Khmeli-Suneli: The Queen of Georgian Spices

If you’ve never tried Georgian food, you’re missing out. This tiny country has long been known throughout the former-Soviet region for its stellar national cuisine. Suitable for both meat lovers and veggie fiends, Georgian food is often found overflowing with walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and, crucially, Khmeli-Suneli.

khmeli suneli

Let’s pretend that this isn’t expired, OK?

Khmeli Suneli literally means “dried spices” in Georgian, and typically contains a mixture of coriander, dill, fenugreek, parsley, marjoram, mint, black pepper, etc. On their own these ingredients are fairly commonplace, but when combined the result is positively exotic. Having used the spice mix for years, I can say with utmost confidence that it goes with everything.

Tried and tested uses for Khmeli-Suneli:

– Season roasted or grilled meats (I’ve done pork and chicken)

– Add intrigue to dull vegetable stews (Hint: extra tasty when tomatoes are involved)

– Sprinkle on top of fried or scrambled eggs

– Season bean salad (lobio), together with walnuts and fresh herbs

– Combine with citrus and garlic for an all-purpose marinade

Khmeli-Suneli is easy to find in the spice section of any self-respecting Russian grocery store. Yes, in spite of Moscow’s general disdain for Georgia, no Slav with taste buds can resist the subtle charms of khmeli-suneli. Nor should they.

Don’t have a Russian grocery store? Make your own khmeli-suneli!

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