Citizens, it has been FAR too long since I have posted a recipe from my spiritual homeland – the proud country of Georgia! As such, allow me to share yet another superb recipe from this garden of earthly delights! 😀
Kubdari or Kubed (Georgian: კუბდარი, Svan: კუბედ) is a popular Georgian bread that is traditionally filled with veal or beef, pork, or a combination of the two, along with spices such as cumin, dill, coriander, blue fenugreek, red pepper, onions, garlic, and salt. The dough consists of flour, water, yeast, sugar, salt, and eggs. Interestingly, the meat used in this savory pie should be cut, not minced. It is recommended to glaze kubdari with butter and serve it hot.
Kubdari is particularly a national dish of the Svans and is also traditionally made with cannabis leaves or cannabis seed paste, as the plant grows wild in the region. Kubdari was inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia list in 2015.
Who are the Svans, you ask? I’m so glad you did!
The Svan language (Svan: ლუშნუ ნინ lušnu nin; Georgian: სვანური ენა svanuri ena) is a Kartvelian language spoken in the western Georgian region of Svaneti primarily by the Svan people.
With its speakers variously estimated to be between 30,000 and 80,000, the UNESCO designates Svan as a “definitely endangered language”.
It is of particular interest because it has retained many archaic features that have been lost in the other Kartvelian languages.
Svan is the native language of fewer than 30,000 Svans (15,000 of whom are Upper Svan dialect speakers and 12,000 are Lower Svan), living in the mountains of Svaneti, i.e. in the districts of Mestia and Lentekhi of Georgia, along the Enguri, Tskhenistsqali and Kodori rivers.
Some Svan speakers live in the Kodori Valley of the de facto independent republic of Abkhazia. Although conditions there make it difficult to reliably establish their numbers, there are only an estimated 2,500 Svan individuals living there.
The language is used in familiar and casual social communication. It has no written standard or official status. Most speakers also speak Georgian, the country’s official language, and use it as their literary and business language.
There is no official instruction in Svan, and the number of speakers is declining due to the dispersal of the Svan population in the face of increasing economic hardship. The language is regarded as being endangered, as proficiency in it among young people is limited.
Svan is the most differentiated member of the four Kartvelian languages and is believed to have split off in the 2nd millennium BC or earlier, about one thousand years before Georgian did.
My recipe for Kubdari is based on one from georgianrecipes.net – a fantastic site for all info on perhaps my favorite country in the world! 🙂 I choose to make my Kubdari with Svanetian salt – სვანური მარილ – a blend of salt, garlic, herbs and spices that will truly rock your world, Citizens!
Since using the leaves or seeds of Cannabis is virtually impossible in the States, I have chosen to substitute finely-ground hemp seeds instead as a very close substitute. Buy it here – and no, you won’t get high off this! You can also buy genuine Georgian marigold and blue fenugreek (Utskho Suneli) from here. I’ve left the dough measurements in metric as it is far more precise that way.
Battle on – The Generalissimo