The potato was brought to Georgia two centuries ago, and since then it has become part of a number of delicious Georgian dishes. One such example is Tashmijabi, which has the status of an Intangible Monument of Tangible Culture of Georgia. It is called “shusha” and “mertsvi” in Zemo Svaneti. The dish is doubly delicious if made with organic potatoes grown in Svaneti, because the soil and environment there give the potatoes an outstanding flavor.

How to Make Tashmijabi

Tashmijabi is easy to make and resembles elarji quite closely in its structure. Indeed, it is often called Svan elarji. For it to come out at its glorious gooey best, it is essential that it be made with new cheese. Moreover, for every one kilogram of potatoes, half a kilogram of new cheese is required. Using this ratio, you will get six servings.

Boil the potatoes in the skin for the tashmijabi (the skin preserves the potato’s beneficial properties when being boiled), and once they are cold, peel them (do not use cold water to cool it down, otherwise the potato will toughen and its flavor will change), and put them in a pot, mash them, pour milk or hot water on them, and put over a low flame, before mixing in the powdered cheese, and stirring until the cheese melts and the whole thing becomes uniform and stretchy. Finally, add salt to taste. In some places, before they bring it to the table, people make an indentation in the middle of the tashmijabi on a plate and put melted butter inside.

Every visitor to Svaneti mentions how tashmijabi, along with Svan khachapuri, is one of the masterpieces of the region’s cuisine, and that no visit there is complete without it.


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