Georgian Cuisine: Satsebeli Sauce Recipe

Updated on March 13, 2017
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Shushanik enjoys sharing recipes of dishes from her home country. She also likes discovering new dishes and sharing them with her readers.

Have you tried real shish kabob made in an Armenian or Georgian restaurant? If you had an opportunity to try it, I'm sure you noticed that usually it is served with a special homemade sauce that has some herbs in it and is very flavorful and tasty. Today, I will present a recipe from a "far-away and exotic country" of super tasty things. And here is the recipe of a real Georgian satsebeli sauce, which is a must-have for meat dishes in their cuisine. Though now it is possible to buy satsebeli sauce in any Armenian, Russian, or Middle Eastern deli store, my mom and grandma keep doing it at home. Why? It's quick, easy, and VERY tasty and flavorful. Try it and you'll understand.

3.9 stars from 8 ratings of Satsebeli Sauce

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 1 lbs (500g) of sauce


  • 7oz (200g) of tomato paste
  • 2 bunches of cilantro
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1/4 of a teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of khmeli suneli, (this is a traditional Georgian spicy herbs mixture)
  • 7oz (200g) of water
  • 1 teaspoon of adjika chili paste

Before I share the satsebeli recipe, I think I have to talk about some ingredients that you might not have heard of before.

First of all, don't be afraid of the names, and don't cross out this recipe if you haven't ever heard of khmeli suneli and adjika. Adjika is a traditional in the Caucasus chili pasta sauce (attention: VERY HOT!). It is often used by itself as a dipping sauce or as a sauce to meat or pasta, but it is also an important ingredient for a satsebeli sauce. Khmeli suneli, as I said before, is a traditional Georgian mixture of spicy herbs. It is used in a variety of recipes (I'll be writing more of them in the future, so stay tuned) and gives great flavor to the dishes. Both adjika and khmeli suneli can be bought in your local Armenian, Russian, European, or Middle Eastern deli store, or even on Amazon:

You can also head to any supermarket, stock with necessary spices and make khmeli suneli yourself, it really takes a couple of minutes to make.

To make khmeli suneli, mix:

  • 2 tablespoons of dried marjoram (or oregano if you can't find marjoram)
  • 2 tablespoons of dried dill
  • 2 tablespoons of dried summer savory
  • 2 tablespoons of dried mint
  • 2 tablespoons of dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoons of dried fenugreek leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of dried ground marigold petals
  • 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
  • 2 crushed bay leaves

Let's Start Making Satsebeli

  1. Cut cilantro on small pieces. Don't use blender, this time it's better to do everything by hand. You think there is too much greens? No. That's what it should be.
  2. Add squeezed garlic, one full tablespoon of khmeli suneli, vinegar, pepper and adjika. Don't add too much of adjika if you are not used to really hot and spicy food. Not all of us are form the Caucasus or Mexico :) Also, keep in mind that real hotness and spiciness will appear a bit later.
  3. Pestle everything in a flavored paste. Now you know why we added vinegar, right? It helps to "wake up" all the aromas from the herbs and spices. Just smell... Do you feel? :)
  4. Add tomato paste and mix everything.
  5. Add water to desired consistency. The approximate ratio is 1:1.
  6. The sauce is ready. You can salt it if you feel like it. Pour it in a jar, cover with the lid and keep in the fridge (it can stay there for a week or more).
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Cut cilantroAdd squeezed garlic, khmeli suneli, vinegar, pepper, adjika, and pestle everythingAdd tomato pasteAdd waterEnjoy!
Cut cilantro
Cut cilantro
Add squeezed garlic, khmeli suneli, vinegar, pepper, adjika, and pestle everything
Add squeezed garlic, khmeli suneli, vinegar, pepper, adjika, and pestle everything
Add tomato paste
Add tomato paste
Add water
Add water

Enjoy the satsebeli sauce! You can serve it with everything: meat, cutlets, pasta, or use it just as a dipping sauce. The only important thing: don't warm it! Satsebeli sauce should be served cold!


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    • Spanish Food profile image

      Lena Durante 10 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      Perfect! I love to make a big batch of sauce at the beginning of the week and then use it for several dishes. I'll add this recipe to my rotation!

    • Shushanik profile image

      Shushanik 10 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      Spanish Food, I eat it with everything you can put sauce in - pasta, potatoes, any kind of meat, just with bread as a dipping sauce...

    • Spanish Food profile image

      Lena Durante 10 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      I'm so glad I came across this recipe. It looks right up my alley. Are there any other foods do you traditionally eat satsebeli with, besides shish kebobs?

    • profile image

      Bs 5 years ago

      Thanks for the recipe , it was great!

    • Shushanik profile image

      Shushanik 5 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      Yeah. I still love those days of "sauce making" by my mom and grandma :) Will be posting more sauces from the Caucasus in the future...

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Mmmm, this sure does sound like one heck of a tasty sauce! I really need to stop buying stuff from jars. This is so easy to make, and I bet it tastes loads better!