare the vegetables and layer them in a deep saucepan starting with a bit of oil, then potatoes, eggplant, then onion, then tomatoes.
2. cover with the bell peppers and pour oil over it all.
3. Cover with a lid and let it simmer on medium heat until the vegetables get soft.
4. Remove the lid, add fresh herbs and salt and pepper and cover. Do not mix.
5. Continue to simmer until eggplants feel soft and mushy.
6. Remove from heat, mix well .
You can cook with or without potatoes…… there is several interpretations of Adjapsandali.
It’s also good after it’s been refrigerated and you can eat it cold.