Khinkali (Lamb Dumplings)
Submitted by Tim Williams, Executive Chef of Community Servings. He gets his copy of Edible Boston at Community Servings headquarters in Jamaica Plain. I had the good fortune in 1990 to be working in Tbilisi, the capital of the Republic of Georgia. I have many fond memories but one of the best food memories I carry with me was a celebration at a family’s house that I was invited to through a mutual friend. When Georgians celebrate they go all out! The table was filled with Georgian food; we had wonderful wine made in the traditional method and of course a Toast Master! Though all the food was delicious I cannot think of that day without remembering the lamb dumpling called Khinkali. What’s not to love about juicy, spicy lamb dumplings? Below is a recipe that is as close as I can come to the memory. Enjoy!
Makes approximately 35 dumplings.
6 cups flour 2 1/2 teaspoons salt 3 cups warm water
Mix salt and flour, add warm water and stir well until dough forms. Knead dough with additional flour on a work surface until smooth, 5-7 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap to rest and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 small onions, grated 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped 1 teaspoon fenugreek, crushed 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes Sea salt
Combine all in a stainless steel bowl and season with salt to taste. Mix well and chill.
Divide dough and cut into 35 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Roll out into 6-inch rounds using a rolling pin. Place 2 tablespoons of filling into the center of the rolled out dough rounds. Fold edges into the center by crimping into 15 to 20 pleats. Hold the dumpling in the palm of one hand, then twist the top of the dough to seal it and form a knob.
In a large amount of boiling salted water boil the dumplings until they float and remove with slotted spoon to drain off excess water. Depending on the size of your pot, cook in batches as to not overcrowd the pot. They take approximately 8 to 10 minutes to cook. Keep the cooked dumplings warm while you cook the rest. Drain off excess water from the platter and then season with a liberal amount of freshly ground black pepper, which is the traditional seasoning.