Badrijani (Eggplant Rolls with Walnut Filling)

By: The Local Palate
Eggplant Rolls

Chef Iryna Tarasenko of Keipi in Greenville, South Carolina shares a recipe for badrijani: eggplant rolls with walnut filling. This traditional Georgian (Republic of Georgia) dish features baked eggplant with a savory filling of walnuts, herbs, and spices, topped with tart pomegranate seeds. Meant to be shared across a table, these chilled, colorful eggplant rolls are reminiscent of the Keipi’s celebratory nature.

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Serves 4-6

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 whole medium-sized eggplants*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for brushing, plus another 2 teaspoons for sautéing
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 3⁄4 cups walnut pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons blue fenugreek
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh pomegranate arils
  • Cilantro leaves and more pomegranate arils for garnish

  • *Note: The larger the eggplant, the more seeds you will be contending with. A medium-sized eggplant with fewer seeds will make the roll sturdier.
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix chili powder and coarse salt in a small bowl.
  2. Using a mandolin slicer (or sharp knife), trim eggplants and cut length- wise to a thickness of 3⁄8 to 5⁄8 of an inch. (This should yield about 14 to 16 slices.) Lay eggplant slices on a baking sheet and brush each side with olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with salt-chili powder blend and bake on a center rack for 9 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  3. While eggplant cools, in a medium pan sauté onion in 2 teaspoons olive oil until soft and translucent.
  4. In a food processor, combine sautéed onion, walnut pieces, garlic, cilantro, blue fenugreek, vinegar,1⁄4 cup warm water, and kosher salt. Blend until smooth. By hand, fold pomegranate seeds into blended walnut-garlic spread.
  5. On one side of each cooled eggplant slice, spread a thin layer (approximately 1⁄8 inch) of the filling, then roll slice into a cylinder. Chill badrijani for 20 to 30 minutes, then garnish with a cilantro leaf and a few pomegranate arils and serve.
  • Recipe By
    Iryna Tarasenko of Keipi in Greenville, South Carolina
  • Contributing City

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