Georgian Eggplant Rolls, Traditional Georgian Dishes
Georgian eggplant rolls are one of the most recognizable foods in the Caucasus. This melt-in-your-mouth dish consists of juicy, mouth-watering slices of fried eggplant smeared with a delicate nut sauce and garnished with pomegranate berries.
Although eggplant rolls can be made at home using everyday ingredients - eggplant, walnuts, garlic, cheese and herbs – it is worth trying this truly Georgian dish while in country. You will find them on the menu of almost any Georgian restaurant, and nearly every housewife in the country knows how to prepare the delicate filling and fry the eggplant until it is perfectly golden brown. Eggplant rolls with garlic and walnuts are commonly prepared on holidays and are a special sign of respect when served to guests.
The eggplant rolls recipe is fairly simple to follow. The eggplant is cut longitudinally into thin slices and fried in oil until golden brown. The slices are then laid out on a paper towel to drain off the excess oil. While the eggplants are cooling, the filling should be prepared. Either cheese or cottage cheese may be used as the basis, with fried onions, finely chopped greens, chopped garlic and walnuts then added to the cheese. The finished mixture is salted and thoroughly mixed before being spread onto the fried eggplants, which are then rolled into compact swirls. The rolls are sometimes smeared with a cheese-garlic paste on top, with one or more pomegranate seeds added to the paste as a finishing touch.
Georgian eggplant rolls are served as a separate dish and are often accompanied by an abundance of fresh herbs and vegetables, hot bread, wine and other delicacies popular in Georgian cuisine.