Khinkali (Georgian-style dumplings)

Photo credit: TheMightyQuill / CC BY-SA 2.5

Well, I’ve met my match in this crazy dumpling obsession because I can’t figure out why my khinkali (georgian-style dumplings) don’t turn out like the ones above. The Georgia that I’m referring to is the one in Eurasia (yes that one!) and not the american state famous for peach pie and southern hospitality. I don’t remember how I came to learn about khinkali, only that a youtube video done entirely in japanese had me emailing a friend for help in translating the recipe. What does a japanese cooking show have to do with georgian cuisine? Nothing blatantly obvious that I could pinpoint, but food has always been for sharing, so take a look and see if you can take a bite out of this.

These boiled dumplings are essentially pleated pouches of dough around a well-seasoned mixture of ground beef, pork (or both), onions and spices. Their unique shape resembles that of mongolian tents, and the proper way to eat them goes like this:
• grab the chimney part or “kudi” (hat)
• take a small bite out of the side
Suck out the juices
• then continue to devour the rest of the yumminess.
The kudi as you might imagine, is a thick knob of dough and can be eaten or cast aside (great way to keep count on how much you’ve polished off). Don’t you just looove it? My mind was rabid at the idea of having to use my fingers to eat this, being a great lover of finger food and nibbles myself.

Dough wrappers:
400 grams flour (just about 3 cups, preferably hard wheat flour, but all-purpose will do)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water

500 grams (1 pound) ground meat, a combination beef & pork
1½ teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup water
1 small onion, diced

Now I won’t get into the instructions because the video is clear enough to follow, but what you want to end up with is little pouches that look like this. And then you boil them…

…but they end up looking like this. Big difference from the photo at the beginning of this post. Mine look wrinkly. Okay so they aren’t that bad, but they aren’t great either, so I searched for another recipe and found a tutorial with loads of pics: Dumplings from the mountains of Georgia. Step-by-step words and images from start to finish, and I got the pleats down like a bad mofo (sorry, restaurant speak), down to the 19 folds which supposedly means that I’m prime marriage material. Who woulda thought? Sorry guys, but MotH ain’t sellin’.

Unfortunately…the results weren’t anything like I had hoped, in fact, the finished product at the end of the slideshow is a photo taken at a restaurant? A few of mine burst, which tells me that it must have something to do with the type of flour used. They do taste good and are a lot of fun to eat, so after we’re done with the 4 dozen or so sitting in the fridge, I’ll have to give these another try until they don’t resemble wrinkled skin after a day in the surf. A nice way to enjoy them is in a bowl of miso soup with a drizzle of sesame oil.

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