Georgian Khinkali

Discover The Flavors And Traditions Of Georgia's Most Famous Dish, The Khinkali Dumpling
Cover image © Pavel Ageychenko

Khinkali is a popular Georgian dish that has become famous around the world. These large, doughy dumplings are typically filled with meat and spices and are eaten by hand, making them a fun and interactive dining experience. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the history of khinkali, the different types available, how to eat them, a recipe for making your own at home, and some recommended places to try them in Georgia.

History Of Khinkali

Khinkali has been a staple of Georgian cuisine for centuries. The dish is thought to have originated in the mountainous regions of Georgia, where it was a popular food for shepherds and travelers. The original filling was likely just meat and onions, but over time, different regions of Georgia have developed their own unique variations of khinkali.

Types Of Khinkali

While the basic concept of khinkali remains the same, there are several different types available in Georgia. Some popular variations include:

  • Beef Khinkali — This is the most traditional type of khinkali, made with ground beef, onions, and a variety of spices.
  • Pork Khinkali — Similar to beef khinkali, but made with ground pork instead.
  • Lamb Khinkali — A more rare and exotic variation, made with ground lamb and spices.
  • Mushroom Khinkali — A vegetarian option, made with a mixture of mushrooms, onions, and spices.
  • Cheese Khinkali — Another vegetarian option, filled with a mixture of cheese and herbs,
  • Spinach Khinkali — Is another delicious variation of this popular Georgian dish.

How To Eat Khinkali

Khinkali is typically eaten by hand, and there is a specific technique to doing so. First, hold the dumpling by the twisted end and take a small bite from the top to create a small opening. Next, carefully suck out the hot broth inside before enjoying the rest of the filling. Be careful not to bite into the dough, as it can be quite thick and chewy.

Recipe For Khinkali

If you're feeling adventurous, why not try making your own khinkali at home? Here's a recipe to get you started:


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Salt, to taste


  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, water, and salt. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, then cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, spices, and salt. Mix well.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut circles out of the dough using a biscuit cutter or glass.
  • Place a small spoonful of the meat mixture in the center of each dough circle. Gather the edges of the dough together and twist to seal the dumpling.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully drop the dumplings into the water and cook for 10-12 minutes or until they float to the surface.
  • Serve hot with a sprinkle of black pepper on top.

Where To Eat Khinkali

If you're visiting Georgia, there are plenty of places to try khinkali for yourself. Some recommended restaurants include:

  • Zakhar Zakharich - Located in Tbilisi, this restaurant is known for its delicious khinkali and other traditional Georgian dishes. The cozy and rustic atmosphere adds to the dining experience.
  • Puris Sakhli - Another popular restaurant in Tbilisi, Puris Sakhli serves a variety of Georgian dishes, including several different types of khinkali.
  • Khinklis Sakhli - This restaurant in Batumi is dedicated solely to khinkali, serving up a variety of flavors and fillings. The unique interior decor, resembling a mountain cabin, adds to the dining experience.
  • Khasheria - Located in the heart of Tbilisi's Old Town, Khasheria is known for its modern twist on traditional Georgian dishes, including their delicious khinkali.
  • Gourmet Khinkali - With several locations throughout Georgia, Gourmet Khinkali is a chain restaurant that offers a variety of khinkali fillings, including beef, pork, lamb, and vegetarian options.

In conclusion, khinkali is a delicious and iconic Georgian dish that should not be missed during a visit to the country. Whether you try them at a local restaurant or make them yourself at home, the unique flavors and interactive dining experience of khinkali are sure to leave a lasting impression.

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