Beetroot – a good friend in my kitchen


Beetroot can be found in my fridge pretty much anytime of the year. It makes frequent appearances at the KinoVino table too, including my favourite beetroot incarnation – pkhali (a spicy Georgian beetroot and walnut dip). Here’s it’s close cousin from Iran – borani. When I made this particular version I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients, so again this is a slight variation on the theme.


3-4 beetroots (ready cooked)

small (actually tiny) clove of garlic

juice of lemon

Greek yoghurt

apple cider vinegar (organic, unpasteurised)

feta cheese



olive oil (organic, cold pressed)



Grate the beetroot and then quickly pulse it in a food processor or with a hand blender.

Crush the garlic clove with salt; add to the beetroot pure.

Sprinkle with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and olive oil.

Add a good teas spoonful of yoghurt and mix well.

Transfer into a good-looking tapas-style dish.

Roughly break up the feta cheese, walnuts and coriander leaves and place on top.

Add the last drop of olive oil and serve immediately with a warm pitta bread, sourdough toast or flaxseed crackers.


A beautiful Spring lunch


KinoVino was born after years and years of hosting dinner parties for friends and family. When I knew I was almost ready to take that transitional step, I organised a pre-KinoVino private recipe testing session with my nearest and dearest girlfriends. Here’s what happened.

As this was a beautiful Spring Sunday, I wanted to reflect the mood not only in the food but also in the setting. I went for light rustic style that seemed so fitting for a spring Sunday. Tea towels make perfect place-mats and napkins. I never use napkin rings, but just arrange them directly on a plate, often wrapping the cutlery in them. As I completely forgot to get the name tags, I had to do a bit of last-minute improvisation. Who knew that parchment paper can do such a great job! And of course, a stalk of rosemary adds this elegant finish to the look. I really can’t get enough of this amazing herb, not only it tastes and smells amazing, it is so good-looking and photogenic. Tangerines, oranges or apples also play a seminal role in setting the mood for the table. They add a lovely touch of colour and the best thing is that you can eat them at any point during your meal.


The good-old rosemary played an important role in our drinks too. I can’t recommend this cocktail enough:

Pomegranate and elderflower cordial (the amount depends on how intense you like the flavour)

Prosecco (or sparkling mineral water for a soft version)

Pomegranate seeds

Rosemary leaves (can put as many or as little as you like)

Mix it all around and ENJOY!

This cocktail can be enjoyed while you are making the star of the show – the Vegan Nut Roast. So here’s the recipe.


60 gr raw walnuts

60 gr raw pine nuts

60 gr raw almonds

100 gr raw brazil nuts

1/2 white onion

1 garlic clove

1 tomato

20 gr fresh parsley

a handful of button mushrooms

3 tsp of vegan butter or coconut cooking butter (odourless)

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp chili

1/4 ground coriander

1/4 all-spice

1 tbsp of brown rice vinegar

pinch of salt and pepper to taste


Put all ingredients in a processor and blend them together well.

Line a bread tin with parchment paper and pour the mixture.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C and roast for 30-40 minutes.

For decoration chop a portobello and place the slices on top just a few minutes before taking the roast out of the over. Once you have tried this spicy and rich dish, you will never go back to your traditional roast.

To accompany the loaf, I made some roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes as well as roasted root veggies.

What a perfect Sunday it was and it made me perfectly confident for launch the first KinoVino session!


Shakshuka a.k.a the perfect hangover brunch


The very minor downside of hosting cinema-dining club nights is that you hardly ever have a chance to eat, but somehow, I always have a chance to sip on a glass (or two) of wine. As a result the post-KinoVino days are usually accompanied by a bit of a hangover. And this is where this beauty comes in. Of course, you don’t have to be hangover to enjoy it, but the pleasure of the experience does intensify if you are in that slightly magical/slightly painful state, the echo of the night before.

This recipe is originally inspired by  Jerusalem but always I feel very free to improvise and of course this means throwing adjika into the mix.


1-2 red peppers

4 cloves of garlic

3-4 ripe tomatoes

4 organic medium eggs

1 tbs of tomato paste

1 tsp of ajika

a pinch of ground cumin (cumin seeds work just fine too)

a handful of coriander leaves


1. Heat some olive oil in a deep frying pan

2. Finely chop garlic and dice red peppers

3. Fry in the olive oil till begin to soften

4. Add tomato paste, roughly chopped tomatoes, ajika and ground cumin. Allow to simmer until all ingredients turn into a thick red sauce

5. Make four little holes in the sauce and carefully break an egg into each

6. Once the eggs are cooked to your preferred consistency, take off the heat and sprinkle with some fresh coriander leaves

7. Take a deep breath to envelop yourself in the aroma and tuck in immediately. Don’t waste your time plating up!

Serves 2 (if the other person gets a chance)


The best dinner party centre piece


Recipe from KinoVino3: Flavours of the Pomegranate 

Here is one of my ‘signature’ party treats, which has been tested (quite successfully) on my friends at numerous house-parties. It was equally successful at KinoVino3 when I made a more authentic Georgian versions of this. Not only does it taste great but the best part about this dish really is the preparation – it’s a fine work of a jeweller. Patience, precision and a steady hand are prerequisites. So here’s what you do.

To make the amount shown on the picture you will need

4 aubergines

8-10 baby peppers

1/2 pack of feta cheese (forget about it if you are opting for the authentic Georgian thing)

1/2 pack of walnuts

1 bouquet of fresh coriander

1 tea spoon of ajika

olive oil

sea salt


Pre-heat the grill.

Cut one of the four aubergines in the middle, sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt, and put under the grill.

Sprinkle the baby peppers with olive oil and some salt and place under the grill, to keep aubergines company.

Using a very sharp knife slice the rest of the aubergines length-wise into very thin, almost see-through strips. Make sure they are thin enough to be rolled but also strong enough to hold the stuffing.

Place them on the non-stick frying pan (no oil) and cook until they turn golden brown.

Once the veggies under the grill are ready (don’t be afraid to burn them a bit), take them away from the grill.

Place the peppers in an air-tight jar and forget about them for a bit.

Using a spoon separate the flesh of the aubergine from its burnt skin and place in a bowl.

To that bowl add the rest of the ingredients and blend using a hand blender. Add olive oil to ensure smooth but solid consistency of the paste.

Once the paste is ready spread it over the aubergine strips and roll them carefully so they don’t burst.

Now is time to remember about your peppers. Take them out of the jar and peel off the skin (a very tricky procedure). Using a spoon or a (homemade) pastry bag fill the peppers with the paste. If you have even more time on your hands you can make a grilled pepper paste to fill your peppers (just substitute grilled aubergine flesh with that of the peppers).

Lay out in a dish and sprinkle with some pomegranate seeds and dried mint.

Your guests will be blown away by this party treat and might ask to move in with you!

My love affair with adjika


A version of this recipe was used at KinoVino3: Flavours of the Pomegranate

One of the (very few) perks of growing up in the Soviet Union for me was the exposure to the vibrant cuisine of different Soviet republics. My preference always went to food from Georgia. The abundance of herbs, nuts and spices always attracted me and the key ingredient that stole my heart was adjika – a red spicy powder or paste with subtle smokey, nutty taste. It has some ancestral connections to Indian curry and bares some resemblance to the North African harissa. Adjika can be added to pretty much any (savoury) dish and here is my absolute favourite recipe:

Red kidney bean stew with feta, walnuts and coriander; my own variation on a traditional Georgian bean stew called ‘lobio’.


1 tin of red kidney beans

1 onion

2-3 cloves of garlic (the amount is really up to you)

2-3 ripe tomatoes

1-2 tbs of tomato paste

1 tsp of adjika paste(again adjust the amount according to your taste)

handful of walnuts

1/3 pack of feta cheese

fresh coriander leaves

1/2 unwaxed lemon


Dice the onion and finely chops the garlic.

Fry in olive oil over medium heat in a deep pan or a pot until almost cooked.

Add tomato paste, adjika and chopped tomatoes; wait for the bubbles to appear.

Reduce heat. Add red kidney beans and allow them to soak up the flavours (aprox. 15-20 mins)

Chop walnuts and coriander leaves. Crumble the feta cheese.

Remove from heat and stir in the ingredients above.

Allow for feta to melt and let the stew sit for a few minutes. Plate the fiery mixture and squeeze a bit or a lot of lemon juice before serving. Add a few coriander leaves for decoration.

Seat tightly and prepare to be blown away by the unique flavours and textures of this dish. A chunky bit of sourdough to mop up the sauce would not be a bad idea, though a bread-free option is just as delicious!

Note: this recipe does not require salt, as feta and adjika paste will do the trick. It also works equally well without the feat (like in these pictures, if you are opting for a vegan meal)


KinoVino Press

My very young project has had some lovely articles written about it. I am very thrilled and grateful, and can’t wait to see what’s more to come. You can read about the August events by following these links.

A wonderful post about KinoVino3: The Flavour of Pomegranate in an arts blog by Ben Mirza

An article about KinoVinoViy: a special Ukrainian edition with my dearest Olia Hercules in Angliya newspaper (in Russian, I am afraid)