Surprisingly, or maybe not, actually, was that there was yet another form of tomato and cucumber salad.
But the two recipes which best represented the region - and that I could eat, despite my various allergies, were a bean dip and some corn bread.
1 cup water
1/4 t salt
oil for cooking
In a bowl, mix cornmeal and salt. Slowly add water - and using your hands, mix together until the dough is firm. Again, using your hands, form dough into patties and place onto heated, oiled pan. Cook 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Best eaten fresh, with cheese, beans, or cooked vegetables.
The word "lobio" in Georgian means "beans." With the same ingredients - I will give you two different recipes - one to be served hot, and the other cold.
2 cups kidney beans or snap peas
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup crushed walnuts
juice of 1 lemon
handful fresh coriander
handful fresh basil
1 t salt
1 white onion
2 T khmeli suneli (spice mix containing dried coriander, saffron, bay leaf, mint, black pepper, fenugreek, marjoram, parsley, dill, paprika)
1 cup chicken stock - or water
Lobio Nigvzit (hot, made with kidney beans)
Soak the beans in water at least 2 hours. Drain and reserve water. Place in pot, cover with water and cook on low heat with salt and bay leaves until beans are tender. Dice onions and garlic and caramelise. In a separate pot, mix spices, herbs, lemon juice, and nuts. Once beans are cooked, mix all ingredients together and mash using the back of a spoon. Serve hot with Mchadi.
Lobio Satsivi (cold, made with string beans)
Combine water/stock, chopped onions, garlic, spices (khmeli suneli or mix of various spices included), lemon juice, fresh coriander and fresh basil, and walnuts. Mix thoroughly. Using either a mortar or a blender, mix everything together.
In salted, boiling water, cook the string beans until just tender - 8 minutes. Mix with rest of ingredients and refrigerate so the flavours meld together. Serve cold with Mchadi.