Georgian Vegan Cooking: The End of Week Review

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It turns out, to my surprise, that Georgian food completely rocks, and is plenty vegan friendly. In fact, I do wonder that there aren’t any Georgian restaurants (that I know of) in Oz – any industrious, Australia-bound Georgians out there should know that Aussies are into world foods, and there seems to be a gap in the market for you 🙂

My favourites, of the recipes I attempted myself, are the mushroom khinkali (I’m always a sucker for a dumpling), the red bean salad, and the mushrooms in cream. I have loved basically every single thing we’ve found available as ready-to-eat food, too.

The only food I have tasted here so far without instantly loving are the frozen khinkali (just a bit odd), and the lobio (cooked red beans), which was a little bland.

I was disappointed that I couldn’t pull off the eggplant in walnut sauce, but others should definitely try it, as the bought versions I have had are wonderful. I will be trying to cook this when I get home, and have access to a blender again. Mum has already told me she expects a world-of-vegan-food feast when we visit next, and Satsivi is definitely on the must-cook list.

This wont be the end of my Georgian experience, as we’re here for another month (landlords permitting), but it is the end of my blogging about it. Next up, I’ll try to replicate foods from Turkey (ingredient availability permitting).

Restaurant Review

Finally we broke our confinement and went out for dinner. We went to a place in Liberty Square, Tbilisi. I can’t remember the name, which I didn’t write down because I decided it would be easy to remember. (I’ll add it here when I find out). They had an english menu, with fasting options (meat free, milk free) noted with an asterisk.

We ordered the eggplant walnut rolls, ajapsandal (eggplant based dish, sort of like ratatouille), tarragon pies, rice with vegetables (pilaf), a pear fizzy drink, and a tarragon fizzy drink.

Everything was good, but the ajapsandal was particularly wonderful – so soft and flavoursome, it was like a mix between ratatouille and baba ganoush, with lots of cinnamon and cloves for extra warmth, and not too much tomato.

A note on the drinks: I am really enjoying the pear flavoured soft drink which is everywhere here. It tastes a bit like creaming soda, but with pears. The tarragon flavour is a local speciality, but its not my favourite. It is bright green, and tastes a lot like aniseed, though not as harsh.

I’ll leave you with some photos from our most recent (and fabulous) dining out experience, and be back soon with some info and recipes from Turkey.

Eggplant rolls with walnut, tarragon pies, and ajapsandal

 

Fizzy drink in wine glasses
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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Amelia says:

    Hi Keira

    I’ll be in Tbilisi from September ’13 to January ’14 and am soooo happy I stumbled upon your blog via Google. Apart from being a vegan I’m also gluten intolerant, so I don’t imagine I’m going to have an easy time finding food. But I will definitely check out Goodwill! If you have any tips or ideas for me, I’d be really, really grateful. I’ve tried finding other vegans in Tbilisi but fear there may not be any (?)!.

    Warm wishes – I’ll be following your blog from now on!

    Amelia

    1. Keira says:

      Hi Amelia!

      Sorry it took me so long to reply. From memory it wasn’t too difficult to find gluten free things. Pkhali is vegan and gluten free, just walnut paste and vegies, and it is possible to get fried potatoes, fried mushrooms and lobio (bean soup).

      Bread, however, seems to be the basis of meals, so that will be tricky for you. You’ll have no trouble getting ingredients to cook with though, except tofu didn’t seem to be around.

      I didn’t meat any other vegans while I was there, only one vegetarian. It isn’t common. That said, the concept of vegan food is normal-enough, due to the fasting times. You’ll probably find it easier to find food in the shops leading up to Christmas (in January) as people go vegan-ish for advent.

      Good luck!

      1. Amelia says:

        Thanks, Keira! I’m leaving for Georgia in 2 weeks, so this is right on time and very helpful. I’m really looking forward to trying those Georgian dishes 🙂

  2. vegannomnoms says:

    I’m so happy someone wrote a veg review about Georgian food! A Couchsurfing host of mine recently cooked us some Georgian food and it was amazing, I had no idea! Now I’m thinking about going there this winter or spring! This post gives me a better idea of what to look for!

    http://www.vegannomnoms.net

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