Ajapsandali აჯაფსანდალი /adʒapsandali/ is one of my favourite Georgian dishes. Here’s the recipe I brought back from Georgia in 1997:
- 1½ kg aubergines
- 100–200 ml sunflower oil (don’t use less than this, or it won’t taste right!)
- 3 onions, chopped
- 500 g chopped tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 green peppers, cut into strips
- ½ bunch coriander
- ½ bunch basil
- ½ bunch parsley
- 2 cloves of garlic
Peel the aubergines and cut them into big chunks (quarter them lengthwise and then slice them). Sprinkle them with salt. After half an hour, press the water out of them without mashing them.
Chop the onions and fry them in the oil in a saucepan. Once they turn rose-coloured, add the aubergines and fry them well.
Add bay leaves and peppers. Add the tomatoes when the aubergines are soft, and cook for a further ten minutes. Add the finely chopped herbs and garlic, and remove from the heat.