Adzhika Recipe – Traditional Georgian Spicy Sauce


Adzhika Recipe – Traditional Georgian Spicy Sauce
Region / culture: Georgia | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 0 minutes | Servings: 10



Adzhika is a fiery, aromatic paste that hails from the Caucasus region, particularly popular in Georgian and Russian cuisines. This versatile condiment is made from a blend of hot peppers, garlic, herbs, and various spices, offering a unique combination of heat, tanginess, and depth of flavor. Perfect for adding a kick to grilled meats, stews, or as a spread, Adzhika has been cherished for centuries not only for its taste but also for its supposed health benefits.


The origins of Adzhika trace back to the western regions of Georgia, where it was traditionally made in the late summer and early autumn using fresh local produce. The recipe was passed down through generations, with each family adding their own twist to the basic formula. Over time, Adzhika spread throughout the Caucasus and Eastern Europe, becoming a beloved staple in many households. Its popularity owes much to its versatility and the ease with which it can be adapted to suit different palates and dishes.


How to prepare

  1. Coarsely chop the celery, hot peppers, and red bell pepper. Add the garlic and mix well. Add the chopped herbs and mix until medium coarseness is achieved.
  2. Stir in the vinegar and salt. Cover and refrigerate overnight before packing into jars.
  3. You can either store the mixture in the refrigerator or process it in a water bath for longer storage.


  • There are countless variations of Adzhika, reflecting the diverse culinary traditions of the Caucasus region. Some versions include the addition of fruits like apples or tomatoes for a slightly sweet contrast to the heat. Others incorporate a variety of spices, such as coriander, fenugreek, or caraway, to create a more complex flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

For the best flavor, use fresh, high-quality ingredients. The heat level of Adzhika can be adjusted by varying the types and quantities of hot peppers used. Removing the seeds and membranes from the peppers can reduce the heat if desired. For a smoother texture, blend the ingredients in a food processor, but for a more traditional, coarse texture, chop by hand. Letting the Adzhika sit in the refrigerator overnight allows the flavors to meld and intensify.

Serving Suggestions

Adzhika can be served alongside grilled meats, fish, or poultry as a vibrant condiment. It also makes a flavorful addition to sandwiches, wraps, and salads. Try using it as a marinade to infuse dishes with its distinctive spicy and tangy flavor.

Cooking Techniques

The traditional method of preparing Adzhika involves finely chopping the ingredients by hand to achieve a coarse texture. However, for a smoother paste, a food processor can be used. The key is to balance the texture and flavor to personal preference while allowing the mixture to marinate to develop depth.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a milder version, sweet bell peppers can be used in place of some or all of the hot peppers. Apple cider vinegar can substitute for red wine vinegar for a different acidic note. Parsley or mint can be used in place of cilantro or dill for a variation in the herbaceous elements.

Make Ahead Tips

Adzhika benefits from being made ahead of time, as this allows the flavors to meld and intensify. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or preserved through canning for longer storage. Making a large batch ensures that this flavorful condiment is always on hand.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Adzhika in a small bowl or jar alongside your main dish, allowing guests to add as much or as little as they like. Garnish with a sprig of fresh herbs for a touch of color and freshness.

Pairing Recommendations

Adzhika pairs exceptionally well with grilled meats, such as lamb, pork, or chicken. It also complements hearty stews and soups, adding a layer of complexity and heat. For a vegetarian option, try spreading it on grilled vegetables or mixing it into grain dishes.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store Adzhika in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. For longer storage, it can be canned according to standard water bath canning procedures. Adzhika does not require reheating and can be served cold or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A tablespoon of Adzhika contains approximately 5-10 calories, making it a low-calorie way to add flavor to dishes. Its low calorie content, combined with its bold flavor, makes it an excellent choice for those looking to enhance their meals without adding extra calories.


A serving of Adzhika is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary sources being the vegetables used in its preparation. The exact carbohydrate content can vary depending on the specific recipe and serving size but is generally around 2-4 grams per tablespoon.


Adzhika is virtually fat-free, making it an excellent choice for those monitoring their fat intake. The absence of oil in this traditional recipe highlights the natural flavors of the fresh ingredients without adding unnecessary fats.


This condiment contains minimal protein, as it is primarily made from vegetables and herbs. The protein content is negligible, with less than 1 gram per serving.

Vitamins and minerals

Adzhika is rich in vitamins and minerals, thanks to the variety of fresh ingredients used. It is particularly high in Vitamin C, provided by the hot peppers and bell peppers, and also contains significant amounts of Vitamin A, potassium, and iron. The fresh herbs contribute additional micronutrients, making Adzhika a nutritious addition to any meal.


Adzhika is naturally free from most common allergens, including gluten, dairy, nuts, and soy. However, those with sensitivities to nightshades should exercise caution due to the presence of peppers.


Overall, Adzhika is a healthful condiment that can add a burst of flavor and nutrients to your meals without contributing significant amounts of fats, calories, or allergens. Its rich vitamin and mineral content make it a beneficial addition to a balanced diet.


Adzhika is a vibrant, spicy condiment with a rich history and a wide array of health benefits. Its versatility makes it a valuable addition to any culinary repertoire, capable of transforming simple dishes into flavorful delights. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or experiment with your own variations, Adzhika is sure to bring a burst of flavor to your table.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a joyful one. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl living in the small village of my ancestors. I had always loved to cook, and I was constantly on the lookout for new recipes to try out.

One day, as I was wandering through the local market, I came across a stall run by a mysterious old woman. She was selling all sorts of spices and herbs, and her stall was filled with the most wonderful smells. Intrigued, I approached her and struck up a conversation.

As we talked, I learned that she was a traveler who had journeyed far and wide, collecting recipes and spices from all corners of the world. She told me stories of exotic lands and delicious dishes, and I found myself captivated by her tales.

Before I knew it, she had invited me to her home to learn some of her secrets. I eagerly accepted, and soon I found myself in her cozy kitchen, surrounded by an array of unfamiliar ingredients.

The old woman began to teach me the art of making Adzhika, a spicy Georgian condiment that was unlike anything I had ever tasted before. She showed me how to grind the peppers and garlic into a smooth paste, how to mix in the herbs and spices just so, and how to let the flavors meld together over time.

As I worked alongside her, I felt a sense of deep connection to the generations of women who had come before me, passing down their culinary knowledge from mother to daughter. I realized that cooking was not just about following a recipe, but about creating something that had the power to bring people together and create lasting memories.

After hours of chopping, grinding, and mixing, the Adzhika was finally ready. The old woman handed me a spoonful to taste, and as the spicy, tangy flavors exploded on my tongue, I knew that I had discovered something truly special.

From that day on, Adzhika became a staple in my kitchen. I made it for family gatherings, shared it with friends, and even entered it into local cooking competitions. Each time I made it, I thought of the old woman and the magical day we had spent together in her kitchen.

Years passed, and I grew older, but my love for cooking never waned. I continued to experiment with new recipes and ingredients, always seeking out the next culinary adventure. But no matter how many dishes I tried, Adzhika remained close to my heart, a constant reminder of the day I had learned to make it from the mysterious old woman in the market.

Now, as I sit in my own kitchen, surrounded by the familiar scents and sounds of cooking, I can't help but smile as I remember that day so long ago. The memory of discovering the recipe for Adzhika will always hold a special place in my heart, a reminder of the joy and magic that can be found in the simple act of creating something delicious to share with the ones you love.


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