Georgian warriors took churchkhela with them on the road, because it satisfies hunger well and is stored for a long time, without special preservation conditions. During archaeological excavations, the clay vessels for keeping churchkhela were found - at least that’s what the chemical analyses showed. It proves that churchkhela has been made in Georgia since ancient times.
What is churchkhela made of?
Churchkhela is made of nuts on a string, which are dipped several times in tatara - sweet condensed grape juice boiled with wheat flour. The most popular is the Kakhetian churchkhela, inside which are halves of walnut kernels. In western Georgia, a dessert prepared in a similar way is called janjukha.
Regardless of the region, this nut-and-grape delicacy is prepared after Rtveli (harvest), after the grapes are squeezed.
The cauldron or a large saucepan is put on a medium fire and badagi (condensed grape juice) is poured into it. Add wheat flour into the warmed up juice and mix well. When the mass thickens, walnuts strung on a thread are dipped into it - they are prepared in advance. The dipping process is repeated twice or thrice, after which the dessert is hung on a pole and dried in the sun in a ventilated space. When the churchkhela dries, it is removed from the pole and is wrapped in a white cotton cloth. Store it in a dark dry place.
In western Georgia, a dessert similar to churchkhela is called janjura. In Guria, Samegrelo and Imereti Regions, mostly not walnuts, but hazelnuts are used as a core, and corn flour is added to the condensed juice instead of wheat flour. Janjura, dipped for the first time in the condensed juice, is dipped again after 10 days and only then dried.
In Racha, dried fruits, apricots and pumpkin seeds are often used as fillings.