I hope you have soaked your red kidney beans for lobio, and all you need now is mchadi to dip in it. Well, to be perfectly honest, you also need suluguni cheese which is a semi-soft quite salty combination of cow or buffalo and goat milk, but a goat cheese or a somewhat saltier feta cheese will do (more or less).
While your lobio is cooking, get your mchadi ingredients ready. That’s easy, as there are only two, cornmeal and water.
Generally, equal amounts of cornmeal and water should be used, but it very much depends on the kind of cornmeal. There is also a difference of opinions as to which cornmeal to use for mchadi, yellow or white. I prefer yellow, finely ground, as it has a more distinct roasted corn flavor when fried, but you might want to try the white variety. Since there is a very slim chance of getting suluguni cheese anywhere but in Georgia (a country, not a state), and I try to stay away from dairy products altogether, I just add a pinch of salt. You pour cornmeal into a bowl, pour water into it, and start mixing. I usually start with 3/4 water to the amount of cornmeal, just in case. If it feels dry and falls apart, add some more water. The water should bind it but not make it mushy.
When you are satisfied that the cornmeal holds together, form a ball the size of a tennis ball, then flatten it on the palm of your hand and shape an oval. Carefully drop it into a preheated frying pan sprayed with oil. If some crumbs fall off in the process, don’t worry. Small crumbs do not matter, and large crumbs should be pushed back towards mchadi. Frying oil will make them stick back to the oval. Place mchadi at some distance from each other, to make it easier to flip. Cover and fry for about 8 – 10 minutes on medium heat, until golden and crispy on the bottom.
When you see the edges turning crispy, flip them and fry uncovered on the other side for another 8 – 10 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel to blot excess oil. Serve hot, with lobio, or any spicy soups or salads, and salty semi-soft cheese.
I wish this kantsi (horn) were filled with Kinzmarauli or Napareuli or better yet, my favorite Rkatsiteli or Tsinandali, but unfortunately, even though all of them, and some more famous Georgian wines, are produced under the hechsher by some wineries, the kosher ones are not sold in the U.S. Don’t ask me why – I’ll take the 5th on this! But do I really have to go to Israel to drink a kosher Georgian wine? Georgians claim that the word WINE itself originated from Georgia where evidence of viticulture dates back to neolithic period – that’s about 8,000 years ago! Oh well, we’ll settle for Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon, highly recommended by odedi’s Wine Review, that we know and like, as we like most wines from Golan Heights Winery.
- 2 cups finely ground cornmeal, yellow or white
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups of cold water, or more if needed
- a pinch of salt to taste
- Preheat frying pan, spray with oil.
- Mix cornmeal and water until it holds together as a mass. Keep adding water, if necessary, but be careful not to make it mushy.
- Form balls the size of tennis balls, flatten in your palm and shape into ovals. Drop into frying pan.
- Fry covered for 8 – 10 minutes, or until edges appear crispy and golden. Turn over.
- Fry uncovered for another 8 – 10 minutes, until both sides are golden and crispy.
- Remove to a plate lined with paper towel to blot excess oil.
- This will make 8 mchadi. Serve hot.