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List of dishes from the Caucasus

Shashlyk is a dish of skewered and grilled cubes of meat that is known traditionally, by various other names, in the Caucasus and Central Asia.[1][2]

The cuisine of the Caucasus includes the traditional cuisines of the countries, in West Asia, of Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan in Transcaucasia and of Eastern Europe in North Caucasus.

Traditional dishes


Circassian cheese

Some popular cheeses from the Caucasus include :

  • Ashvlagwan (Ашвлагуан)Abkhaz smoked cheese, similar to sulguni
  • Chechil (Չեչիլ) — String (often smoked) cheese, made in Armenia[3]
  • Chechili (ჩეჩილი) — Cheese in shape of ropes, made in south Georgia
  • Adyga kwae(Адыгэ Къуае) - Mild cheese, made in Circassia
  • Chkinti' (ჭყინტი) - Salty and "juicy" cheese made originally in Imereti
  • Dambalkhacho (დამბალხაჭო) — "Rotten" cheese made in Pshavi and Mtiuleti
  • Guda (გუდა) — Cheese made from sheep milk in Tusheti. Its preparation takes 20 days.
Ossetian cheese


  • Achma (აჩმა / Ачма) — Sort of lasagna with cheese, traditionally made in Georgia,[4] especially in Abkhazia.
  • Afar (Афарар)Lezgian flatbread stuffed with various fillings, mostly meat or cottage cheese.
  • Chepalgash (ЧIепалгаш)Chechen and Ingush pie filled with cottage cheese and wild garlic.
  • Chudu (Чуду) — Sort of pie, made in Dagestan with various fillings (meat, cheese, cottage cheese, herbs, etc).
  • Dalnash (Далнаш) — Chechen and Ingush pie filled with lard and wild garlic.
  • Haliva (Хьэлжъо)Circassian triangular fried pie, often filled with Circassian cheese and potatoes.
  • Hingalsh (Хингалш) — Chechen and Ingush pie with a half-round shape, filled with pumpkin.
Adjarian khachapuri
  • Kubdari (კუბდარი)Svan pie filled with spicy meat.[5]
  • Khachapuri (ხაჭაპური) — Georgian pie filled with cheese. This dish has a lot of regional variation, the most famous being Adjaruli Khachapuri, shaped in a form of a boat.
  • Khichin (Хычин)Balkar and Karachay pie filled with various stuffing.
  • Ossetian Pies — Davondzhin (filled with wild garlic's leaves and Ossetian cheese / Kabuskadzhin (filled with cabbage and cheese) / Kartofdzhin (filled with potato and cheese) / Nasdzhin (filled with mashed pumpkin) / Khabizdzhin (filled with cheese and potato) / Artadzhikhon (filled with cheese) / Fidzhin (filled with minced meat) / Kh'adurdzhin (filled with kidney beans) / Tsakharadzhin (filled with beetroot and cheese).
  • QutabAzerbaijani cooked dough filled with meat or pumpkin.
  • Zhingyalov hats (Ժենգյալով հաց)Armenian flatbred stuffed with diced herbs and vegetables such as spinach.

Starters and snacks

Ajapsandali (Georgian version)
  • Ajapsandali (აჯაფსანდალი / Əcəbsəndəl) — Cold starter containing aubergines, potatoes and spices. It is traditionally made in Georgia and in Azerbaijan.
  • Basturma (Բաստուրմա / Basdırma) — Seasoned and air-dried cured beef.
  • Choban salad (Çoban) — Azerbaijani salad made from tomatoes and cucumbers.
  • Dolma / Tolma (Dolma / Տոլմա / Tolma / Долма)Vegetable (cabbage, zucchini, grape leaf, aubergine, pepper) stuffed with minced meat and rice, mostly made in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia.
  • Kupati (კუპატი) Sausage made in Western Georgia.
  • Lobio (ლობიო) — Cooked minced beans with addition of coriander, walnuts, garlic and onion.
  • Nigvziani Badrijani (ნიგვზიანი ბადრიჯანი) — Fried aubergine with walnut sauce and pomegranate seeds.
  • Pkhali (ფხალი) — Minced vegetables (cabbage, beet, aubergine) with pomegranate seeds.
  • Sujuk (Սուջուխ / Sucuk) — Dry and spicy sausage, mostly made in Armenia and in Azerbaijan.



Main courses

  • Hinkal (Хинкал) - Dagestani boiled dough, eaten with lamb or beef.
  • Khinkali (ხინკალი) - Georgian dumpling stuffed with meat, vegetables or cottage cheese.
  • Kofta (Küftə / Քուֆթա / გუფთა) - Spiced meatballs, made in Transcaucasia.
  • Kuchmachi (კუჭმაჭი) - Fried chicken livers with pomegranate seeds.
  • Kurze (Курзе) - Long shaped dumplings stuffed with meat, popular among Dagestanis.
  • Mataz (Мэтазэ) - Circassian dumplings stuffed with various fillings (meat, cottage cheese, potato).
  • Lahmajun (Լահմաջու) - Flatbread topped with minced meat. Popular in Armenia.
Fish based Lavangi
  • Lavangi (Ləvəngi) - Azerbaijani baked chicken or fish stuffed with walnuts and spices.
  • Libzhe (Либжэ) - Circassian stew made of beef, similar to goulash.
  • Lyulya kebab (Lülə Kabab) - Azerbaijani kebab made from minced meat (often enrolled in lavash).
  • Manti ( մանթի / Манты / Мантиш) - Dumplings, brought by Turks which is commonly made in Armenia and Southern Caucasus.
  • Plov (Plov / Փլավ / ფლავი / Плов) - Rice dish, mostly cooked with meat and vegetables.
  • Qovurma - Azerbaijani lamb stew.
  • Satsivi (საცივი) - Georgian poultry meat (turkey or chicken based dish with walnuts.
  • Shashlik / Mtsvadi / Khorovats - Cooked meat on fire, made in all Caucasus.
  • Yokh (Йоьхь) - Chechen and Ingush spicy sausage from mutton and flour.

Condiments and sauces



Armenian lavash


  • Churchkhela (ჩურჩხელა)Georgian sweet made from mixed grape juice and flour with chopped walnuts or hazelnuts.
  • Gata (Գաթա) — Armenian pastry / sweet bread. It is also well-known to the neighbouring countries as Kada in Georgia and Kətə in Azerbaijan.
  • Gozinaki (გოზინაყი) — Sweet made by Georgians for New Year consisting of chopped walnuts and honey.
  • Gvaymakkhsh (Гваймакхш)Chechen / Ingush pancakes with honey.
  • Halva (Halva / Հալվա / ჰალვა / Хьовла / Халва) — Sweet made from flour.
  • Harbiz Fo (Хьарбиз фо)Circassian watermelon honey.
  • Murabba (Mürəbbə / Մուրաբա / მურაბა)Jam made traditionally in Transcaucasia with local fruits such as cherry, strawberry, raspberry, apricot, fig, watermelon, etc, but also from walnuts.
  • Natyoukh (НатIюхI)Lak candy made with a mixture of honey and sugar with apricot kernels and walnuts.
  • Pakhlava (Paxlava / Փախլավա / ფახლავა) — Sweet pastry made with filo layers. It is made in the Transcaucasian countries, especially in Azerbaijan.
  • Pastegh (Պաստեղ)Dried fruit.
  • Pelamushi (ფელამუში)Kakhetian traditional candy made from grape juice and flour.
  • Shekerbura (Şəkərbura) — Azerbaijani sweet pastry filled with almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts. It is consumed during Nowruz, the Zoroastrian New Year.



Armenian Brandy (Ararat)
  • Arak (Арахъ)Ossetian vodka made from cereals such as corn or barley. However, some are made with fruits especially by the Ossetians of Georgia.
  • Ararat (Հայկական կոնյակ) — Famous Armenian brandy made from white grapes and spring water.
  • Armenian wines (Հայկական գինիներ) — Most famous include : Voski, Karasi, Yeraz.
  • Boza — Type of sweet and sour beer with little degree of alcohol, made from cooked wheat and barley flour. It is primarily consumed in Azerbaijan.
  • Bagany (Бæгæны) — Ossetian beer made from wheat, barley and maize.
  • Chacha (ჭაჭა)Georgian vodka made from pomace (grape) or other fruits which is often homemade.
  • Georgian wines (ქართული ღვინოები) — Most famous include : Saperavi, Tsinandali, Akasheni, Kindzmarauli, Kvanchkara, Lykhny (made in Abkhazia), etc. Most of the wines are made in the region of Kakheti.
  • Makhsima (Мэхъсымэ)Circassian alcohol made from corn flour and wheat. Similar to boza but has higher alcohol content.


  • Ayran / Tan (Ayran / Թան)Yogurt-based salty beverage, popular in Azerbaijan, Armenia and North Caucasus.
  • Borjomi (ბორჯომი) — Carbonated mineral water from the Borjomi Gorge.[6]
  • Jermuk (Ջերմուկ) — Mineral water from Jermuk (Armenia).
  • Kampot (Компот) — Very sweet beverage made from local fruits which is often homemade.
  • Lagidzis Tsklebi (ლაღიძის წყლები) — Fruit- or chocolate-infused water, often sold in streets.
  • Nogai Tea (Ногай Шай) — Salty tea brought in Northern Caucasus by the Nogais (Popular among the Dagestanis).
  • Sharbat (Şerbet) — Azerbaijani refreshing beverage made from herbs (such as mint) or fruits.
  • Tach (ТӀач)Lak kissel made from cereals.
  • Tarkhuna (ტარხუნა)Georgian lemonade with tarragon flavour.
  • Tea (Çay / Թեյ / ჩაი / Чай / Цай) — Tea is an important beverage in the Caucasus and is cultivated mostly in Azerbaijan and on the Georgian coast. (Black tea is the most popular variety of tea in the region.)


See also


  1. ^ Pokhlebkin, William Vasilyevich (2004) [1978]. Natsionalnye kukhni nashikh narodov (Национальные кухни наших народов) [National Cuisines of Our Peoples] (in Russian). Moskva: Tsentrpoligraf. ISBN 5-9524-0718-8.
  2. ^ Culture and Life. Union of Soviet Societies for Friendship and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries. 1982 – via Google Books. The Russian term, shashlik, has an interesting etymology: it would seem natural for the word to be borrowed from one of the Caucasian languages. But no, the Georgian for it is mtsvadi, the Azerbaijani, kebab, and the Armenian, horovts. Shashlik is a Zaporozhye Cossack coinage from the Crimean Tatar sheesh (spit), brought to Russia in the 18th century, after Field-Marshal Mienich's Crimean campaign. Prior to the 18th century, the dish was called verchenoye, from the Russian vertel, spit.
  3. ^ Petrosian, I.; Underwood, D. (2006). Armenian Food: Fact, Fiction & Folklore. Armenian Research Center collection. Yerkir Publishing. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-4116-9865-9. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  4. ^ Williams, S. (2015). The Ethnomusicologists' Cookbook, Volume II: Complete Meals from Around the World. Taylor & Francis. p. 157. ISBN 978-1-135-04008-6. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  5. ^ Goldstein, D. (2013). The Georgian Feast: The Vibrant Culture and Savory Food of the Republic of Georgia. University of California Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-520-27591-1. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  6. ^ Barile, S.; Espejo, R.; Perko, I.; Saviano, M. (2018). Cybernetics and Systems: Social and Business Decisions. Routledge-Giappichelli Systems Management. Taylor & Francis. p. pt111. ISBN 978-0-429-94460-4. Retrieved 11 December 2019.

Further reading

  • Beliaev, Edward; Oksana Buranbaeva (2005). Cultures of the World: Dagestan. Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 0-7614-2015-0.
  • Sami Zubaida, Richard Tapper. A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (2nd ed.). London & New York: Tauris Parke Paperbacks. ISBN 1-86064-603-4.
  • В. В. Похлебкин. Национальные кухни наших народов. Москва: Пищевая промышленность, 1980. ISBN 978-5-9524-2783-9 (William Pokhlyobkin, Ethnic Cuisines of our Peoples. Moscow: Soviet Food Industry publishing house, 1980; Russian)