Khinkali

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Khinkali (Georgian: ხინკალი, Azerbaijani: xingəl, Avar: ХинкIал, Chechen: Хи́нгал, Armenian: Խնկալի) is a dumpling which originated in the Georgian regions of Pshavi, Mtiuleti and Khevsureti. Varieties of Khinkali spread from there across different parts of the Caucasus. Khinkali is filled with various fillings, mostly with spiced meat (usually beef and pork, sometimes lamb), greens, and onions. Mushrooms or cheese may be used in place of meat.

Khinkali is eaten plain, or with coarse black pepper. The meat filling is uncooked when the Khinkali is assembled, so when cooked the juices of the meat are trapped inside the dumpling. The khinkali is typically consumed first by sucking the juices while taking the first bite, 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 ქუდი, hat) or "kuchi" (Georgian კუჭი, belly button). The towns of Dusheti, Pasanauri and Mtskheta are particularly famous for their khinkali.