I’ve never tasted anything like Georgian yogurt. No, not that Georgia. I’m talking about THE Eastern European wine and food haven, a tiny country bound by the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea, smack in the middle of Turkey, Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. As I was eating and drinking my way through the up-and-coming culinary hotspot, I picked up a few fantastic local recipes.
Yogurt and coriander soup is a warm weather favorite in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital city. Served both hot and cold, the tangy herb-spiked broth goes down nicely with a loaf of homemade bread and a cool glass of semi-sweet, Georgian white wine. Even without Georgia’s sensational farm-fresh yogurt, this is an easy recipe to follow and any high quality plain, Greek-style yogurt (Fage, Chobani, etc.) will work.
- 1 pint of plain, full-fat yogurt (In Georgia, yogurt is traditionally sold in a mason-style jar. European sizes vary. Use photos below for size comparison.)
- 1 small white onion
- 3 tablespoons of flour
- 1 large bunch of fresh coriander (a.k.a. cilantro), about 1 1/2 cups chopped
- 1/4 cup (one stick) of butter
- Crushed red hot pepper
- Salt and pepper
Chop the coriander/cilantro and onions. Set aside. Pour the entire pint of yogurt into a large mixing bowl. Fill the empty yogurt container with water and add to the bowl. Stir with a whisk until yogurt and water are smoothly mixed. Add stick of butter to a cast iron pot/dutch oven. Sauteé the onions and butter over medium heat until they’re cooked through and translucent.
Add three tablespoons of flour to the empty jar/yogurt container. Pour in a half cup of water and stir until mixed. Add the flour water to the onions, then pour in the yogurt/water mixture. Continue to stir over low heat until warm. Gradually add the coriander and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Add crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy! This easy-to-prepare, classic Georgian recipe makes an excellent starter for any meal.