Georgian Pickled Plum Sauce (Tkemali) Recipe
1 pound plums, underipe, red
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh, or more to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, hot, or more to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, minced fresh or dill
Fill a large saucepan half full of water and bring to a boil over medium-
high heat. Immerse the plums in the water for 1 minute, then drain and
rinse under cold running water. Slip off the skins, using a sharp paring
knife. Cut each plum around its circumference all the way to the stone,
then twist the halves in opposite directions to separate them. Use a spoon
to pop out the stone. Cut each plum half in half again.
Combine the plums, water, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, the oil, garlic,
coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes in a small
nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat
to low and simmer, covered, until the plums are very soft, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and process to a smooth
purée. Return the purée to the saucepan and stir in the cilantro. Bring to
a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer
until the sauce is reduced to about 2 cups, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper flakes,
or lemon juice as necessary; the sauce should be highly seasoned. Cool to
room temperature and serve at once, or store, tightly covered in the
refrigerator, for up to 2 weeks. Makes 2 cups.
Note: Prepare rhubarb as described above in step 2, substituting 1 pound
fresh rhubarb, trimmed and diced, for the plums. You may need a tablespoon
or so more sugar to balance the rhubarb's acidity.