Imeruli Khachapuri is a traditional Georgian cheese-filled bread. The dough is generally prepared using flour, water, milk, salt and a leavening agent (either yeast or baking soda). Ingredients like eggs, yogurt, buttermilk and vinegar are often added too.
Khachapuri simply means cheese bread and, along with the traditional Khachapuri recipe, there are many different variations. This variation, known as Imeruli Khachapuri, is a cheese bread that consists of two types of cheese: Sulguni and Imeretian cheese.
In case the Georgian cheese is not available, one can also use a combination of mozzarella and feta as a substitute. The bread is typically consumed hot, cut up into wedges, either as a snack, or with a fresh vegetable salad for a full meal.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Khachapuri is considered to be the national dish of Georgia. The price of preparing this Georgian delicacy is used as a means of inflation in several cities by the “khachapuri index,” which was formed by the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University.
There are many different variations of imeruli khachapuri that are widely consumed in Georgia. One can easily find this dish both in restaurants and as street food. Apart from Georgia, it is also consumed in other places like Russia, Armenia, Israel and New York City.
Georgian Imeruli Khachapuri Recipe
For the dough
- Kefir, buttermilk, or plain yogurt - 3/4 cup
- Egg (beaten) - 1
- Sugar - 1 tbsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
- All-purpose white flour - 2 cups + 1/4 cup (for flouring the surface)
- Vegetable oil - 2 tbsp
- Butter - 2 tbsp
For the Filling
- Sulguni cheese - 1/2 pound
- Egg, beaten (optional) - 1
- pinch of salt (optional)
To make the dough:
- Begin by taking a large bowl and adding the kefir, egg, sugar and salt to it. Combine all the ingredients well.
- Now, add the baking soda and combine for a few seconds until you observe the bubbles forming.
- It’s time to take the bowl with wet ingredients and sift half of the flour into it. With the help of a wooden spoon or spatula, combine everything until you achieve a smooth consistency.
- Now, add the vegetable oil and keep mixing until the oil is well combined into the dough.
- Sift the remaining flour into the bowl and begin kneading the dough using your bare hands.
- Lightly flour a surface and scrape the prepared dough onto it. Knead it properly until it's smooth and not stickier.
- Next, take the dough and divide it into four parts, shaping them into balls. Place the prepared dough balls back into the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Keep it away to allow the dough to rest for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
To prepare the filling:
- Take a bowl and grate the cheese into it. Throw in the egg (if using). Combine and add a little bit of salt to season it. Divide it into four shares.
To shapethe khachapuri:
- Begin by taking a dough ball and flattening it using your fingers. Once done, roll it with the help of a rolling pin into a circle.
- Add ¼ of the filling to the centre of the dough circle.
- Pull the boundaries of the dough over the filling and pinch them firmly together to secure the filling.
- Now, gently flatten the khachapuri with the help of your fingers and/or a rolling pin. Be careful to not rip the dough. If you notice a bubble forming inside, take a toothpick and pinch the dough. It will help to release the air. Make sure to roll as thin as possible. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls.
To cook khachapuri:
- Take butter and melt it in a microwave or on the stovetop.
- Take a skillet and heat it over a medium flame.
- Keep a khachapuri on the hot skillet and allow it to cook until it becomes golden in colour and is a bit charred in a few areas. This should take you about 3 minutes. Once done, flip and allow the other side to cook.
- Once the cheese has completely melted and the bread is properly cooked, place it on a flat plate and brush it with a generous amount of melted butter.
- Repeat the procedure with the remaining khachapuri and voila!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 496Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 172mgSodium: 1197mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 24g