Tqemali is a cold accompaniment to meals when a soury tang is required (goes well with Kofte kebabs I found) and I have interpreted as best I can Mediko Gvetadze’s recipe, which she dishes up in her wonderful homestay in Kutaisi. Unlike some culinary fascists who insist on there being only one way of doing a dish she was happy to say that plums can be wholly or partially substituted with apples, red/black grapes or pomegranates and quantities can suit personal taste. Hence feel free to improvise and give me your feedback. Unripe and thus sour plums should be used but a portion of sweet ones is perfectly acceptable. Although Georgian cooking is often spicy but this isn’t some kind of vindaloo ketchup designed to strip the varnish off your floorboards so give it some bite but don’t go mad with the hot pepper
4 Tbs each fresh coriander, dill and mint, finely chopped
1/2 bulb garlic, peeled and chopped
Hot pepper flakes to suit taste
Sugar to suit taste
Cover the plums with water and boil just long enough to permit removal of skins and stones by forcing the contents through a colander. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the sugar and simmer for at least half an hour so that the sauce reduces to a thick consistency. Add sugar if too sour. Other variations include ground cumin and lemon or vinegar to boost the sour taste in which case sugar is vital. Some may puree it but I am happy with some texture.
If you are going to keep it for a while: store in a sterilized bottle with a layer of oil on the surface to keep the air out.