A Reuters’ article published this week focused on khinkali, a comforting, juicy dumpling from Georgia. “Typically filled with a mix of raw ground beef and pork, herbs and spices, then boiled and served steaming hot in platters by the dozen, Georgian khinkali is a national symbol, source of pride, and reason behind many a dinner table debate,” reads the story, titled When it's dumpling-eatin' time in Georgia….
Mention the word dumpling, and cuisines from Asia come to mind for most. But, this food item is common to different countries, and it could be thrilling to discover spectacular similarities between far-flung kitchens. The Georgian khinkali is cooked like the Russian pelmeni—both are stuffed with beef and pork, and boiled. Its texture is similar to the soupy Chinese xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), and its shaped like the Indian modak. It is a good example of how a simple food item unites three countries.
Khinkali is eaten by holding the stem, the pointed bit that sticks out on top. The stuffing is a bit soupy and the juices need to be sucked out before one bites into it. The Reuters story points out eating and cooking it is sought after by tourists who visit the country. If you are planning a trip there, look up khinkali-making workshops for a local feel.
And, if you long to make khinkali at home right away, watch this video by YouTuber Tatiana Maisuradze-Dwyer. She runs the recipe channel, Georgian Cuisine at Tamada's Table. In the recipe video, she explains why khinkali is considered as ‘shepherd’s food’ in Georgia, and then breaks down the cooking process into detailed and simple steps. There’s information on how to store and freeze them for later use. In the end of the video, she shows how to eat these appetising dumplings and relish each bite.