Badrijani Nigvzit Recipe: Georgian Eggplant Rolls

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by Maggie Turansky


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One of my absolute favourite things about Georgian food is its heavy reliance on vegetables and nuts to make absolutely delicious dishes, and this badrijani nigvzit recipe is just one example.

These delicious Georgian eggplant rolls filled with a garlicky walnut paste are one of my absolute favourite Georgian dishes and something that I was keen on recreating ever since I first ate them on my first trip to Georgia.

Not only do these eggplant and walnut rolls combine several classic Georgian flavours and techniques, but they are also completely vegan and make for an excellent appetizer that everyone can enjoy!

Delicious badrijani nigvzit
Delicious badrijani nigvzit

How to Make Badrijani Nigvzit

Like the vast majority of Georgian cooking, the process is not difficult or too involved, however, there are a few steps that do need to be followed in order to get the best results. And if you’re looking for something a bit simpler, then consider making my Georgian eggplant salad!

The first step in this eggplant with walnuts recipe is to thinly slice and salt the eggplants. To do this, you need to cut off the top of the eggplant and slice it lengthwise very thinly – we’re looking for about 5mm (or 1/4 inch) thick slices.

Make sure you have a very sharp knife to do this as that will make it infinitely easier! If you have one, using a mandoline is the best way to do this to ensure even slices.

Thinly sliced eggplants
Thinly sliced eggplants

Once you’ve sliced your eggplants, lay them on a baking sheet and sprinkle them generously with salt and then set aside for at least 30 minutes. Salting the eggplants does two things – one (the most important factor, in my opinion), is that it draws out a lot of moisture and ensures that your badrijani nigvzit won’t be waterlogged and unpleasant.

And two, salting also allegedly drives out some bitterness from the eggplants. I’m not actually sure if there is much merit to this claim these days as hyper-bitterness has been all but eliminated from eggplants due to selective breeding.

This aside, however, you do need to salt the eggplants to remove the moisture and maybe the bitterness.

While your eggplants are dry-brining, make the walnut filling. First, you need to grind your walnuts very finely so that they have the consistency of wet sand. You can do this either in a food processor (the fastest way) or in a mortar and pestle.

Finely ground walnuts
Finely ground walnuts

If you don’t have either of these, you can even put the walnuts into a bag and bash it with a pan or a rolling pin, though this method will take the longest to reach the desired consistency.

Once your walnuts have been ground, transfer them to a bowl and grate in some garlic (yes, raw garlic. It features heavily in Georgian cuisine!) and add some blue fenugreek, ground coriander seed and cayenne pepper.

Add a splash of white wine vinegar and, a little at a time, stream in a bit of water. Stir, adding water where necessary to loosen the paste – it should be thick but easily spreadable, like the consistency of hummus. Taste and adjust for seasoning, adding salt and pepper where you think necessary.

Walnut paste for the eggplant rolls
Walnut paste for the eggplant rolls

Moving to the stovetop, add enough oil to a skillet and heat over medium heat until it’s shimmering. Pat your eggplant slices dry and carefully add them to the skillet — it’s likely that you will need to work in batches here.

Fry them for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until they are lightly golden brown and they have softened. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined baking sheet (to soak up excess oil) and allow to cool for a bit.

Frying the eggplant slices
Frying the eggplant slices

Once your eggplants have been cooked, it’s time to assemble your rolls! This is super duper easy and it’s arguably the most fun part of the whole process (aside from eating them, of course!).

Working one at a time, lay a slice of cooked eggplant on a work surface. Take a large spoonful of walnut paste – about a tablespoon’s worth- and evenly spread it across the entirety of the eggplant slice.

Then, carefully roll it up in a coil and set aside. Repeat this process with the remaining eggplant slices and walnut filling.

Rolling the eggplant rolls
Rolling the eggplant rolls

You can serve the badrijani nigvzit immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days in advance. They are typically eaten at room temperature. Before serving, garnish with pomegranate seeds in order to provide them with a fruity and lightly acidic punch that complements them so incredibly well.

Delicious badrijani nigvzit

Badrijani Nigvzit: Georgian Eggplant Rolls with Walnuts

These eggplant and walnut rolls are a unique and super delicious appetizer that are commonly found on tables throughout the country of Georgia.
4.7 from 16 votes
Servings 6
Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Remove the tops from each eggplant and slice lengthwise into 5mm (1/4 inch) thick slices. Arrange on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt. Set aside for about 30 minutes to allow the salt to pull the moisture from the eggplants.
    Thinly sliced eggplants
  • Meanwhile, finely grind walnuts and add to a bowl. Grate in garlic. Add vinegar, fenugreek, coriander and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Add 60ml of water and stir, adding more water (up to 120ml) if needed to loosen consistency — you’re looking for something similar to hummus.
    Walnut paste for the eggplant rolls
  • Pat eggplant slices dry. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat a few tablespoons of oil until shimmering and add eggplant slices — it’s likely that you will need to work in batches. Fry eggplants until softened and lightly golden brown, about 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and allow to cool.
    Frying the eggplant slices
  • Working one at a time, spread about a tablespoon of walnut paste evenly onto each eggplant slice. Roll up into a coil and repeat with the remaining eggplant slices. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve.
    Rolling the Georgian eggplant rolls

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 518mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 112IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

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This recipe for Georgian stuffed eggplant rolls is sure to be a crowd-pleaser and it is one of the most delicious dishes in the country’s lexicon. They look impressive and it is sure to delight your vegan friends along with the strictest of carnivores!

Have you tried this recipe? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments!

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Maggie is the creator behind No Frills Kitchen. She is a world traveller, home cook and recipe developer who loves to experiment with new cuisines and techniques at every chance she gets. No stranger to improvising and making do with the equipment and ingredients she has available, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. Read More

4.69 from 16 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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