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Chikhirtma: The Georgian Chicken Soup

If you're looking for a hearty and flavorful soup that will warm you up on a cold winter day, look no further than chikhirtma, the traditional Georgian chicken soup. This dish is a staple in Georgian cuisine and is loved by locals and visitors alike. In this post, we'll take a closer look at chikhirtma, its history, and what makes it so special.

What is Chikhirtma?

Chikhirtma is a soup made from chicken, eggs, flour, and a variety of herbs and spices. The soup is thickened with a mixture of flour and beaten eggs, which gives it a creamy and rich texture. Chikhirtma is typically served with a side of bread or mchadi, a traditional Georgian cornbread.

The History of Chikhirtma

Like many Georgian dishes, chikhirtma has a long and rich history. The soup is believed to have originated in the eastern part of Georgia, in the region of Kakheti. It was traditionally made with rooster meat, which was considered more flavorful than chicken. Over time, the recipe evolved to include chicken, which is now the most common meat used in the dish.

The name "chikhirtma" is derived from the Georgian word "chikhvi," which means "to pour." This refers to the way the soup is made, with the beaten egg and flour mixture slowly poured into the pot while stirring constantly.

What Makes Chikhirtma Special?

There are several things that make chikhirtma a unique and special dish. First and foremost, the combination of chicken, eggs, and flour creates a rich and creamy texture that is unlike any other soup. The addition of herbs and spices such as cilantro, dill, and saffron gives the soup a complex and nuanced flavor profile.

Another thing that sets chikhirtma apart is the way it is prepared. The soup is typically made in a large pot over an open flame, which gives it a smoky and slightly charred flavor. The soup is also traditionally served in a clay pot, which helps to retain its heat and flavor.

In addition to its delicious taste, chikhirtma is also known for its health benefits. Chicken is a good source of protein, while the herbs and spices used in the soup are believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

How to Make Chikhirtma

If you're interested in making chikhirtma at home, here's a simple recipe to get you started:


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dill, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and cook until browned on all sides.
  3. Add the chicken broth and water to the pot and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and beaten eggs until smooth.
  6. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the soup, stirring constantly.
  7. Add the cilantro, dill, saffron, salt, and pepper to the pot and stir to combine.
  8. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  9. Serve hot with bread or mchadi.

Where to Find Chikhirtma in Tbilisi

If you're visiting Tbilisi and want to try chikhirtma for yourself, there are several restaurants and cafes that serve this delicious soup. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Shavi Lomi: This trendy restaurant in the heart of Tbilisi's old town serves a modern take on traditional Georgian cuisine, including a delicious chikhirtma.
  • Samikitno: This cozy restaurant in the Vera neighborhood is known for its hearty and flavorful chikhirtma, as well as its other Georgian classics.
  • Pasanauri: This chain of restaurants specializes in khinkali, the traditional Georgian dumplings, but also serves a delicious chikhirtma that is not to be missed.

Chikhirtma and Georgian Culture

Chikhirtma is not just a delicious soup, it is also an important part of Georgian culture. In Georgia, food is an expression of hospitality and generosity, and chikhirtma is often served to guests as a sign of welcome.

In addition, chikhirtma is often served at special occasions such as weddings and birthdays. It is also a popular dish during the Georgian holiday of Easter, when families gather to share a festive meal.

Tips for Making the Perfect Chikhirtma

If you want to make the perfect chikhirtma, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Use fresh ingredients: The fresher the chicken, herbs, and spices, the better the soup will taste.
  • Don't overcook the chicken: Be sure to cook the chicken until it is browned on all sides, but don't overcook it, as this can make the meat tough and dry.
  • Stir constantly when adding the egg mixture: To prevent the eggs from clumping, be sure to stir constantly when adding the egg and flour mixture to the soup.
  • Let the soup simmer: After adding the egg mixture, be sure to let the soup simmer for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

In Conclusion

Chikhirtma is a beloved dish in Georgian cuisine that is sure to warm you up on a cold winter day. Whether you're making it at home or trying it at a restaurant in Tbilisi, this soup is a must-try for anyone interested in Georgian food. So grab a bowl, a spoon, and a slice of bread, and dig in!




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