Before travelling to the Republic of Georgia, I spent quite a bit of time looking into Georgian culture and traditional foods.
I learned that Georgians are (rightfully) proud of their national heritage, especially when it comes to cuisine. It’s no wonder, as the small country is blessed with fertile farmlands that, to this day, bring forth a cornucopia of fresh, organic produce.
In fact, Georgia has a longstanding history (over 8,000 years!) as the originator of grape wine in the world of old. These days, in addition to award-winning wines, small Georgian farms create mouthwatering artisanal cheeses, unique and flavorful plum sauces, classic walnut candies and much more.
One of my “must-try” local dishes was Badrijani Nigvzit. In this delicious appetizer, walnut-garlic paste and traditional spices are rolled inside thin strips of pan-fried eggplant, then garnished with a scattering of fresh pomegranate seeds.
We tried these little Georgian eggplant rolls for the first time when our new Georgian friend, Irma, made some just for us. I watched carefully as she walked me through the process, so I’d be able to recreate the recipe on my own.
After one taste, I understood the addictive charm of these little veggie bites and why they’re a national favourite! They make a perfect appetizer, and they disappear in a flash.
With a few ingredients and a little time, you can easily put together this traditional Georgian dish. If you’re like me, Georgian eggplant and walnut rolls will become a part of your culinary repertoire that you’ll turn to whenever you want a unique and tasty appetizer.
If you can't get Svaneti Salt spice mix, use a mix of dried coriander powder, dill weed, black pepper, and fenugreek powder. Use 1 teaspoon total of the mix.
If you want the dish to be even richer and creamier, add a tablespoon of sour cream to the walnut-garlic paste. This is not the” traditional” version, although I have had it served this way, and I have also added sour cream on occasion when making it at home, and it is equally delicious!
This recipe should yield about 12 eggplant rolls, depending on the size of your eggplants and how thinly you slice them.
Last Updated 28 April 2023