Tkemali – Georgian Plum Sauce

Tkemali Sauce – Georgian Plum Sauce
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Tkemali – Georgian Plum sauce is a widely adored and loved Georgian sauce. It is spicy, it is sour and it is piquant! – It is just everything you need for good roasted meat, sausages, potatoes, and simply with bread. In every region of Georgia one can find different kinds of Tkemali sauce, but Western Georgia boasts of it the most. This is the place of the true masters of Tkemali sauce. You can couple many dishes with Tkemali, but roasted chicken or piglet coupled with hot Ghomi and Tkemali is one of my favorite dishes.

Tkemali (Prunus cerasifera) has many varieties in Georgia; we have, red, dark blue, and yellow. Subsequently, you can find the sauce of all of them in Georgia, even the mixed ones. We actively preserve ripe Tkemali of various colors for the entire year. There is a pretty good choice of products in markets as well. Besides, manufacturers export Tkemali sauce and you can find them in different countries abroad, as well as online.

The most popular one is Green Tkemali Sauce. You can make this version in spring when the Plum is still unripe and thus, it is still green. Well, let us call it baby plums. We use this kind of Tkemali precisely for freshly made sauces and dishes like Chakapuli. Similar to Tkemali, we have Alucha (Prunus vachuschtii – looks like i.e. Persian plums (Gojeh Sabz)). Sometimes, we mix Tkemali and Alucha to make sauce or use only Alucha.

To avoid any confusion, while making Tkemali – Georgian Plum Sauce, simply remember one thing – Tkemali/Alucha must be sour, with sweet background tones.

In this recipe, which I found in the old cookbook by Barbare Jorjadze, I have used unripe Tkemali.

For seasoning Tkemali, people also use fresh dill, pennyroyal, green cayenne pepper, and garlic in Tkemali sauce.



Step 1

Wash the Tkemali/Alucha and remove the stalks.

Step 2

Place them in a pot, pour enough water to cover the fruit, and put over medium heat.

Step 3

Boil the fruit until the skins have softened/peeled off, about 10-15 minutes from the boiling point.

Step 4

Place the colander bowl over a clean pot and manually grate the cooked (not hot but still warm) fruit.

Step 5

Place the sauce over low heat and boil until it thickens. About 10-15 minutes after boiling. Stirring occasionally.

Step 6

Stir in chopped herbs and season with salt to your taste.

Step 7

When cooled, pour into jars and store in a cool place. It can be stored for up to two weeks in a fridge.

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