How to make KHINKALI, the most wonderful pockets of pleasure you have ever met....
So, you start with basic ingredients for the filling:
Ground cilantro (and parsley, too, if you like).
Ground beef and pork, a 75/25 ratio, and a little salt pork
Salt (don't go cheap on the salt, it's important...)and a little red pepper, in flakes or powder
Black pepper, for sprinkling on the khinkalis when you serve them
You then prepare the dough with flour, salt and water. No yeast needed. One kilo of flour (2.2lbs) is enough for 4 people, or about 15 khinkalis. People can eat from 4 to 7 khinkalis..
Here you see the kneading technique used in Georgia, where the dough is pounded with the fists, rather than turned as done in the US.
The dough will have to rest a bit. 30 minutes is enough, since it doesn't need to rise.
The ingredients are then mixed with the hands. They need to be thoroughly mixed. Then, a little water is added, to make the mixture as loose as a very heavy pancake batter. The water is a very important part of this dish, as it will separate inside the khinkali and provide the "juice" part of this dish, an absolute necessity.
Now, take a large tablespoon of the meat mixture. The water will separate a bit, and that is ok. Gather the sides of the round by making folds. They say in Georgia that you are supposed to fold it 19 times for the perfect khinkali, and that can be a goal, but most will have between 11 and 15 folds. Squeeze all the folds together at the top, making sure that the khinkali is and pinch off the excess. The result should look like a large fig.
Place the khinkali on a floured surface. Do not allow them to touch.
Let the khinkali boil for about 8 to 10 minutes. They will first sink to the bottom, like pasta, and rise up and float. At that point, they are done. Take them carefully out of the water with a slotted spoon and drop them on a platter or an individual plate.
Sprinkle with a little or a lot of pepper, depending on taste. Serve immediately! Khinkalis are eaten hot, and with your fingers! The trick is to take a little bite, then let the steam escape. Do not let the juice escape, drink it out of the hole made, then eat around. The tradition is not to eat the little "hat" made by gathering the dough. More room for more khinkalis!
And if you are of age, khinkalis are followed by a tall glass of beer.