Today we will talk about the spice khmeli-suneli, which we often use in our sauces. About its taste and smell, about what is included in suneli hops and how to make it at home yourself.
- 1 What are khmeli-suneli
- 2 Benefits and harms
- 3 Use in cooking
- 4 How to make suneli hops at home
- 5 How to replace seasoning
- 6 Where to buy, how to select and store
What are khmeli-suneli
Under this name lies a whole combination of different spices and culinary herbs. The literal translation of khmeli-suneli from Georgian is “dry spice”. There are 2 main options:
- basic (consisting of 6 spices);
- full (12).
What does it look like
The spice hops-suneli is free-flowing, with a fine fraction. All ingredients are ground almost into powder, so dry khmeli-suneli is close in consistency to curry. As you can see in the photo, the main color is yellowish-green, but there are light yellow and bright red grains.
What does the spice consist of?
As mentioned above, the composition of the Georgian seasoning khmeli-suneli comes in 2 versions – full and basic. Moreover, both cooking methods are used equally in Georgian cuisine. The abbreviated khmeli-suneli seasoning includes the following list of ingredients:
- hot red pepper.
Now – about the full version. In addition to the above, it includes herbs:
- Bay leaf;
- fenugreek (seeds);
Each ingredient that is part of the seasoning is added there in the same volume. There are only 2 exceptions – red pepper and saffron. Therefore, the composition is formed as follows:
- hot pepper – 1% or 2% of the total mass (depending on the preferences of the cook);
- saffron – 0.1%;
- all other ingredients are in equal volumes relative to each other.
But since there is no GOST regulating the precise composition of the seasoning, you can find a variety of combinations in stores. It’s worth reading in advance on the packaging what herbs are included in the khmeli-suneli.
The original seasoning doesn’t have any “bits” in it. If they are present, most likely they appeared there to replace the traditional plant included in the hop-suneli. Sometimes, in order to reduce the cost, manufacturers disguise the absence of expensive spices with flavorings.
Khmeli-suneli seasoning, consisting of non-original components, also tastes good, but the traditional version still cannot be compensated for.
Taste and smell
The Georgian spice hops-suneli is moderately bitter, just a little hot. The original does not include salt, but some brands tend to add it.
The aroma of suneli hops is well-defined, spicy, slightly nutty. You can also notice nutty notes in the aftertaste.
Benefits and harms
The beneficial properties of suneli hops form a large list. It contains many plants, and each has its own undeniable advantages. If we list only the main advantages, then the seasoning:
- normalizes the activity of the gastrointestinal tract;
- improves immunity;
- has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system;
- removes excess fluid from the body.
Now let’s look at the beneficial qualities of individual spices from its composition. It is more convenient to do this in the form of a table.
|Helps remove waste and toxins. Helps in the treatment of respiratory diseases. Increases the elasticity of blood vessels.
|Acts as an antipyretic. Accelerates the body’s recovery after illness. Increases immunity.
|Natural antiseptic. Normalizes blood pressure.
|Stimulates the production of serotonin. Reduces the risk of developing cancer and anemia.
|Improves appetite and digestion.
|Calms the nervous system. Promotes digestion.
|Reduces the risk of blood clots. Reduces the load on the kidneys and blood vessels.
|Stimulates collagen formation. Lowers blood sugar and blood pressure.
|Good choleretic. Normalizes the condition of the gastric mucosa.
|Relieves inflammation. Speeds up metabolism. Helps remove fluid from the body.
|Good anti-inflammatory. Has expectorant properties for coughs.
|Helps the pancreas produce enzymes. Facilitates the digestion of “heavy” foods. Increases immunity.
Of course, hops-suneli have harm and contraindications. People with:
- diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and digestive system;
- liver diseases;
- allergic reactions to any of the ingredients.
Application for weight loss
Khmeli-suneli seasoning often appears in various diets. The main reason for this is celery, which has the so-called “negative calorie content”. But other spices used in suneli hops also have properties that promote weight loss.
Of course, spice alone is not enough – you also need to follow a proper diet and be physically active. A person’s diet should not contain fatty foods; the consumption of fried and flour foods should be controlled. Only then will the mixture of spices be truly beneficial.
But regular consumption of dishes with this seasoning really improves the functioning of the digestive system and speeds up metabolism. If a person is trying to lose weight, it should be added to the diet.
Use in cooking
The spice khmeli-suneli is familiar to many people since childhood. But there are also those who met it for the first time and are interested in where to add suneli hops to make it tasty.
What dishes are they added to?
So, where to add suneli hops? First of all, the spice mixture is perfect for most dishes of Caucasian cuisine:
- kharcho (hops-suneli in kharcho are generally an integral part of the traditional recipe);
- and many other dishes.
Often a mixture of spices is used in:
- meat dishes;
- marinade for meat and fish;
- legume dishes;
- fried vegetables.
You can safely add this spice mixture to each of these dishes. And if you are interested in what you can replace Suneli hops with, this will be discussed further in the article.
What goes with it?
Having found out which dishes khmeli-suneli is suitable for, it is worth learning about the most successful combinations. So, it is best to use suneli hops with:
- beef and veal;
- poultry (especially chicken and turkey);
In general, this seasoning is a suitable option in almost any situation. But the seasoning must be added literally 3-4 minutes before the dish is ready. The fact is that if spices undergo long-term heat treatment, they lose most of their taste and aroma.
How to make suneli hops at home
It was already mentioned above that the composition of the seasoning is not regulated by GOST. Therefore, there is a possibility that you will not be able to find the original composition of 12 spices in stores. Then you can mix it by hand. All ingredients are sold separately.
The recipe for khmeli-suneli is very simple:
- Prepare all the herbs listed above in the section “What does a spice consist of?” (except for red pepper and saffron – they are added later). All plants must be dried. The quantities of all ingredients must be the same.
- Grind the herbs to a powder in a mill, coffee grinder or regular mortar.
- Mix crushed spices.
- Add hot red pepper. Its amount is from 1% to 2% of the total mass. For example, if the seasoning weighs 100 g, you need no more than 2 g of pepper.
- Add saffron. Its amount is no more than 0.1%.
- To stir thoroughly.
The proportions of khmeli-suneli never change. If you “overdo it” with any component, the taste of the seasoning will deteriorate. It is not recommended to prepare the mixture for future use, since it quickly loses its aromatic properties.
How to replace seasoning
If the required seasoning is not available in the store, or a person is allergic to one of the ingredients, you can choose a replacement. Usually suneli hops are replaced with the following seasonings:
- fenugreek seeds (have a similar aroma);
- curry (the smell is also similar, but the taste will be milder);
- a combination of thyme, rosemary and turmeric.
These options will not be a complete replacement, but they will also greatly decorate any dish. And to make it spicier, you can add a little red pepper.
Utskho-suneli is very similar to it, but it is much less rich in composition. Read about how they differ in our article about utskho-suneli.
Where to buy, how to select and store
Khmeli-suneli seasoning is sold in any supermarket and most grocery stores. It is made by most brands that make seasonings and spices.
When choosing a spice, you should pay attention to the composition. There should be no “chemical” ingredients in it – only natural herbs. Various “eeshki” appear in the composition due to the manufacturer’s desire to save money. As a rule, they indicate that an expensive natural spice has been replaced with flavoring.
In addition, some people add salt to the composition. This does not impair the taste in any way, but it is worth taking this into account when preparing the dish.
It is better to choose seasoning in glass jars – it costs more, but it is stored longer without loss of taste and aroma. If you bought the mixture in a paper bag or foil package, at home you should immediately pour it into a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Store in a dry, dark place away from direct sunlight. In this state, the seasoning can “live” up to 2 years.