My Global Food Challenge


Beef Khartcho with fresh tomatoes (Russia)

Yield: 6 Servings


2 pounds beef short ribs
10 Roma tomatoes scalded, peeled, and chopped
1 large Spanish onion minced
3 cups cooked long-grain rice such as basmati *(see note below)
8 cups beef stock
1 cup pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons mild red tkemali ** (see note below)
2 tablespoons khmeli-suneli mix *** (see note below)
3 cloves garlic pressed
1 tablespoon cilantro minced
1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of ground cayenne pepper
salt and ground black pepper to taste
vegetable oil


Drizzle the cooked rice with oil, toss, cover, and keep warm. Bring the beef stock to a simmer. Add the short ribs and a pinch of salt, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Do not permit the stock to overboil. Skim off scum. In a saute pan, warm some oil, add red pepper flakes and garlic, and fry, stirring, for approximately 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, reduce the flame, and cook, covered and stirring from time to time, 20 minutes. Transfer into the soup.Add raw onion, tkemali, khmeli-suneli, and freshly ground black pepper to the soup. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour 15 minutes. Adjust the salt and add enough cayenne pepper to give the soup just a hint of heat. Simmer 5 more minutes. Stir in cilantro and oregano, and serve.  Serve the rice on the side or stir into the soup just before serving.

*Adding rice directly to the soup overcooks it, which lowers the quality of the dish. It is therefore best either to add the rice as the soup is about to be eaten, or to serve it on the side. The latter has the added advantage that individuals can control the amount of rice in their soup.

**Tkemali is a family of sauces made from plums or quinces, with the addition of a variety of herbs and other ingredients. Tkemalis are classified in two ways: red or green, and mild or hot. Mild red tkemali is the kind most readily available, in Russian stores and on the Internet.

***KHMELI-SUNELI MIX. Like curry, khmeli-suneli is a traditional blend of spices. When I say “like curry”, I do not mean that it is similar in taste to curry (it is not), only that it is a standard blend. Khmeli-suneli is very popular in Georgian cooking. It is available in single-serving packets in most Russian stores.

Alternatively, you can make your own khmeli-suneli by combining equal amounts of ground coriander seeds, cloves, black pepper, fenugreek seeds and leaves, basil leaves, bay leaves, marjoram, savory, mint, hyssop, dill, and parsley. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper. The resulting powder can be stored in a cool, dry place indefinitely. However, it is a good idea to pack it as airtight as possible, as it is highly fragrant.–615/

Link to My Post on Russia:

Cuisine :   Russian 

Main Ingredient :   Beef Short Ribs


Tkemali – Plum Sauce (Russia)

Yield: 8 Servings


2 pounds plums
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/8 teaspoon hot Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons or more of lemon juice depending on tartness of plums


Place the plums in a medium saucepan and cover with water.  Simmer until the plums are soft, about 10 minutes, depending on their size. Drain, pit and sieve.  Return the plums to the saucepan.

To the saucepan add the garlic, coriander, dill, hot pepper and lemon.  Bring to a boil and cook about two minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  Serve with shashlik or roast chicken.

Link to My Post on Russia:

Cuisine :   Russian

Main Ingredient :   Plums 

File:Russia in Asia (+claims) (-mini map -rivers).svg

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