Apart from the diverse landscape, ancient history and various landmarks, the national cuisine is one of the main assets that Georgia can boast about. Considered as the bridge between Europe and Asia, Georgia, and its cuisine, represents a mixture of eastern and western cultures that makes it unique and so attractive to foreigners. Georgian cuisine consists of a rich variety of dishes, from hearty meat and cheesy foods to the simplest and tastiest veggie meals full of essential nutrients. Georgians are one of the oldest Christian nations in the world, and therefore, the majority of the population fasts for one third of the year. Perhaps this is the reason why there is such a wide variety of vegan foods included within its cooking scene. Yet, the core feature that makes the meals so tasty and appealing, as many tourists and food enthusiasts say, is the combination of the fruitful soil and the mild climate that, as a result, produces organic and flavorsome vegetables and fruits. So, if you are one of those who wonder what the best vegan dishes that one can enjoy at the Georgian supra (feast table) are, then this list of top traditional foods is prepared especially for you.

Nigvziani Badrijani

The favorite and most frequently ordered Georgian vegan dish among tourists is Nigvziani badrijani (Eggplant rolls filled with walnut paste), so leaving Georgia without sampling it is a real crime. Although, many dishes are made with this vegetable; eggplant with walnut filling is considered the king of Georgian cold dishes. The tender combination of walnuts with fenugreek, dried coriander, saffron, garlic and onion, gives the dish a distinctive and piquant flavor that is impossible to forget.

500g of Eggplants

3-4 cloves of garlic

1 cup of walnuts

4 sprigs of cilantro

1tsp of coriander

2 tbsp of wine Vinegar

100 ml of olive oil

1/ 4 tsp of saffron

Khmeli suneli (dried seasoning) to taste

1/2 glass of boiled water

Salt to taste

Sprinkle long slices of eggplant with salt. Drain the eggplant of any extra liquid and fry the slices in oily pan until golden-brown on both sides. Blend walnuts, spices, garlic and onion together with vinegar using a food processor. When the mixture becomes smooth spread it onto the fried eggplants. Place the dish in the fridge and let it cool down (it’s better to keep it overnight). Serve the eggplant rolls cold. You can garnish the dish with pomegranate seeds as well.

Pkhali

Pkhali is yet another remarkable and beloved dish prepared with herbs. In essence, it’s a spinach dip with cilantro that can be consumed with corn bread (mchadi) or Georgian bread ‘shoti’. It is noteworthy that ground walnuts play a central role once again. It should be emphasized, that many foreigners, including the famous actor Alan Rickman, have named it as their favorite Georgian dish, so it is really worth trying.

1kg of fresh spinach

1/2 cup of walnuts

3 cloves of garlic

1 bunch of fresh cilantro

6 tablespoons of walnut oil

4 teaspoons of vinegar

1tsp of ground coriander

3/4 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of ground fenugreek

Several grinds of black pepper

Pinch of ground cayenne pepper

1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds

Sauté clean spinach leaves in a large pan or a saucepan. When spinach is soft and ready, drain any excess. Let the spinach cool down and mix with ground walnuts, crushed garlic, cilantro, oil, vinegar, coriander, salt, fenugreek, black pepper and cayenne pepper and blend well until smooth. Refrigerate the spinach puree for several hours before consuming. Serve with fresh pomegranate seeds on top.

Lobiani

Lobiani is a simultaneously crispy and soft bread filled with mashed kidney beans. This delicious disc-shaped bean pie is enjoyed all year round, but especially consumed on the Georgian holiday of Barbaroba, also known as St. Barbara’s Day (December 17). It is a must try dish that cannot be found in any other cuisine, so don’t miss the chance to sample it!


Filling:
400-500g of kidney beans
Salt and pepper to taste

Dough:

2 cups of water
2 table spoons of dry yeast
1kg of flour
2-3 table spoons of oil
1 table spoon of sugar
Pinch of salt

Boil beans, mash them when ready, add salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Mix 2 cups of flour, sugar and yeast together. Add warm water to dry ingredients and knead the dough, adding remaining flour and oil little by little. Wrap the dough and leave it to rise. Divide the dough into 5 parts, roll out each ball and place the bean filling in the center. Fold and flatten the sacks. Bake the disc-shaped pies in the oven at moderate temperature until golden color.

Ajapsadali

Ajapsadali is a popular Georgian summer dish that might remind you of Ratatouille, yet the flavors differ slightly. Ajapsadali is prepared with eggplant, sweet red pepper, tomatoes and sometimes with potato as well. The dish is cooked slowly and vegetables are added to the saucepan step by step, layer by layer. This technique helps the meal maintain the fresh flavor of the vegetables that lingers in your mouth.

Lobio

Lobio is a kind of thick bean soup with herbs and spices, served in clay pots. The dish is extremely popular and quite often consumed by locals. The word Lobio itself means ‘bean’ and that is why this plain but yummy dish carries such an easy name. The soup pairs well with mchadi (Georgian corn bread), Ghomi (cornmeal) or pickled cabbage.

Ghomi

Ghomi is a traditional dish from the Samegrelo region of Georgia. It is cooked using cornmeal and corn flour and often serves as bread for western Georgians. As a rule, it is consumed with cheese, but it also goes perfectly well with Bazhe – a spicy walnut sauce, Lobio (bean soup) or with other Georgian meat dishes as well.