Khinkali (also known as Chinkali or Xinkali) are stuffed pasta dumplings that are a favorite dish from the Country of Georgia. They are similar to Chinese Soup Dumplings, (Xiao Long Bao), but are much larger than their bite-sized cousins. These hearty little bags of goodness are typically served up on large platters and shared with friends.
There are several kinds of Khinkali. Typical varieties have stuffing made from cheese, mushrooms, lamb or potato, but the most common is a meaty stuffing made with pork and beef.
Once fully cooked, the meaty stuffing releases a rich broth into the center of the dumpling. This poses an interesting dilemma when it comes time to eating them.
How do you break into the dumpling without your plate, or you, becoming covered in broth? The ingenious inventors of this dumpling use an accordion-like fold to close it, resulting in a small handle at the top.
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How to Eat Khinkali (Chinkali)
The proper way to eat khinkali is to hold it by the handle with your fingers and then take a small bite from the top of the dumpling. Then you can blow on the broth to cool it. When it is cool enough to eat, you slurp out the broth, and then gobble the rest of the dumpling, and repeat.
The handle is traditionally discarded, which allows you to keep count of how many khinkali you have eaten. I’ve heard of people being able to amass up to 25 at a time, which to me is as remarkable as someone claiming to stop at one.
Khinkali often share a place at the table with another of the most popular dishes in Georgian Cuisine, Khachapuri (fresh baked bread stuffed with cheese), Georgia’s delicious alternative to pizza.
How to Make Georgian Khinkali Dumplings
Khinkali – Georgian Dumplings
Yield: 25 Dumplings
Khinkali - Georgian Beef and Pork Soup Dumplings
Khinkali are meaty stuffed dumplings that are a favorite dish from the Country of Georgia. They are similar to Chinese Soup Dumplings, (Xiao Long Bao), but are much larger than their bite-sized cousins.
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 pounds ground pork
4 tablespoons butter, softened (optional but recommended if using lean meat)
1 1/4 cups water
2 small onions, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small bunch cilantro with stems, minced (1/2 cup packed)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
For the Dough
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Combine all of the ingredients for the filling and set aside
Heat water until it is hot but not boiling.
Combine the water with sifted flour and salt.
When all of the ingredients are combined, begin to kneed the dough. The dough should be dry enough not to stick to your fingers. Continue to add small amounts of flour until a smooth ball is formed. The dough should be very stiff, similar to pie crust.
Cover the dough and all it to sit for 15 minutes in a warm dry place.
Knead for an additional 6 minutes, then set aside.
Cut the dough into 2 equal parts.
Roll the dough out on a clean floured surface.
Cut the dough into 3" rounds, using a form such as a cookie cutter.
Roll out each round until it is about 5 inches in diameter.
Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling in the center of the dough round.
Pin the dumpling using an accordion style fold.
Pinch the top tightly to ensure no filling can escape.
Place the dumplings in a pot of salted boiling water. When they float to the surface after about 7 minutes (bottom side up) they are done.
Place the dumplings on a serving platter.
Sprinkle with finely ground pepper (optional) and serve immediately.
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