Zesty Cranberry Sauce in the manner of Georgian Plum Sauce (Tkemali)

By • November 17, 2012 7 Comments

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Author Notes: Tkemali (pronounced: tigah-molly) is a condiment eaten with meat dishes in Georgia and Azerbaijan and is as popular as ketchup. It makes a great companion with any barbecued meat. It is originally made with sour cherry plums (green or red). My Azerbaijani grandmother made hers with green cherry plums, not commonly found in the US. I substitute cranberries for the plums.cookingProf

Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 12 ounces Fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 3/4 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 tablespoon Sugar
  • 3 Cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 Bunch fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems finely chopped)
  1. Put the cranberries in a small stainless steel (or any other non-reactive) pot. Add 3/4 cup water and cook over medium heat until the cranberries are tender (about 10 minutes). Cool for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Press the cooked cranberries through a very fine sieve to separate the pulp and seeds. Discard the pulp and seeds.
  3. Add the salt, sugar, and red pepper flakes to the sauce and let it cool. Blend in the minced garlic and chopped cilantros. Transfer to a glass jar. This sauce will keep for 3-4 days. The cilantro may lose its fresh aroma and crunch past that. Tkemali is a great condiment for the Thanksgiving turkey and its leftover turkey sandwiches.
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Comments (7) Questions (0)


over 1 year ago Meredith

thank you for this recipe! I spent a month in Georgia and have been trying to find a way to recreate tkemali!!


about 2 years ago Kukla

cookingProf, I think this is a perfect recipe for the barbeque contest and would suggest entering it.


about 2 years ago cookingProf

Thanks for the encouragement, Kukla! I took the advice of the master cook that you are and just entered it in the barbecue contest.


about 2 years ago Kukla

I am very glad and hope it will at least get a Community Pick!And thanks for your kind words.


over 2 years ago Fig and Quince

How very interesting! I am unfamiliar with this and would love to try it.


over 2 years ago cookingProf

Kukla, It is nice to learn that there are other Tkemali lovers out there. Making the sauce ahead of time and adding the cilantro at the time of serving is very clever idea. Pomegranates is a great twist for this sauce.


over 2 years ago Kukla

I know and love Tkemali. This sauce is so delicious as a condiment for any meat, but especially prepared on the grille. It was very clever of you cookingProf, to make Tkemali from cranberries; I think pomegranate would also work very well in this recipe; just it is a lot more complicated to peel and get 12oz of the pomegranate seeds. By the way Georgians and Azerbaijani use Cilantro (Kinza) very often in their dishes. For a longer shelf life, I think it is better to cook Tkemali with dried spices such coriander, fenugreek and cinnamon, and just before serving add the fresh cilantro. Thank you for the recipe!