ABKHAZIAN EGGPLANT WITH WALNUTS AND AJIKA
Eggplant dishes are very popular in Georgia and always form part of a supra (traditional Georgian feast). There are many variations and in this family recipe we show how to make Abkhazian eggplant with walnuts, flavored with spicy ajika and Abkhazian spice mix (Akhkhyla). Ajika (Georgian: აჯიკა) is a hot, spicy paste used to flavor meat and fish dishes mainly in Samegrelo and Abkhazia. It is made with hot peppers, garlic, herbs and spices. Akhkhyla is used in Abkhazia to flavor meat, fish and vegetable dishes and also as an ingredient in sauces, such as walnut sauce. It is similar to Svanetian salt but is made without garlic.
Ingredients: 1 kilo of eggplant, 300 grams of walnuts, 1 heaped tsp of ajika (see recipe here), 1 tsp of hot red pepper, 1 heaped tsp of Abkhazian spice mix (Akhkhyla – see recipe here), 1 red onion (for garnish), 20 grams of fresh green coriander (for garnish), 7 tbs of oil, and salt (amount dependent upon personal preference).
Preparation: Slice the eggplant and add to a pan with 7 tbs of oil. Fry (covered) on a low temperature until one side is cooked. Remove cover and fry the other side. Repeat until all of the eggplant is fried.
Grind the walnuts (we used a meat grinder).
Arrange the fried eggplant on a serving dish. We placed them on lettuce leaves.
Serving: For a supra (feast) the mixture is spread on the fried slices of eggplant. We garnished ours with red onion and fresh green coriander. The dish can also be served with the mixture and eggplant mixed together.
Enjoy your Abkhazian Eggplant with Walnuts and Ajika!