My Citizens! I am excited beyond measure to announce that TFD Nation is now comprised of many proud Georgians who have shared and enthusiastically supported my posting of Georgian recipes – as such, I will do a rare double posting of a regional cuisine to thank these loyal readers!
Today, I share the national condiment of Georgia – called Tkemali, it is made from sour plums, herbs, garlic and spices and is the “ketchup” used to flavor many great Georgian recipes. It is exceedingly delicious and is made by devoted Georgians every year in the Spring when the plums are still green (there are also red and yellow Tkemali made in the Summer from ripe plums – that recipe will be posted another time).
It is possible to buy green Tkemali in Russian delis and grocery stores here in the U.S. – one source is here. Should you be so inclined to try and make it at home, you will be rewarded with a truly delicious condiment that you will use on virtually everything (and extra to share with friends and family).
A “cheat” recipe that I’ve come up with that approximates the flavor profile of Tkemali is 1 part A-1 sauce mixed with an equal part of plum, apricot or quince jam – but here, we are going with the full-fledged authentic version! 🙂
Like most Georgian recipes, this Tkemali recipe uses several unique spices that I have listed sources for as well as suggested substitutions. I’ve listed the proportions in both metric and imperial units. Georgians would use the mint relative Pennyroyal in making this – you certainly can use it, but recent reports put the safety of this herb in question. I prefer to use Lesser Calamint in its place – it has the same taste as Pennyroyal, so no compromise. You can buy it from here.
Please note this makes a LOT of sauce, but you can easily halve the recipe or more if need be. You can buy the rare Georgian blue fenugreek from here.
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