The journey (or whatever it ends up being) begins. On Sunday, whilst enjoying a boozy BBQ at our new place, I called to the room and demanded silence. Only my brother paid me any attention, so he and I scuttled off the to the corner of the room to make the first draw. I had put all the countries in the world into an excel list and re-ordered them so they were no longer alphabetical. I asked my brother to pick a number, and he called “78”. 78 corresponded to Georgia and, as a result, Georgia became country one.
I have spent each day since then researching the food eaten in Georgia and come across many interesting delights, but none struck me more than Khinkali. A form of dumpling, Khinkali seems to be a bit of a staple in Georgia with street vendors and whole shops dedicated to the wee things. Meat filled and boiled, they use the same theory as our own Cornish Pasty in that the hard end (the knot at the top of the dumpling) is used as a handle and then often discarded.
Devising my own recipe for Khinkali was not as easy as I initially thought it would be. It seems as though there is considerable choice in what to put in them. Almost always meat, it could be lamb or beef, but what I came across most was the combination of beef and pork – so that is what I will be using tonight.
It is now 18.08 pm and I am going to get going in a short while. I will update you as I go but before I start – here is a photo of what they should look like taken from a Georgian website. Come the end of this evening we will see how mine compare!
18:56. Test Khinkali complete. It is going smoothly but I just can’t tell if this is going to fall to pieces when I boil it. My guess…yup. I think the third I try tonight might work but I have little hope for this one. Looks like a mice pie hey!
19:36 – Well well well. It stayed together for the full 15 mins. It sat deep in the pan to start and then rose towards the end. I have tasted the test case but will hold back my feelings for now – until I do the official tasting.
19.53 – DONE. Even with a small break it has taken less than two hours and it has all been done and eaten. Overall they were pretty good. The dough took an almost rice paper look/ feel/ taste to it but the inside was strange. Not unpleasant, but something the British tounge is not used to. It was almost bland,but the peppery taste was strong. The meat mix was excellent. I liked them, but if I were to do them again I would need something to go with them/ dip them in. I tried them with some punchy red chilli sauce and they were excellent – and with peas. I have enjoyed my first experience and I have enjoyed Georgian food. I will make them again – maybe sat in a clear broth as a starter…but don’t tell anyone Georgian as that is probably deemed highly inappropriate! See you next week.
Make a dough with 250g of plain flour with 1tsp salt and 300ml water. Need for 5 mins. Leave to set for 40 mins. Covered.
Mix 250g Pork with 250g beef, 2 pinches cayenne pepper, 2 pinches caraway powder and 1 large diced onion.
Cut and roll 6 inch circles of the dough.
In the centre of the dough put two tablespoons of the meat mix. Draw the edges of the dough up to the centre in an accordian pleat and then twist the knot at the top.
Pop the dumpling in boiling water for 15 mins and then drain and add pepper. Serve hot. (Personally I would dip in some red chilli sauce – but that isn’t the Georgian way)