Traditional Abkhazian Recipes

Try your hand at one of the following recipes for our

Recipes selected from the

The Abkhazian Book of Longevity and Well-Being

(Book available for purchase at event.)

Check back for regular additions to the following recipe options 


Purpuliga Sauce
This sauce is kept in a jar on the shelf in every Abkhazian kitchen, to be used when necessary for flavoring. It is also used as a condiment.

1 dozen hot red cayenne peppers, dried
3Tbsp sea salt
½ cup shelled walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp coriander seed
½ tsp oregano, crushed
3 slices day old bread, soaked in water and squeezed gently
¼ cup water

Beginning with the hot peppers, put all items one by one into blender. After adding each ingredient whip until fine. Add enough water to make a thick paste.

Yogurt Sauce
1 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon purpuljiga
Mix thoroughly

Walnut Sauce
This sauce is served as an accompaniment to Abkhazian Dry Beans, to cabbage pickles, to steamed broccoli, and so forth. (Single recipe Double For 25 or more.)

½ lb. shelled walnuts, crushed in blender 1 lb. 4 lb.
1 small onion, quartered 2 8
1 clove garlic 2 8
1 Tbsp Purpuljiga 2T. 8T
4 slices day-old bread, soaked in water, squeezed dry 8 32

Mix altogether in a bowl. Add water to thin just enough for the mixture to be properly whipped in blender. Put in blender and whip in quantities according to the size of the blender until no lump is left in it. You will obtain a sauce with the consistency of an ordinary porridge.

Ozbek Pilav
Rice is a staple of the Abkhazians’ diet. This is an example of a festive rice dish.

Serves 9

1 cup rice
2 cups water
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1/3 cup currants
½ cup frozen peas
¼ cup pine nuts
2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp butter

You could start boiling some water in a tea kettle while you are chopping. Chop the onion and carrots into small pieces and sauté them in the butter and salt for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add currants, sauté for 3 min. more. Add the pine nuts. Add the water. When it starts boiling add the rice, stir, put a lid on the pot and turn temperature to low. Leave it to simmer approximately half an hour (an hour for brown rice), until the water is absorbed by the rice. Put frozen peas on top of the rice, put lid on pot and leave for 10 minutes. Mix in the peas and the dish is ready to serve.

Abkhazian Dry Beans (Great Northern Beans Are Good)
To serve 5
1 Cup full to rim dry beans
2 medium onions, diced
3 medium tomatoes, chopped

Or ½ 14 oz can diced tomatoes with juice

1 small carrot, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 tsp salt
Dash cayenne pepper
5 Tbsp olive oil

Soak the beans overnight in warm water. The following day boil for 5 minutes, turn the heat off and strain the beans. (Put some water on to boil in a separate pot or tea kettle while you cut up vegetables.)

Saute the onions, carrots, green peppers and salt in the olive oil on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes; Add cayenne; Add beans; Add hot water up to 2 inches above the contents. Boil first, then put the lid on and turn the heat to low, until the beans are cooked to edible softness. Depending on the kind of bean, it may be needed to add bit by bit hot water until the beans are cooked. Stir regularly to prevent scorching on bottom. For Great Northern beans estimate at least 2 hours cooking.

Because the number of servings is not listed in the original recipe I have estimated from other bean recipes and quantities. Sue deVeer

My Slow Cooker book says this about how to cook the beans in a crock pot:

1.) Soak 1 pound beans overnight in 6 cups of water. Drain and rinse the beans. Put them in the Slow Cooker with 3 cups of fresh water and cook covered on low for 3 hours. (You would use this amount of water INSTEAD of the amount in the above recipe.)

2.) Cut up all the other ingredients, add all to the Slow Cooker and stir to mingle the ingredients well. Cook covered on low setting for 5 to 7 hours. Don't peek, as this lets a lot of heat out, and the Slow Cooker does not need to be stirred the way a pot on the stove does.

Abkhazian Chicken
This dish is considered as a national Abkhazian dish which is known and appreciated in most parts of the old world. Serves 5 .

1 chicken, 4-5 lb.
2 Tbsp salt
Water to cover
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 Tbsp butter
1 lb. Walnut Sauce (2x recipe)
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup olive oil
Cayenne pepper or paprika

Cover chicken with water, add 2 Tbsp salt, put lid on pot and boil gently until cooked. Cool. Strain, retaining stock. Debone chicken and break into bite-sized pieces.

Saute the onion in the butter for 5 minutes, or until cooked. Add the chicken pieces and stir well.

Make a sauce by diluting 1 lb. walnut sauce (double the recipe on page 53), with 1 cup chicken broth. Blend thoroughly, adding more chicken broth as required, until the consistency of a normal white sauce is reached. Pour the sauce on the chicken in the cooker. Stir once. Leave on medium heat just to start bubbling. Take it off to the serving bowl. Let it cool.

In a small bowl mix olive oil and cayenne pepper. Blend thoroughly. (Paprika may be substituted for cayenne.) Pour over the dish, and serve.

More native recipes to come from the....

Abkhazian Book Of Longevity And Well-being.

Please enjoy and share your cooking adventure and its bounty with us.

Thank you.

For an extended selection of traditional Abkhazian recipes, contact New Horizons Board Member,

Sue deVeer at cell: 240.367.4403 or