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Tkemali, Georgian Wild Plum Sauce
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Tkemali, Georgian Wild Plum Sauce

Tkemali plum sauce

Tkemali is a traditional Georgian sauce. It is sour, sweet and slightly hot, and has a very fresh flavor. It is traditionally made of Tkemali plum.

wild plums
wild plums on the ground

It goes well with literally any dish; it is even good on its own. It is way better than ketchup! Preparation time is about one hour. it is also an ingredient in Kharcho soup, together with Adjika, which is another Georgian sauce!

Tkemali Sauce Recipe

You will need:

5 cups of wild plums

wild plums for tkemali sauce 2
wild plums for tkemali sauce

This is the closest match to Tkemali plums. You can use the unripe or ripe ones depending on your taste. If you can’t get this kind of plums, then regular round plums will do.

plum sauce
Plum sauce

5-6 garlic cloves

1 chili pepper. You can vary the quantity to your taste

20 grams of cilantro (coriander)

20 grams of peppermint

20 grams of dill

½  teaspoon of Khmeli-Suneli spice, alternatively you can use Za’atar seasoning

1 teaspoon of salt

3-4 teaspoons of sugar, or less, according to taste

2 tablespoons of olive oil is optional

1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar is optional

herbs for tkemali sauce

Boil plums in a small pot (minimal amount of water) for about 20 min or until their skin begins to peel and crack. Alternatively, you can steam them in a steam basket or steam oven.

wild plums for tkemali sauce boiled 2

Drain the excess of water, once ready. Puree the plums through a sieve by pushing.

You can use a whisk or any other convenient utensil to puree the plums through the sieve.

boiled wild plums and the sieve

Pits and skin that remain can be discarded.

Put the puree back into the saucepan and turn on to medium heat. Add Khmeli-suneli spice, sugar and oil. 

wild plum paste

Simmer until the puree reaches ketchup consistency.

Blend the rest of the ingredients in a blender; avoid blending too finely. Herbs, garlic and chili pepper should appear as if they are finely chopped. You can also chop them with a knife instead.

chopped herbs for tkemali sauce

Mix all the blended ingredients into the plum puree and add vinegar.

herbs and wild plum paste

Boil for about 5 more minutes. 

Once the sauce is cooled down, it is ready.

tkemali sauce ready

It can safely be kept in a refrigerator for two weeks. 

ready to eat tkemali sauce

Once again, Tkemali sauce goes well with everything or on its own!

ready to eat tkemali sauce 2

If you can’t find plums, try this easy Tkemali sauce variation recipe!

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