The Georgian dish chanakhi is a stew of meat and vegetables baked in a pot, and the dish is named, as is often the case, after the pot in which it is cooked: a clay pot with a tight-fitting lid.
The only acceptable meat for chanakhi is young lamb, but not lamb. It should be not less than 1/5 of the total weight of the ingredients. The rest of the pot is filled with vegetables taken in equal proportions: onions, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants. Onions and potatoes for chanakhi are cut, and eggplants and tomatoes are put in the pot whole. To cook eggplants well and have a pronounced taste, they are cut, seasoned with salt and pepper and stuffed with greens. The greens used are parsley, cilantro and basil. Apart from salt and black pepper, we use red pepper.
To fill the space between the ingredients, we often add a little bit of fat of sheep fat or clarified butter to the chanakhi. Chanakhi is cooked in the oven for quite a long time, at least two hours.
4-6 servings, preparation: 2 hrs.
What you need:
6-8 lamb ribs on the bone
5 medium potatoes
3 medium eggplants
3 sweet peppers
3 large ripe tomatoes
3 medium onions
1 garlic bulb
2 cinnamon sticks
salt, freshly ground black pepper
Georgian bread or thick pita bread to serve
What to do:
1. Cut the lamb into pieces between the ribs, salt and pepper.
2. Peel potatoes, sweet peppers and onions, cut into large pieces. Slice the eggplant in the same way.
3. Tomatoes cut into quarters, peeled garlic cloves cut in half.
4. Put the lamb in a pot with a thick bottom, put vegetables and garlic on top. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Pour 1 liter of boiling water, bring to the boil, salt and pepper it, add cinnamon, stew on the stove or in the oven for 1,5-2 hours. Serve chanakhi very hot, with Georgian bread.