Khinkali are Georgian soup dumplings. In the high Caucasus mountains of Kazbegi, the khinkali are usually stuffed with lightly spiced meat.
This filling can be made of ground beef, pork, or a mixture of both. Make sure there is some fat in the filling; if the meat is very lean, add an extra 2 tablespoons of butter or oil to the mixture. Meat khinkali are supposed to be juicy and your aim is to trap some of the rich broth inside the dumplings.
(Adapted from Tasting Georgia; A Food and Wine Journey in the Caucasus by Carla Capalbo)
What You Will Need
For the Dough:
- 2 cups (9 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- Olive or canola oil for greasing
For the Filling:
- 3 1⁄2 oz. ground beef
- 3 1⁄2 oz. ground pork
- 1⁄2 cup beef or pork stock
- 1⁄3 cup (1½ oz.) white onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1⁄4 tsp. medium-hot fresh chili, such as Fresno, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 tsp. dried kondari (summer savory) or thyme
- 1⁄4 tsp. coriander seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle
- 1⁄4 tsp. caraway seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle
- 1⁄8 tsp. ground cumin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Bay Leaves
- First, make the dough: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, egg, salt, and ½ cup water. Pulse until the mixture forms a ball of dough, then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 4-5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, transfer the dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap while you prepare the filling.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef and pork, stock, onion cilantro, butter, garlic, chili, kondari or thyme, coriander, caraway, cumin, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Use a fork or your hands to mix the filling until thoroughly combined, then set aside.
- Divide the dough roughly into thirds and keep ⅔ of the dough covered while you roll out the first piece. Sprinkle a your work surface lightly with flour then use a rolling pin to roll one piece of dough out to a thickness of about ¼-inch inch. Use a thin glass or circular cookie cutter 2½ inches in diameter to punch out as many circles as possible. Peel off the scraps of excess dough, make it into a ball, and add it to the remaining dough. Roll each circle out into a large, thin circle of about 4 inches in diameter. Place a packed tablespoon of filling into the center of one circle and begin pleating the edges together, gathering the dough at the top like a cloth pouch to trap the filling in the centre. When you have pleated all the way around, pinch the top knot together firmly and give it a little twist to make sure the khinkali is well sealed. Set the finished khinkali on a lightly floured baking sheet or platter. Continue making dumplings with the remaining dough and filling.
- Bring a large pot of salted water with two bay leaves in it to a rolling boil. Lower the khinkali into the water and stir gently with a wooden spoon to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Boil until the dumplings float and the dough is tender, about 9 minutes. Drain and serve immediately, sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper.