If you’re planning a trip to Georgia, you probably already know that no trip would be complete without trying the finest wines and outstanding products of this country, famous for its hospitality. Each region boasts special dishes, ensuring that each region’s cuisine feels different. In Ajara, a place where the mountains meet the shores of the Black Sea, you’ll find a wealth of hearty, flavourful dishes such as Ajarian khachapuri and borano, but don’t miss the opportunity to also try delicious sinori.

What Is the Secret to Sinori?

The word sinori means “border” in the Ajarian dialect and the Laz language, and the food itself is an indelible part of traditional Ajarian cuisine. It, like 95% of the foods made in mountainous Ajara, is made with butter.

It is said that the secret to good sinori is in the light and thin layers used in its creation. The smells of melted butter, cheese curds, and garlic combine so well with one another that it makes the flavour of the dish more than the sum of its parts.

The Method to Prepare Sinori

This traditional Ajarian dish, which is cooked in every Ajarian home, seems like it would be quite simple to create at first glance, but the secret to good sinori is in the high-quality, well-chosen ingredients.

Sinori’s main ingredient is bread kneaded without yeast, creating extremely thin layers of dough that are then baked in the oven. These thin sheets used to be called “iukha”. When the sheets of iukha, baked and covered with a towel, have softened, they are then rolled up like scrolls and cut to about the width of two fingers, before being kept in a wooden bowl.

Next, the best cheese curds and butter are chosen, preferably ones that are distinguished for the richness and flavour characteristic of mountainous Adjara

The cut, multi-layer iukha sheets are placed vertically and well packed into a deep baking bowl. At the same time, the butter is boiled before the cheese curds are added. This mixture is then seasoned with crushed garlic and salt to taste. 

To ensure that the cheese curds and butter melt together, it is necessary to add a little water and stir periodically, ensuring that nothing sticks to the bowl.

Once everything has combined, the mixture is removed from the heat and poured over the sheets of iukha, covering them. The entire concoction is then placed into a well-heated oven for a few minutes. Once the dough has browned on top, the iukha is removed from the oven and melted butter is poured over it. 

The ingredients for sinori are as follows:

  • 2 sheets sinori or iukha (nowadays “bebos lavashi” is also used).

  • 50 g butter.

  • 500 g cheese curds.

  • 30 g garlic.

  • 50 g water.

  • Salt to taste.

There are a few types of sinori in Ajara, including variants made with either matsoni or do, which is the liquid left once the butter is removed, or even Ajarian iaghi, which is salted butter.

How to Prepare Sweet Sinori

Sweet sinori is is a variation of the popular dish that is considered exotic in Ajara. To make this sweet treat, a few tweaks are made to the usual preparation of sinori. These include:

  • The addition of sugar into the boiled butter.

  • The adding of minced walnuts to the iukha.

Sinori at an Ajarian Supra

It is true that sinori is easy to prepare and is often made in Ajaran homes, but it is still considered a respectable food in Ajara. That is why, at wedding supras, especially in Upper Ajara, it is given a place of honour.

Some people grate cheese onto the sinori once it has been brought to the table, but whatever type of sinori you find, and wherever it may be offered to you, you definitely should try it, since it is sure to be a truly delicious discovery for you.

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