If you have heard about Georgia, there is no chance you do not know about Khinkali- arguably the most iconic dish in a Georgian cuisine. Whoever tastes it, falls in love with it immediately and I thought to myself- why shouldn’t I write an article about one of the most delicious dish in the whole world?
In this article, you’ll learn about the history of Khinkali, recipe of it, how to it it and where to taste the best one in Tbilisi!
History Of Khinkali; The Origins
Khinkali is not just a dish for Georgians, it is a huge part of our culture. Some believe, that the first form of the dish was brought to Georgia by Mongolians that had Chinese influence on them.
But most of the researchers say otherwise: They believe that the dish was created in a mountainous region of Georgia- Pshavi and the recipe was spread all around the country.
Some researchers believe, that khinkali looks like borjgali, a very important Georgian symbol of the sun and an infinite movement of life that could have been integrated in our cuisine too, but this has never been proved and is just a belief.
There also are some myths about creation of Khinkali in mountainous regions of Georgia: as some believe, a woman named Khinda created this dish to the respected guests; some believe, that Khinkali was created by the sister of a boy that had his teeth smashed, so he could have had some tender dish to enjoy. But these are just some myths.
What Do We Need To Prepare The Best Khinkali?
What is needed to prepare Khinkali? First of all, hard, unleavened, elastic dough. Flour made out of whole-grained wheat gives Khinkali unique taste to it. Second important ingredient is ground-beef that is mixed with onions, little garlic, pepper, salt and some Georgian spices.
One of the keys to delicious Khinkali is its juiciness and for that you need to take some details into consideration: In your mixed ground-beef with pork, the last said has to be fatty; you have to add boiled water to your meat; the dough has to be hard and elastic, so it does not pop and lose its juice while boiling. Some housewives add ice cubes to the ground-beef, as they say that it’s easier to wrap them first and keep them juicy.
Its Majesty- The Recipe
Now, let’s talk about the recipe. What you’ll need for the dough is:
- 1.5 Kg of all purpose flour
- 500-650 ml water
- 2-3 tablespoon salt
water has to be the room temperature; with colder water, it will be even harder kneading the dough. Add 600 ml of water first. Knead dough in the bowl first and then place it on the table and keep kneading. If it is too hard, add the excess 50 ml water to it.
Some words on the main part of Khinkali: In my opinion, mixed pork and beef together make the best combination, but you can also use just beef that is fatter. Proportions:
- 1.5 kg mixed and minced beef
- 3-5 onions
- 1-2 teaspoon cumin, unpowdered
- 1 garlic clove
- 1-1 bunch of coriander and parsley
- red pepper flakes
- little bit of black pepper
- 2-2.5 cup of boiled water
Of course, you can use as much of spices as you want, but don’t forget that the most important thing is to have a balance between meat and spices.
Add spices and all of the condiments to the meat; mix well.
What you have to do next is putting the bowl of water on the fire, do not forget adding salt.
Next, you have to flatten the dough, create little circles as shown on the pic and flatten it even more.
add a spoon of beef on the dough and wrap it up while creating wrinkles. After the water is boiled, put your them in the water and stir it, so they do not stick to each other. Whenever it’s ready, it will float on the top of the water.
All is left to do is taking them out of water and enjoying your delicious meal.
How To Eat Khinkali
The only way to eat the dish is with your hands- if you use fork, you might upset some Georgians. The key is not to spill any juice on your plate. Bite it carefully, because it is hot, and then slowly drink the juice inside. Enjoy your delicious experience with Khinkali!
Where Can I find The Best Khinkali In Tbilisi?
I would highly recommend visiting Amo-Rame, where they serve traditional, home-made khinkali, which they serve only on the weekends. Many believe that “Amo-Rame” serves the best dish in the city.
A charming place that we discovered thanks to a relative living in Tbilisi. We had an excellent time with friends, sitting at the big table in the back room, and letting the kids play. The menu is a mix of traditional Georgian food and kids-friendly options like pizza or french fries. Highly recommend for dinners with family or friends!A review from Tripadvisor
If you are looking for more of a traditional experience, I would highly recommend visiting Khinkali House.
You know before we visited this place we used to like khinkali in all the restaurants. We thought they are the same everywhere. After eating them in Khinkali house we like them only there! Really amazing. We like the ones with meat and herbs. Sooo good! A lot of meat and spices. Simply the best!A review from Tripadvisor