Georgian Cuisine: Satsebeli Sauce Recipe
Who tried real shish kabob made in 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 which has some herbs in it and is very flavorous and tasty.. Today I am continuing to present recipes from "far-away and exotic countries" of very-very tasty things. And here is the recipe of a real Georgian satsebeli sauce which is a must-have for meat dishes in Georgian 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 flavorous. Try it and you'll understand.
- 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 start writing the recipe of satsebeli itself, I think I have to talk about some ingredients which you might have heard for the first time.
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!) Khmeli suneli, as I said before, is a traditional Georgian spicy herbs mixture. 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 at 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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? :)
- Add tomato paste and mix everything.
- Add water to desired consistency. The approximate ratio is 1:1.
- 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).
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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