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Georgian Plum Sauce Tkemali

Georgian Plum Sauce Tkemali
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Georgian cuisine (Georgia as a country) took a great part in my family menu. When I was living in Moscow at least ones a year during the summer we had a Georgian feast. We marinated meat for kabobs, made lobio (type of a bean salad), bought Georgian rich wine, suluguni cheese (similar to aged mozzarella, but made from sheep’s milk), a container of Georgian pickles (garlic, cabbage, hot peppers), fresh vegetables and herbs from a farmer’s market, sometimes I baked Georgian khachapuri (a special bread with cheese filling). Then we loaded all these delicatessen into a car and drove to our country house to spend a weekend. There, we grilled shish kabobs on an open fire and served them in a simple way – with lots of fresh tomatoes, baby cucumbers, fragrant herbs, some pickles, and Georgian flat bread lavash (similar to naan or pita). And it was great! We shared food and wine with our friends and greatly enjoyed that feast.

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Oh, no, I forgot about special sauces for our shish kabobs. Georgian sauces make up a whole chapter in Caucasian cuisine. Sweet and sour, delicate and tangy – they are incredibly delicious. One of these tasty sauces is a plum sauce tkemali. Tkemali for Georgians is like ketchup for Americans.

Tiny sour plums grown in Georgia gave their name to this famous sauce. Here, in the US, I use Italian plums to make the sauce, and they work very well. Every autumn, when produce sections are full with different kinds of plums, I am looking for elongated small dark fruits, which have the name ‘Italian’. They are the best for preserves, pickling, cakes, as well as making tkemali. Of course other kinds of plums can be used for the sauce, but to my taste, the Italian are the best I could find here.

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Tkemali is excellent with any meat, poultry, hot dogs, burgers and some fish. It goes so well with turkey (hello Thanksgiving). My friends like to use the sauce as a dip. It is their new tradition to serve a bowl of my tkemali sauce with a basket of chips on game days.

This plum sauce stores well in a refrigerator for a long time. So, make it now and use for holiday feasts.

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Instructions:

Cut each plum in half crosswise. Twist the halves in opposite direction. Discard the pit.

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Put the plums in a heavy bottomed pot. Add ½ cup of water and dried herbs and spices, bring to a boil on high heat, lower the heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Add all the remaining ingredients. Using an immersion blender, stationary blender or a food processor make a puree. Adjust the seasoning and water. Bring to a boil and simmer on very low heat for 10 minutes.

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Pour hot sauce into clean dry jars. Close tightly. Cool. Keep in a refrigerator.

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Print

Georgian Plum Sauce Tkemali

Author: Nina Phomina
Course Sauces, Vegetarian
Cuisine Georgian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 2 8-12 oz jars
Author Nina Phomina

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Italian plums (prune plums), underripe is better
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 - 1 cup water (see note)
  • 1-2 jalapeno (or about ½ tsp cayenne pepper)
  • 1 tsp dill seeds
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp ground celery
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1-2 tsp sugar (or to taste)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 - 1 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (preferably purple)

Instructions

  1. Cut each plum in half crosswise. Twist the halves in opposite direction. Discard the pit.
  2. Put the plums in a heavy bottomed pot. Add ½ cup of water and dried herbs and spices, bring to a boil on high heat, lower the heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients. Using an immersion blender, stationary blender or a food processor make a puree. Adjust the seasoning and water. Bring to a boil and simmer on very low heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Pour the hot sauce into clean dry jars. Close tightly. Cool. Keep in a refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

The exact amount of water depends on plum quality. The exact amount of fresh herbs depends on personal taste.

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Cook with pleasure and enjoy the world!

 



4 thoughts on “Georgian Plum Sauce Tkemali”

  • Здравствуйте, Нина! Большое спасибо за рецепт ткемали. Делала в прошлом году, потрясающе! Расстроилась, когда не нашла рецепт на Вашем новом сайте, а сегодня пришел! Спасибо Вам, кулинарных сайтов много, но Ваш я полюбила (ещё в русской версии) . Желаю дальнейших успехов …

  • Здравствуйте Нина! Скажите пожалуйста чем можно заменить семена сельдерея, купить их оказалось непросто, а у вас он довольно часто встречается в рецептах, в основном в специях.

    • Здравствуйте, Людмила. Семена сельдерея можно заменить на зелень сельдерея (1 ч.л. семя = 2 ст.л. мелко порезанной зелени) или на семена укропа. В этом рецепте можете просто исключить их, если нет зелени сельдерея – соус все равно будет великолепным.

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