Khinkali is one of the most popular Georgian dishes. Dispute on its original roots will take us too far, but the fact is that Khinkali is an integral part of our mountain culture. It is assumed to be coming from Pshavi and has later spread throughout the whole Georgia.
Khinkali dough has to be hard, yeast-less and flexible. Made out of wholegrain wheat flour the dough gets a special taste. Second major ingredient of Khinkali is meat. Traditionally mountainous people use mutton, but after spreading the recipe in the lowlands pork and beef substituted the mutton. In Mountains people chop the meat very thinly, but now, it’s mostly been processed in the chopper. Mountain Khinkali is less juicy then the lowland version, but it’s still very delicious and fragrant thanks to the manually chopped fresh meat and the thyme-seasoned filling. Lowland cooks substitute thyme with cumin.
Apart from all that traditional Khinkali filling consists of minced onion, garlic, salt and pepper. A coriander or any other spices are not needed in Khinkali.
To make the filling juicy, there are few rules to follow:
- Mix the filling with fatty pork;
- Add some hot water to the filling;
- Knead hard and flexible dough which will keep whole during boiling and will preserve the juice.
Some housewives add ice-cubes to the filling – first of all to wrap the dumpling quickly and to keep it juicy. Preparing Khinkali with only beef is not quite recommended, as it’ll turn out hard and dry. The best option is mixing mutton, pork and beef.