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Satsebeli: Georgian Tomato Sauce

If you haven't tried Georgian cuisine yet, you're missing out on one of the world's most distinctive and delicious culinary traditions. Georgian food is known for its bold flavors, unique ingredients, and hearty portions. One of the most essential components of Georgian cuisine is satsebeli, a tangy and flavorful tomato sauce that is used in countless dishes.

What is Satsebeli?

Satsebeli is a tomato-based sauce that is a staple of Georgian cuisine. It is made from a combination of tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and spices, and is typically used as a condiment or a cooking ingredient. Satsebeli is known for its tangy, slightly sweet flavor, and its versatility in the kitchen.

Satsebeli is an essential ingredient in many Georgian dishes, including chakhokhbili, a chicken stew, and lobio, a bean dish. It is also commonly used as a dipping sauce for bread or vegetables and as a topping for soups and stews. Satsebeli is a key ingredient in many Georgian dishes, and its unique flavor is an essential part of the country's culinary heritage.

The History of Satsebeli

Like many traditional Georgian dishes, the origins of satsebeli are shrouded in mystery. Some food historians believe that the sauce has roots in Persian cuisine, while others believe that it was developed independently in Georgia. Regardless of its origins, satsebeli has become an essential part of Georgian cuisine, and is beloved by locals and visitors alike.

Satsebeli has been a part of Georgian cuisine for centuries. The sauce has evolved over time, with different regions of Georgia adding their own unique twists and flavors. Today, satsebeli is a ubiquitous part of Georgian cuisine, and is enjoyed by people all over the world.

How to Use Satsebeli

Satsebeli can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen. It is often used as a condiment for grilled meats, such as kebabs or shashlik. It can also be used as a dipping sauce for bread or vegetables, or as a topping for soups and stews. Satsebeli is also a key ingredient in many Georgian dishes, such as chakhokhbili (a chicken stew) and lobio (a bean dish).

Satsebeli is a versatile sauce that can be used in a variety of different ways. Its tangy, slightly sweet flavor pairs well with a wide range of ingredients, making it a popular choice for home cooks and professional chefs alike.

Making Satsebeli at Home

If you're feeling adventurous, you can try making satsebeli at home. Here's a simple recipe to get you started:


  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large saucepan, heat up a tablespoon of oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, red wine vinegar, sugar, paprika, coriander, salt, and pepper to the saucepan.
  4. Stir everything together and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes, until it has thickened and the flavors have melded together.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the sauce cool.
  7. Once the sauce has cooled, transfer it to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  8. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Making satsebeli at home is a great way to experiment with different flavors and ingredients. You can adjust the recipe to suit your own tastes, adding more or less of the herbs and spices to create a sauce that is uniquely your own.

Where to Try Satsebeli in Tbilisi

If you're visiting Tbilisi, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes where you can try satsebeli. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Shavi Lomi: This trendy restaurant in the heart of Tbilisi's old town serves up modern twists on traditional Georgian dishes, including a delicious chicken dish with satsebeli sauce.
  • Cafe Gabriadze: This charming cafe is located in a historic building in Tbilisi's old town, and serves up classic Georgian dishes, including a hearty beef stew with satsebeli.
  • Barbarestan: This elegant restaurant is known for its upscale take on Georgian cuisine, and offers a variety of dishes that feature satsebeli, including a delicious tomato and eggplant dish.

Final Thoughts

Satsebeli is one of the most beloved and versatile components of Georgian cuisine. Whether you're using it as a condiment, a cooking ingredient, or simply as a dipping sauce, satsebeli adds a delicious tangy flavor to any dish. If you're visiting Tbilisi, be sure to try this iconic sauce at one of the city's many excellent restaurants. And if you're feeling adventurous, try making it at home and experimenting with different flavor combinations!




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