As promised here, today I'm sharing a Georgian eggplant dish - Ajapsandali. I know it's hard to pronounce, but believe me, it's one of the best eggplant dishes you can make. If Ratatouille and Caponata had a spicy sister it would be Ajapsandali. This Ajapsandali recipe is quite spicy, has a stew-like consistency and is a hearty and delicious meal. Ajapsandali is loaded with vegetables and can be a side dish or a meal on its own.
Ajapsandali uses variety of seasonal vegetables like eggplant, onions, garlic, bell peppers, habanero or jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, cilantro and parsley. Additionally, Ajapsandali is a one pot meal that requires minimal clean up. Probably the most time consuming part of making Ajapsandali is slicing all the vegetables, but believe me it's worth it. Another reason I love making Ajapsandali is because it's super healthy and great for clean eating.
Georgian traditional Ajapsandali is made with eggplant, but I also make it with zucchini, and it always turns out just as delicious. Also, Ajapsandali is a fantastic dish that can be made in advance. It actually tastes amazing the next day, or cold right out of the fridge. Ajapsandali makes a great summer lunch or dinner. It can be easily stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. The best part - this Ajapsandali recipe is vegan, gluten free and paleo friendly.
Ajapsandali - Traditional Georgian Eggplant Stew
1 large or 4 small eggplant, cubed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bell pepper, sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 large carrot, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 habanero or jalapeno pepper, chopped
Generous amount of salt and black pepper
In a large pot, saute chopped garlic and onion in olive oil, until golden brown.
Add cubed eggplant, sliced carrots, a can of crushed tomatoes and 2 cups of water. Cook covered, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes.
Add cubed potatoes, cook 10 minutes.
Add sliced bell peppers, habanero or jalapeno peppers. Continue cooking until potatoes and carrots are soft but not mushy. Add salt and black peppers to taste.
Cool slightly, add chopped cilantro and parsley to cool Ajapsandali.
Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!