Ajapsandali is a Georgian Aubergine Stew that is made with a variety of vegetables, garlic, and herbs, and is packed with flavour! It is simple to make, and delicious to eat – either hot or cold – and if you’re looking for a new vegan or vegetarian recipe to try, then this eggplant stew is it!
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The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions and to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required as well as understand the steps and timings involved.
I have dreams of travelling the world. It’s something I wish I had done a lot earlier in life, but I became a mum instead! Just when I thought we could pick up travelling a little bit more, we get the year that is 2020, and we all know the mess that is!
However, I figure, if right now we can’t travel to far flung places, why not bring those places to use through food?
With so many different cuisines, and the world feeling smaller thanks to the internet, we can taste dishes in our own homes without having to travel for thousands of miles!
Now, I’m not going to pretend to have wanted to travel to Georgia, because even though I have heard of that country, I don’t have a clue where it is! And just in case you don’t know either, let me (or rather Wiki!) tell you:
Georgia, a country at the intersection of Europe and Asia, is a former Soviet republic that’s home to Caucasus Mountain villages and Black Sea beaches.Wikipedia
And so, while perusing the recipes over on Hello Fresh I came across this Georgian aubergine stew served with bulgar and it sounded so good I had to try it myself!
In all honesty, it doesn’t sound too dissimilar to a vegetable dish I make with aubergines, onions, peppers, garlic, and courgettes. (And then to give it my own Greek-Cypriot twist I add in oregano, mint, and cinnamon, as well as lemon juice and a bunch of fresh parsley.) When you read the ingredients needed for the Georgian dish, you’ll see the similarities!
Interestingly, I learned that Georgian cuisine has been influenced by immigrants from other countries, including Greece. So it’s no wonder I was drawn to the recipe in the first place! Greek (Cypriot!) food to me, is LIFE!
But back to Ajapsandali which in this recipe is served over bulgur which is a cereal food made from the cracked parboiled groats of several different wheat species, most often from durum wheat. It originates in Middle Eastern cuisine. In Greek-Cypriot cuisine, we call it cracked or crushed wheat and use it in Pilafi Pourgouri among other dishes.
The delicious aubergine stew is really quick to make – just 35 minutes! It can be served as a main or side dish, and is just as enjoyable to eat cold as it is hot.
In fact, it’s the sort of dish that tastes better the day after! Why not pack it up into a mason jar or lunch box to take to work, or as part of your meal prep for the week?
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
You may have some of the ingredients for this recipe in your kitchen already – the full list with measurements is found in the recipe card.
For your convenience, any specialized ingredients and equipment needed for this recipe have been linked to Amazon below.
- Bulgur Wheat – if you can’t find it in your local grocery store you could use couscous instead. It is prepared in exactly the same way as the recipe dictates.
- Walnuts – to sprinkle over the top of the dish and gives a nice crunch.
- Tomato Purée – known as tomato paste in the US
- Vegetable Stock – cubes, powder, or bouillion
This recipe uses grams so a kitchen food scale is a handy item to have in your kitchen, along with a set of American cups. Having both in your kitchen means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog as I use both weighted measures and cups. I do try to offer metric, imperial, and cup measurements in my recipes where possible!
You will also need a baking sheet, saucepan, and a large frying pan to make this aubergine stew recipe.
If you make and enjoy this recipe and love trying out new foods, but don’t want to buy lots of different ingredients that you might only use once, a recipe subscription box like Hello Fresh is always a great option.
Just choose from their list of exciting recipes and decide how many meals you’d like for however many people and Hello Fresh deliver all the ingredients to your door for you to cook. No worrying about grocery shopping or serving the same meals all the time – hands up if you’re as guilty of this as me – just unpack the box and cook!
Or if you want to try their recipes before buying a box, it is so easy as they publish the recipes on their website too and there are so many to cuisines to choose from – Japanese, Greek, African, French – the world of food is your oyster!
More Recipes Using Aubergine
The hero ingredients in this recipe is aubergine, so here are some more recipes using the same:
- Giant Couscous Salad with Roasted Aubergine, Parsley & Pomegranate
- Slimming World Moussaka – A Lower-Fat Version of a Greek Classic!
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad
More Vegetarian & Vegan Recipes
Looking for more vegan and vegetarian dish inspo? Check these recipes out next:
- Vegetable & Chickpea Tagine
- Mediterranean Layer Dip with Hummus, Feta, and Fresh Vegetables
- Buddha’s Delight – A Chinese Vegan Recipe
How Do I Make Georgian Aubergine Stew?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients, instructions, and demonstration photos. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, the pics don’t print to save your ink!).
- 2 aubergines, cut into bite-size chunks
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 red onions, halved and finely sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed in a garlic press
- 3 red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 green bell peppers, deseeded and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 green chili, deseeded, halved and finely chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp tomato purée
- 200g bulgur
- 2 vegetable stock cubes. divided
- 500ml water, divided
- 4 vine tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tsp sugar
- 60g walnuts, roughly chopped
- 60g coriander, stems & leaves roughly chopped, divided
- 30g basil, stems & leaves roughly chopped, divided
- 60g flat-leaf parsley, stems & leaves roughly chopped, divided
- Preheat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- Place the chopped aubergine onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat and spread evenly in one layer. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until soft and golden.
- Meanwhile, prepare the other vegetables as described in the ingredients list.
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat and add the shallot.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring until softened. Then stir in the tomato purée and bulgur wheat.
- Crumble in one of the stock cubes and 400ml of water. Bring to the boil, then cover* and remove from the heat. Leave to the side for 12-15 mins until the liquid is absorbed and you are ready to serve.
- Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the red onion and a pinch of salt and for 3-4 minutes, stirring until softened.
- Stir in the garlic, peppers, and as much chili to your taste (reserve a little for garnish). Cook for a further 1 minute.
- Stir in the tomato and the remaining 100ml of water. Crumble in the other stock cube and sugar. Place a lid on the pan and reduce heat to medium-low for 5-6 minutes. The sauce should be thick and tomatoey and the peppers just soft - you want some texture to the stew so don't leave it to turn to mush!
- Stir the chopped walnuts and half of the herbs into the pan of bulgur. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.
- Stir the roasted aubergine and remaining herbs into the pan with the tomato and pepper stew. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide the bulgur between four plates or shallow bowls and top with the aubergine stew. Garnish with chili if desired. Enjoy!
- *If you don't have a lid for your frying pan, use some kitchen foil instead.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 428Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 930mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 13gSugar: 10gProtein: 17g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Meal!
I’ve said this would make a great main or side dish, so I’ve included recipes that I think would work as a meze/tapas style dining experience. Not all may be vegetarian and/or vegan.
- Feta Cucumber Cups Appetizer
- Mediterranean Layer Dip with Hummus, Feta, and Fresh Vegetables
- Roasted Artichoke Mozzarella Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Greek Orzo Salad with Feta
- Frozen Watermelon Slush Mocktail (or Spike It With Booze!)
- Mini Blueberry Cheesecakes with Crumble Topping
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too!