Georgian Shechamandi

Georgian Shechamandi

According to the writer Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani, “shechamandi” means fasting soup, and this is most prominent in the region of Shida Kartli.

Of the types of shechamandi found in the towns of Gori, Kaspi, Kareli, and Khashuri cannot be sampled anywhere else. This is probably due to the region’s fertile soils, and large harvests of fruits and vegetables, driving the locals to learn how to use them in fresh and dried fruit and vegetable dishes, and coming up with a wide variety of recipes.

Cold shechamandi is usually made with spinach, fresh nettles, beans, beetroot leaves, tomatoes, plums, or blackthorn, and is best during the summer. In the winter, hot or at least warm shechamandi is preferred.

Among the types of shechamandi from Shida Kartli, those with cornel and wild sorrel are the most famous and popular. Until late autumn in the villages there, the balconies of houses are full of fruits, vegetables, cornel berries, and the leaves of wild sorrel, which are hung up to dry in the sun. In order to have enough of the main ingredients, after drying they are kept in a cool place. However, most people prefer it when made with fresh produce.

How to Make Cornel Shechamandi

To make cornel shechamandi you will need:

½ kg fresh cornel (or dried cornel);

½ liter water;

1 medium-sized onion;

500 g butter;

2-3 cloves of garlic;

A few leaves of mint;

1 small bunch of coriander;

20 g wheat flour;

5-10 g sugar; and

Salt to taste.


Pour half a liter of water into a medium-sized pot and boil it. Then, put in the cornel or dried cornel. Take the pot off the heat after 10 minutes and strain it, and then grate the boiled flesh. Keep the strained contents in the boiled water.

Fry finely-chopped onions with butter until they turn golden brown, and add the grated cornel and thin it with the boiled water. Let it boil for three minutes.

The sauce should be made in advance. Put 20 grams of wheat flour into a bowl, add a small amount of the hot boiled water with cornel, and mix it well with a wooden spoon until creating a uniform mass (important: do not let the broth get cloudy). Then slowly add that into the boiled cornel shechamandi, while constantly stirring it. The shechamandi should thicken a little. Finally, add the grated garlic, salt, and sugar.

Take the pot off the heat, add finely-chopped mint and coriander, and then cover it with a lid and let it sit for five to ten minutes before bringing it to the table.

How to Make Wild Sorrel Shechamandi

For wild sorrel shechamandi, you will need:

200 g dried wild sorrel;

200 g crushed walnuts;

2 l water;

2-3 cloves of garlic;

2 tbsp bread flour;

Vegetable oil;

Plum tklapi; and Coriander, pepper, and salt to taste.

First, pick dried wild sorrel, rinse it with cold water, and leave it in cold water for one hour, then put it into moderately salty boiling water. Once it has been boiled well, move it into a colander. Squeeze out the leaves well once they have become cold, and then chop and mince them finely, and put them into the pot, add two liters of water and boil for a short time. Knead the vegetable oil into the bread flour, add it to the wild sorrel dish, and stir continuously until it thickens.

Once the smell of flour is no longer noticeable, add the walnuts, garlic, and salt to taste, and add chopped tklapi. After it has boiled for 10 to 15 minutes, take it off the heat and pour it into soup bowls. Before bringing to the table, you can add walnut oil or a thick sauce of walnuts dissolved in water to the wild sorrel dish. You can also garnish it with finely-cut flakes of plum tklapi and coriander.

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