Georgian Cuisine: Satsebeli Sauce Recipe
Have you tried real shish kabob made in an Armenian or Georgian restaurant? If you've had an opportunity to try it, I'm sure you've noticed that it's usually served with a special homemade sauce that contains herbs 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 for 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.
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 ingredient in the Caucasus chili pasta sauce (attention: VERY HOT!). It is often used by itself as a dipping sauce or as a sauce for 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.
How to Make Your Own Khmeli Suneli
You can also head to any supermarket, stock up on the necessary spices and make khmeli suneli yourself. It only takes a couple of minutes to make.
Mix the following ingredients:
- 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
- 7 ounces (200 grams) of tomato paste
- 2 bunches of cilantro
- 4 to 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), store-bought or homemade (see above)
- 7 ounces (200 grams) of water
- 1 teaspoon of adjika chili paste
- Cut cilantro into small pieces. Don't use a blender; it's better to do everything by hand. Do you think there are too many greens? No. That's how it should be.
- Add squeezed garlic, one full tablespoon of khmeli suneli, vinegar, pepper and adjika. Don't add too much adjika if you are not used to really hot and spicy food. Not all of us are from the Caucasus or Mexico. Also, keep in mind that real hotness and spiciness will appear a bit later.
- With a pestle, grind everything into 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 it—do you feel it?
- Add tomato paste and mix everything.
- Add water to your desired consistency. The approximate ratio is 1:1.
- The sauce is ready. You can salt it if you feel like it. Pour it into a jar, cover with the lid, and keep it in the fridge (it can stay there for a week or more).
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Serve It Cold!
Enjoy the satsebeli sauce! You can serve it with everything: meat, cutlets, pasta, or just as a dipping sauce. There's only one important thing: Don't warm it! Satsebeli sauce should be served cold!