Kharcho With Walnuts And Tkemali

By Mike Yarmish Published: December 11, 2012

Cuisine:   |  Course: ,

With the end of the walnut season, some of them migrated from the garden to my home. Usually they would have a long lay somewhere in the fridge, but this time I decided to use them. Georgian cuisine came to mind immediately. In their dishes this nut is very popular, so there is a plenty of recipes to choose from. Kharcho was chosen actually because I’ve found half a jar of tkemali in the fridge for a wonder. There are many ways of preparing this wonderful Georgian soup. It’s usually made using beef broth with rice and some acidifier. A classic acidifier is tklapi but tkemali or tomato paste is also permissible. Actually as I realized I was cooking close enough to the classics. I’ve never tried it before, but it turned out to be quite tasty.

  • Serves: 8 Servings
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Ready In: 3 hrs 0 min



  1. Into the cold water put the washed meat, bring to a boil, skim, and cook for 1.5 hours.
  2. After an hour of cooking add the stems of parsley and salt. Drain cooked broth and cut the meat into small pieces.
  3. While the broth is cooked, finely chop the onion and fry it in butter until tender over a low fire. Wash rice, finely grind the nuts in a mortar or blender. Nuts should not be powdered.
  4. After straining the broth bring it again to boiling, put the meat in it, add rice and cook for 10 minutes. Then add the onions, bay leaf and crushed peppercorns. If there is a pepper mill, you can just pepper using it.
  5. After another 5 minutes of cooking add chopped nuts. After another 5 minutes, add all the spices: basil, turmeric, paprika, chili, cinnamon, and parsley leaves. Also pour tkemali.
  6. Cook for another 5 minutes and turn off the fire. Squeeze the garlic to the pan and put the dill and coriander. Close the pan with a top and leave for 30 minutes.


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  1. Kristen Hess (The Artful Gourmet) Says:

    This soup looks really amazing too! What I’m wondering is, what is tkemali sauce? and khmeli-suneli? spices? sauces? ingredients? recipe to make them or places to buy them? please advise, thanks! 🙂

  2. Mike Yarmish Says:

    Tkemali is a Georgian sauce made of cherry plums. Here in Russia you can buy it everywhere but there are also plenty of recipes showing how to make it. Probably you can google it.

    Khmeli-suneli is a spices mix. You can make it too. Here is the list of ingredients:
    2 tablespoons dried marjoram
    2 tablespoons dried dill
    2 tablespoons dried summer savory
    2 tablespoons dried mint
    2 tablespoons dried parsley
    2 tablespoons ground coriander
    1 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves
    2 teaspoons dried ground marigold petals
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds
    2 crushed bay leaves

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