Khinkali (pork and beef dumplings)
Khinkali (pork and beef dumplings) from the Delicatessen with Love project by Gabriele Galimberti – as prepared Natalie Bakradze, 60 years old from Tblisi, Georgia.
This recipe, which is very similar to the Chinese dumplings, is typical of the area surrounding Tblisi. It can almost be considered its official dish.
To prepare this dish you don’t have to be a master chef, but some precision and good manual skills can come handy!
In Georgia people eat them with their hands, grabbing the top knob of a dumpling, which is called ‘the cap’.
The knob is never eaten!
There are three different tales explaining why you don’t eat the cap:
1. simply because it is tough, not cooked properly
2. because it seems the dumplings are so good that you lose track of how many you eat. So you leave the caps on your plate to count them.
3. because it was a typical dish of the working class of the mountains, where there were lots of workers who used to go to the restaurant to eat them, still dirty from their work. So, people say they used to leave the cap because it was the part the workers touched with their filthy hands and then it wasn’t good to be eaten.
1/2 kilo of flour (about 3 1/2 cups)
8 oz. ground beef (1/2 pound)
8 oz. ground pork (1/2 pound)
1. Prepare the dough: stir together ½ kilo of flour and some water and work with your hands. Add the water in small amounts, a bit at a time. The dough should become rather stiff and no salt is needed.
2. Chop half an onion and a bunch of parsley (you can use a mixer considering the ingredients have to be chopped very thinly).
3. At this point you can mix the minced beef and pork, adding the chopped onion and parsley, a pinch of chili powder and a teaspoon of salt.
4. Now roll the dough into a thin layer (about 1mm) and cut it in rounds with the diameter of 10-15cm.
5. Place a large spoon of the filling made of the minced meats and spices in the centre of the rounds and fold the edges, pressing them with your fingers and then twisting the dough to seal it in a knob.
6. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the dumplings for about 20 minutes.
7. Serve hot and enjoy the dumplings.