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Khmeli Suneli – Georgian Spice Mix

Khmeli suneli, also known as Georgian five spice, is a savory seasoning mix that is at once spicy, aromatic and nutty. Its aroma and taste make it suitable for almost any dish: sauces, salads, soups, stews, savory pastry, rice, any kind of protein, as well as pickled vegetables, marinades and Georgian appetizers.

Chmeli Suneli in a Jar.

Every region has its own distinct palette of flavors and scents when it comes to cooking and the nation of Georgia is no exception. While Georgian cuisine is enjoyed liberally in many post-Soviet countries, it’s still an undiscovered culinary gem in much of the world.

Use this Georgian five spice blend in traditional Georgian dishes such as Georgian eggplant rolls with walnuts and Satsivi (a delicious, savory chicken dish with walnut sauce that comes together in just 20 minutes). It can also add an exotic flair to any dish you already normally make.

Khmeli suneli (or Chmeli Suneli) isn’t a single spice, but rather a made-up spice mix created during the Soviet Union era. 

As with all other Soviet products, the recipe was standardized. So the “original” recipe contained equal amounts of all the spices and herbs plus 0.1% saffron as it was (and is!) very expensive.

Adding more saffron would enhance the taste but increase the price during lean, socialist times. So today’s recipe uses a different ratio than the original as it is created for flavor, not standardized processing.

What’s in Khmeli Suneli?

Khmeli suneli is a mixture of:

  • ground fenugreek seeds,
  • coriander,
  • dill,
  • dried celery,
  • parsley,
  • basil,
  • summer savory
  • black peppercorns.

Some soviet markets will add salt to their blend, presumably for preservation. But it’s best to add to taste in your dish and leave it out of this blend.

Khmeli Suneli Ingredients on a Plate.

Khmeli suneli is not hot but spicy, aromatic, nutty and very fragrant. Its color is greenish-yellow because of the fenugreek, coriander and all the herbs.

Its aroma and taste make it suitable for almost any dish:

  • sauces (make sure to check this Georgian plum sauce – tkemali),
  • salads,
  • soups,
  • stews,
  • savory pastry,
  • rice,
  • beans,
  • pickled vegetables,
  • marinades
  • Georgian appetizers.

Alternate Ingredients For Khmeli Suneli Georgian Spice Blend

Some people choose to make a simplified version of the spice simply because of what they have on hand.

For the simplified version of khmeli suneli spice mix you will need: fenugreek, thyme, coriander, basil, dill, bay leaf, dried celery, peppermint, marjoram, parsley, savory (or you could use oregano if you don’t normally stock savory in your spice cabinet), red chili pepper and saffron.

Georgian Spice Mix in a Spoon.

Where To Use Georgian Five Spice

This versatile spice blend can be used just about anywhere! Let the Georgian spices boost the flavor of your favorite dishes.

It can be your new taco seasoning, garam masala, Chinese five spice, za’atar or Ras el Hanout because you very well might be tempted to put it in every dish you cook. 

The herbs in this dish not only give their flavor and taste, but also make this seasoning a very good body remedy. It even plays a role in traditional Georgian medicine.

Herbs are often appreciated for their flavor profiles and their health benefits are too often overlooked and under appreciated.

It’s believed that the substances contained inside the herbs can remove physical fatigue, improve mood and muscle tone, protect against viruses and infections, strengthen the immune system and help maintain good physical shape, when used in reasonable quantities.

This is, perhaps, why it’s often used in soups and stews in the winter months and is now often associated with comfort foods as well as elegant dishes. You can try it on your tempeh, use it in hearty soups like borscht, or sprinkle it on your favorite Buddha bowl.

How To Make & Store Your Georgian Five Spice Blend

To get the best flavor, you’ll make your spice blend from herbs that are as fresh and aromatic as possible and grind them together. Check this khmeli suneli web story to see how to make it.

In order to retain the fresh flavor, be sure to store your Chmeli Suneli in an airtight glass jar.

Keep it away from sunlight and heat.

It will last weeks up to several months with its flavors still strong this way.

This recipe makes around 60 grams or 1/4 cup of khmeli suneli. Double the amounts if you want to make a bigger batch.

Georgian Spices and Chili Peppers Flatlay.

Top Tips

  • Khmeli suneli is not hot but spicy, aromatic, nutty and fragrant that makes it a perfect addition to a variety of dishes, including sauces (tkemali), salads, soups, stews, savory pastry, rice, any kind of protein, as well as pickled vegetables, marinades and Georgian appetizers like eggplant rolls with walnuts.
  • If your herbs are too coarse, use a coffee grinder to grind them.
  • Store chmeli suneli in an airtight glass jar and keep away from sunlight and heat.
  • It will last for up to 6 months until the flavors start to fade.
  • This recipe makes about 60 grams or 1/4 cup. Double the amounts to make a bigger batch.

Recipe Variations

  • For the simplified version of khmeli suneli use the following ingredients: fenugreek, thyme, coriander, basil, dill, bay leaf, dried celery, peppermint, marjoram, parsley, savory (or oregano), red chili pepper and saffron.
 

 

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4 from 3 votes

Khmeli Suneli - Georgian Five Spice

Khmeli suneli, also known as Georgian five spice, is a savory seasoning mix that is at once spicy, aromatic and nutty. Its aroma and taste make it suitable for almost any dish: sauces, salads, soups, stews, savory pastry, rice, any kind of protein, as well as pickled vegetables, marinades and Georgian appetizers.
Course Sauce, Seasoning mix
Cuisine Georgian
Keyword chmeli suneli, georgian five spice, georgian spice mix, georgian spices, khmeli suneli
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 10 servings (this recipe makes around 60 grams or 1/4 cup of khmeli suneli)
Calories 5kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl or a jar and stir well. Enjoy!

Notes

Top Tips

  • Khmeli suneli is not hot but spicy, aromatic, nutty and fragrant that makes it a perfect addition to a variety of dishes, including sauces (tkemali), salads, soups, stews, savory pastry, rice, any kind of protein, as well as pickled vegetables, marinades and Georgian appetizers like eggplant rolls with walnuts.
  • If your herbs are too coarse, use a coffee grinder to grind them.
  • Store chmeli suneli in an airtight glass jar and keep away from sunlight and heat.
  • It will last for up to 6 months until the flavors start to fade.
  • This recipe makes about 60 grams or 1/4 cup. Double the amounts to make a bigger batch.

Recipe Variations

  • For the simplified version of khmeli suneli use the following ingredients: fenugreek, thyme, coriander, basil, dill, bay leaf, dried celery, peppermint, marjoram, parsley, savory (or oregano), red chili pepper and saffron.

Equipment

coffee grinder
glass jar
measuring spoons

Nutrition

Serving: 5g | Calories: 5kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 23IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
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Khmeli Suneli Spice Mix Pinterest Image
Recipe Rating




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About Elena Szeliga

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Elena Szeliga is the founder of Happy Kitchen.Rocks, where she shares delicious and healthy vegetarian and vegan food, from weeknight dinners to veganized classics and gourmet appetizers. Her recipes have been featured at Better Homes & Gardens, BuzzFeed, Country Living, The Kitchn and Reader’s Digest. Her mission is to help cook easy vegetarian and vegan meals with simple and fresh ingredients. Read more about Elena.

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