Georgian eggplant and walnut rolls served as an appetizer

Badrijani NIgvzit: Georgian eggplant rolls

Maysie Dee

Contributing writer

Before travelling to 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.

Georgian eggplant and walnut rolls

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.


  • 2 medium Asian or Chinese eggplant
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup warm water (use more as needed)
  • 1-2 tsp vinegar, to taste (apple cider, white or red wine vinegar all work well)
  • mild flavoured oil for frying
  • 1 tsp Svaneti Salt spice mix (also known as Svanuri Marili). If not available see note below.
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds

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.


  1. 1
    Rinse eggplants and cut off ends. Do not peel. Slice lengthwise into ¼ inch thin slices.
  2. 2
    Lay slices on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
  3. 3
    In a food processor or blender, blend walnuts and garlic into a smooth paste, adding water bit by bit to get a texture that is suitable for spreading on the eggplant pieces.
  4. 4
    Remove walnut/garlic paste from blender or processor and add vinegar, spices and salt to taste. Set aside.
  5. 5
    Press any liquid and salt out and dry the eggplant pieces.
  6. 6
    Using a heavy frying pan, (non-stick or cast iron) pour a thin layer cooking oil and heat for frying.
  7. 7
    When oil is hot, add eggplant pieces in batches and fry on both sides, browning, until eggplant is translucent and pliable.
  8. 8
    Remove eggplant and drain on paper towels. Repeat process until all slices are fried.
  9. 9
    When eggplant has cooled, spread a scant amount of walnut filling on each piece, making sure that it is only a thin layer and avoiding the edges.
  10. 10
    Roll the slices from the wider side into tight little rolls.
  11. 11
    Arrange on a serving plate, either on sides or standing up. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve.

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.

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Maysie Dee

Author - Maysie Dee

Maysie Dee is a freelance writer, content editor, and recipe creator. She and her husband have travelled across the world for decades as natural product consultants, collecting stories along the way.

Last Updated 21 February 2024

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Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Georgia offers a diverse and stunning natural landscape, intriguing history and good food and wine.