Food Perestroika: Adventures in Eastern Bloc Cuisine, here's a recipe:
10 qt grape juice [white or purple depending on your color preference]
1 lb sugar
2 1/4 lb flour
2 lb walnuts halves (or almonds, dried fruits…)
- In a pot, reduce the grape juice over low heat for about 3 hours, progressively stirring in the sugar.
- Whisk in the flour [to avoid lumps, I would place the flour in a large bowl and progressively pour in the liquid while mixing] and return to a boil. The resulting mixture is called tartara.
- Thread the walnuts onto 1 ft-long pieces of string. Dip the strings into the hot tartara several times to obtain the desired thickness. Hang to dry for approximately 2 weeks, until the churchkhelas are still soft, but not sticky.
- Wrap in towels and allow to mature for 2 to 3 months. The churchkhelas will develop a thin layer of powdery sugar.
Inside detail photo from SF Weekly