Khinkali (Georgian: ხინკალი khink’ali listen , sometimes Romanized hinkali or xinkali) is a very popular dumpling in Georgian cuisine. It is made of twisted knobs of dough, stuffed with meat and spices.[1][2][3]

Alternative namesxinkali, hinkali
Place of originGeorgia
Region or stateMtskheta-Mtianeti
Serving temperaturehot
Main ingredientsFilling: spiced meat (beef, pork, or lamb), herbs, carum, cumin, satureja, chili pepper, onions, and garlic. Cheese, potato, or mushroom fillings are alternatives to meat.
Black pepper is usually used for seasoning.


The fillings of khinkali vary with the area. The original recipe, the so-called khevsuruli, consisted of only minced meat (lamb or beef and pork mixed), onions, chili pepper, salt, and cumin. However, the modern recipe used mostly especially in Georgian urban areas, the so-called kalakuri, uses herbs like parsley and cilantro (also called coriander). Mushrooms, potatoes, or cheese may be used in place of meat.


Khinkali is eaten plain or with ground black pepper. The meat filling is uncooked when khinkali is assembled, so when it is cooked, the juices of the meat are trapped inside the dumpling. To make khinkali juicier, usually warm water or broth is added to the minced meat. Khinkali is typically consumed first by sucking the juices while taking the first bite, similar to xiaolongbao, in order to prevent the dumpling from bursting. The top, where the pleats meet, is tough, and is not supposed to be eaten, but discarded to the plate so that those eating can count how many they have consumed. In Georgia, this top is called the kudi (Georgian: კუდი, "tail") or k'uch'i (Georgian: კუჭი, "stomach").

There is a widespread etiquette in Georgia to use only one's bare hands while consuming these dumplings. The using of utensils, like a fork, is considered incorrect or childish. This is because juice is an important part of khinkali; using a fork will rupture the khinkali and the juice will be spilled.


The towns of Dusheti, Pasanauri and Mtskheta are particularly famous for their khinkali.

See also


  1. Jacob, Jeanne; Ashkenazi, Michael (March 19, 2007). The World Cookbook for Students. Greenwood Press. ISBN 9781573567640 via Google Books.
  2. Goldstein, Darra (March 19, 1999). The Georgian Feast: The Vibrant Culture and Savory Food of the Republic of Georgia. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520219298 via Google Books.
  3. Ამბობს, Tonio (2013-09-18). "The Origin of Georgian Cousins – Khinkali". Rainytrainy's Blog (in Georgian). Retrieved 2021-07-20.
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