Citizens, Khalia is a zesty beef stew from the proud and magnificent country of Georgia that is redolent with garlic and lots of fresh herbs, given extra body with walnut pieces. It is a dish rather closely tied to the Jewish community of the country.
As noted in an article on Forward.com:
“On those Friday evenings, my mother often made a tangy beef stew specific to Georgian Jews, Khalia, which her own mother and grandmother used to make for Shabbat.
A dish she prepared throughout my childhood in Georgia, and then in Israel, the smell of the spices and tamarind paste was so familiar and soothing, it lessened the sting of the unfamiliar.
Jews in Georgia can trace their history to the 6th century BCE. when they settled along the small Black Sea region.
In the shadows of the Caucaus Mountains, Georgian Jews lived in communities removed from their Muslim and Christian neighbors, developing a subculture of traditions, and of course, a cuisine that was distinctly Jewish.
Khalia stew is often served on Shabbat and rarely eaten outside of the Jewish community in Georgia. Simple to prepare, its aromatic scent comes from a mix of freshly ground dry coriander, fenugreek and tart tamarind paste, added to the slow-cooked beef. The stew can also be prepared with chicken thighs, using the same recipe.
Traditionally, when khalia is made with chicken, whole hard boiled eggs are carefully added to the final stages of cooking. In some regions of Georgia, color and flavor were added with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley in the last moments of cooking, right before turning off the heat.
And depending on one’s preference, khalia can be prepared as a thick sauce (TFD‘s preference) or served as a soup, but it is most often served over traditional Georgian savory grits (though rice and tandoori bread pair well with it too).
Citizens, this is a deliciously tangy and herbaceous beef stew that I hope you will see fit to try! 🙂
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
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