Khachapuri recipe georgian

Khachapuri with cheese (Megrelian) on beautiful old wooden table.

Khachapuri: The Big Georgian Cheese!

Published: October 3, 2022

Khachapuri (Хачапури) is one of the most beloved of the Georgian foods adopted into the Russian tradition. That is a major achievement, as Georgian cuisine is itself one of the most beloved of all those among the former Soviet peoples. It is enjoyed in Russia, throughout the former Soviet space, and around the world. The dish itself is simple, hearty, can travel well in some forms, and is mouthwateringly delicious. So, what is it? Cheesy bread!

How It Got Its Name

(Почему носит такое название?)

By Jordan Bryant

The name “khachapuri” comes from the Georgian names for curd cheese (хачо) and bread (пури). One note that we should probably make here is that Georgian does not use the Cyrillic alphabet officially. So, we are providing the words here in Cyrillic for the benefit of students of Russian. However, “khachapuri” written in Georgia’s own unique alphabet would actually look like this: ხაჭაპური.

There are many different regional variations of khachapuri, and each is generally named for the region and/or people who are best known for making it. The most common types of khachapuri available in Russia are: “хачапури по-имеретински” (Imeretian khachapuri); “хачапури по-аджарски” (Adjarian khachapuri); “хачапури по-мегрельски” (Mingrelian katchapori) and “хачапури по-армянски” (Armenian khachapuri).

khatchapuri recipe history culture origin
Хлебозавод «Бородино-2006» – лишь один из производителей замороженных хачапури, продаваемых в российских магазинах.

Imeretian khachapuri is named for the Kingdom of Imeriti, one of several great kingdoms that once made up Georgia’s shifting medieval political landscape. This version presupposes a circular dough stuffed with cheese, oil and/or butter and pan-fried.

Mingrelian katchapori is named for Megrelia, along Georgia’s Black Sea coast. They put cheese inside and on top of what otherwise looks much like Imeretian khachapuri.

Adjarian khachapuri is named for Adjara, an autonomous republic in Georgia. Its dough is folded into a boat shape with the cheese inside exposed. It is oven-baked and, as it comes out, a raw egg is dropped into the center of the cheese with a pat of butter. The heat from the cheese cooks the egg to a sunny-side-up consistency.

Armenian khachapuri is the variety most often found in Russian kiosks. This type is most associated with the Armenians, an ethnic group completely separate from the Georgians who have their own country and history. Their version of this dish has the cheese wrapped inside a puff pastry which is usually triangular or square in shape.

Also of interest is a close relative of khachapuri that hails from Racha, a former kingdom in the North of Georgia whose main city is said to have been founded in the 2nd century. This great and ancient kingdom altered khachapuri by replacing the cheese filling with a mixture of beans, back fat, and bacon. The resulting dish is usually called “лобиани” which comes from the Georgian word for “bean.”

When and How to Eat Khachapuri

(Как правильно есть хачапури?)

khatchapuri recipe history culture origin
As part of Policy and Conflict in the Post-Soviet Space, SRAS students learned to make khachapuri from scratch . Pictured is student Paula Hunter and her creation.

By Jordan Bryant

It is a good bet that the name of this wonderful dish is so simple because it is so very common. Khachapuri is a staple food in Georgia, and is, in fact, so often prepared that the fluctuating cost of making the dish is now being used as an inflation index in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital. In Russia, the dish is also quite common, and requires no special occasion to be savored and cherished!

As with most breads, khachapuri is most often consumed by hand. It can be found as street food throughout the former USSR as well as in the Georgian restaurants that have flourished there. The dish can also be eaten with a knife and fork, as, depending upon who is cooking it and how fresh it is, the cheesy goodness inside tends to overflow its doughy boundaries.

Khachapuri goes incredibly well with red wine (another food that at which the Georgians excel in producing) and can often constitute a meal in itself.

How to Prepare Khachapuri

(Как правильно готовить хачапури?)

By Jordan Bryant

It is impossible to point to any one correct way of preparing khachapuri, namely because the variations on the recipe are endless. There are, however, some basic points of interest that are worth mentioning. There are two foundational methods of preparation: on the stove top with a pan or in an oven. The pan method is recommended for those preparing khachapuri that makes use of fermented milk products (traditionally matzoon (мацони) – a Caucasian fermented milk product resembling kefir) as a leavening agent. If making khachapuri with yeast, or, as has become popular in recent times, making a puff pastry variant, it is recommended to bake the dish in an oven.

khatchapuri recipe history culture origin
Хачапури по-аджарски – сытное блюдо, которое украсит собой любой стол.

There is some disagreement as to which cheeses should be used in the filling. There are traditional cheeses such as the Georgian “сулугуни” (Suluguni) and “имеретинский” (Imeretian). In modern times there is also increasing use of common foreign cheeses such as feta and mozzarella, especially for those preparing it outside of Georgia. It is widely agreed, however, that it is best to use a mixture of two or three cheeses in the interests of both taste and avoidance of clumping. There is also some dispute over whether one might add herbs such as parsley, dill, or cilantro to the cheese filling; many say it is strictly forbidden and ruins the taste, others think it a normal and tasty addition.

Let’s Cook!

(Давай Приготовим!)

By Jordan Bryant

See below for a free recipe for khachapuri. See also the free videos online. If you are interested in cooking from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, and other places in Eurasia, make sure to see the many other recipes on this site. You might also be interested in the following specialized cookbooks we’ve enjoyed:

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Имеретинский хачапури Imeretian khachapuri
Состав
  • Кефир, мацони или простокваша – 0,5 литра
  • яйцо – 1 шт
  • соль – 1 ч. ложка
  • сахар – 1 ч. ложка
  • разрыхлитель – 1 ч. ложка
  • растительное масло – 1-2 ст. ложки
  • мука – 4-5 стаканов
  • брынза, сулугуни, имертинский сыр – 500 г

Приготовление

  1. Имертинский сыр или брынзу или сулугуни натереть на крупной терке. Муку просеять и смешать с разрыхлителем. В миску насыпать просеянную муку, сделать в середине углубление и влить в него кефир (или мацони), яйцо, соль, сахар и растительное масло. Замесить некрутое эластичное тесто и поставить его на час в холодильник.
  2. Тесто разделить на небольшие кусочки и каждый кусочек раскатать в тонкий круглый пласт. На середину лепешки положить натёртый сыр (начинки должно быть много – 4-6 столовых ложек на один хачапури), собрать края лепешки к центру и тщательно защипать (начинка должна оказаться в середине лепешки).
  3. Перевернуть лепешку защипанным швом вниз и достаточно тонко раскатать скалкой.
  4. Сковороду разогреть, смазать растительным маслом и жарить хачапури на среднем огне с двух сторон до готовности (если хачапури при жарки вздуваются, то нужно проколоть верх лепешки).
  5. Готовые хачапури смазывать сливочным маслом и складывать стопочкой, как блины.
  6. По желанию в начинку можно добавить мелко порезанную зелень петрушки или кинзы; если брынза слишком соленая, то можно натереть любой твердый сыр и смешать его с брынзой.
Ingredients
  • 0.5 L Kefir, matzoon, or clabber (soured milk)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4-5 cups flour
  • 500 grams brynza (a salty sheep’s milk cheese), suluguni and/or Imeretian cheese*

Preparation

  1. Grate the Imeretian cheese, brynza, or suluguni on a large grater. Sift the flour and mix it with the baking powder. Pour the sifted flour into a mixing bowl, make a depression in the middle. Pour the kefir (or matzoon or clabber), egg, salt, sugar and vegetable oil into the depression. Knead this mixture into a stretchy dough and place it in the refrigerator for an hour.
  2. Divide the dough into fairly small pieces and roll each piece into a thin, round bed. In the middle of the dough-cake place the grated cheese (there has to be a lot of filling – 4-6 tablespoons to one khachapuri), gather the edges of the dough-cake to the center and thoroughly pinch them together (the filling must be in the middle of the dough-cake).
  3. Turn the dough-cake so that the pinched seam faces downwards and with a rolling pin roll it out until fairly thin.
  4. Warm your pan, grease it with vegetable oil and fry the khachapuri over medium heat on both sides until done (if the khachapuri swells up during cooking, then you must pierce the top of the dough-cake).
  5. Coat the prepared khachapuri with butter and pile up in a stack, like you would bliny.
  6. If you wish, you may add finely chopped parsley or cilantro to the filling; if brynza is too salty, you may use any hard cheese or mix it with the brynza.

–––

*Georgian recipes usually use the traditionally Georgian cheeses brynza, suluguni, and/or Imeretian. Feta and mozzarella can be substituted when these are not available.

Лепешки “Лобиани” (рача) Lobiani Flat Bread
Ингредиенты
  • Мацони – 500 г
  • Молоко – 1 ст.
  • Яйцо– 1 шт.
  • Масло сливочное – 100 г
  • Масло растительное – 150 г
  • Мука пшеничная – 0,8-1 кг
  • Дрожжи сухие – 1 ст.л. с горкой
  • Соль – щепотка
  • Сахар – щепотка

Начинка:

  • Фасоль сухая – 300-400 г
  • Сало свиное топлёное или сливочное масло – 100 г (плюс
  • ещё немного для подачи)
  • Соль, свежемолотый чёрный перец – по вкусу

Способ приготовления

Тесто:

  1. Подогреть молоко, чтобы было чуть тёплое, всыпать сахар и дрожжи, влить немного растительного масла, присыпать мукой и поставить в тёплое место на 15 минут. Затем добавить мацони и бОльшую часть просеянной муки, вбить яйцо и начать месить. По мере необходимости добавлять муку. Положить растопленное и остуженное сливочное масло и соль. Продолжать месить 20 минут, время от времени наливая на руку растительное масло и обмазывая ком теста. Готовое тесто не должно прилипать к рукам. Скатать его в шар, присыпать мукой, накрыть полотенцем и поставить в тёплое место на 2 часа. Вымесить и дать подойти ещё раз 1-1,5 ч.

Начинка:

  1. Замочить фасоль в холодной воде на 8-10 часов, затем откинуть на дуршлаг, залить большим количеством холодной воды и поставить на средний огонь. Довести до кипения, варить 1,5-2 часа. Слить отвар, оставив немного для приготовления пюре.Горячую фасоль размять в пюре – необязательно до гладкости, должна получиться просто однородная масса. Добавить свиной жир или масло, соль и перец по вкусу. Перемешать, остудить.
  2. Подошедшее тесто разделить на порции примерно по 200 гр. каждая и скатать в шары, затем раскатать в небольшой круг. Положить внутрь начинку – примерно столько же, сколько теста. Аккуратно собрать края теста как котомку и скрепить в узел. Перевернуть лепёшку швом вниз и раскатать скалкой в блин толщиной в 1 см. Уложить на противень и выпекать в разогретой духовке до румяной корочки 30-40 минут.
  3. Можно печь лобиани и на сковороде под крышкой на небольшом огне. Готовые лобиани промазать маслом или салом, сложить стопкой и разрезать острым ножом на порции, клиньями.
Ingredients
  • Matzoon (fermented milk) – 500 grams
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Butter – 100 grams (melted)
  • Vegetable oil – 150 grams
  • Flour – 0.8-1 kg
  • Yeast – 1 Tbsp (heaping)
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Sugar – a pinch

Filling:

  • Beans, dry – 300-400 grams
  • Rendered pork fat or butter – 100 grams (plus a little extra for serving)
  • Salt, freshly ground black pepper – to taste

Preparation

Dough:

  1. Warm up milk (lukewarm), add sugar and yeast, add a small amount of oil, dust the top with some flour and place in a warm place for 15 minutes. Add matzoon and most of the sifted flour, mix in the egg and start kneading, adding flour as necessary. Add melted and cooled butter and salt. Continue kneading for 20 minutes, from time to time pour oil into a hand and spreading on the dough. The dough must not stick to hands. Roll dough into a ball, dust with flour, cover with a clean towel and leave in a warm place for 2 hours. Knead again and let rise again for 1-1.5 hours.

Filling:

  1. Soak beans in cold water for 8-10 hours, drain, cover with large amount of cold water. Bring to boil and cook over medium heat for 1.5-2 hours. Drain, reserving small amount of cooking liquid.
    Puree beans while hot until mostly smooth, although small lumps are permitted. Add pork fat or butter, salt and black pepper to taste. Mix well and let cool.
  2. When the dough has risen, divide in small portions of approximately 200 grams, roll into balls.
    Working with one portion at a time, roll each into a small circle. Place filling, approximately the same amount as dough, onto the middle of the circle. Gather the edges of the circle together, incasing the filling inside, like a small pouch. Flip the bread over, placing the seam under, and roll with a rolling pin into a circle 1 sm thick. Place the bread on the baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until light brown.
  3. The Lobiani may also be cooked in a covered skillet over low heat. While hot, spread the bread with butter or pork fat, stack together and cut into wedges for serving.

 

Хачапури по-аджарски Adjarian khachapuri
Главным отличием хачапури по-аджарски является их форма. Хачапури формируется “лодочкой”, с открытой начинкой. Когда готовые хачапури вынимают из печи, в каждое из них выкладывают кусочек масла и сырое яйцо, которое готовится жаром самого пирога. По желанию, яйцо можно выложить на сыр за несколько минут до готовности, позволив ему запечься в духовке.

Шеф-повар одного из известных ресторанов предлагает рецепт хачапури по-аджарски и поясняет, как его правильно есть.

For a great recipe to try this version of khachapuri that cooks an egg in the middle of the “bread boat” loaf, see TheFreshLoaf.com.

For a more authentic version, just make the boat smaller and, as you take the bread out of the oven, place a pad of butter on the cheese followed immediately by a raw egg and let cool.

Our Favorite Khachapuri Videos

By Jordan Bryant

This nicely filmed video shows us how to prepare the tricky, but often considered most beautiful and tasty form of khachapuri – the Adjarian “boat.” The narrator speaks in very clear Russian and also performs all the steps as she speaks, making it a great how-to follow-along.

 

Very entertaining cooking program that shows how to prepare cheese-topped “хачапури по-мегрельски.” Very professionally done with a wonderful backdrop and enthusiastic host. Quite interesting as the show (Smachno!) for which this is a feature is a Ukrainian-Georgian collaboration.

 

News video/interview about the appearance of a Georgian café in the center of Moscow. Note that neither the owner/entrepreneur nor the servers are ethnic Georgians. Swanky new approach to the old khachapuri (khachapurnaya – khachapuri bakery).

How Khachapuri is Made in Georgia 2022

By Sadie Brink

One of many amazing moments from my summer abroad in Batumi, Georgia was learning how to make Adjarian khachapuri. Adjarian khachapuri is bread made into the shape of a boat and filled with cheese. The dish is topped with an egg yolk and a slab of butter. It is one of the most iconic and sought after Georgian dishes, and very fun to make.

I, along with other SRAS students, got to make Adjarian khachapuri at Wine Restaurant Marani, located on the top floor of the Marani Hotel in Batumi, Georgia. The restaurant is a ten minute drive from the school, and after arriving we met the owner in front of the hotel. He led us to the restaurant, which had a modern interior while still maintaining a welcoming and comfortable environment. Here we were given aprons, hairnets, and a place to wash our hands.

A chef was waiting for us with all of the ingredients for each of us to make our own khachapuri. A Georgian, she spoke little Russian, and no English, so we had a translator with us. To allow us to complete the process in a reasonable time, the dough and cheese mixtures were already made, although the chef gave us the recipe for each (again, through a translator), in case we wanted to try again on our own. We all took turns rolling out the dough, then making the boat shape. It was much more complicated than the chef made it look. After all students finished working with their dough, we then put two or three heaping spoonfuls of the cheese mixture into our dough-boats. It’s a lot more cheese than you think – after adding two spoonfuls to my khachapuri, the chef encouraged me to add more, making sure the spoon was carrying as much cheese as physics would allow.

Our khachapuri went into the oven for seven minutes at 210 degrees Celsius. The chef then took out the baking sheets and had us scrape the raw dough from the inner part of the boat with a fork, then put an egg yolk on top of the cheese mixture. This is where I learned that I have no pain tolerance when it comes to touching hot bread with my hands. But the chef helped me out, and while I scraped the raw dough, she held the khachapuri in place for me. She then put the khachapuri back into the oven for a few more minutes.

Once our culinary works of art were finished baking, the chef transferred each to a plate and put a thick pad of butter on top. Like many dishes, the recipe for khachapuri can be tweaked to fit your preference. Some students did not have the yolk on theirs, while others opted for no butter. We walked our masterpieces over to a table that had been set for us, where we sat down and began to eat. The restaurant also served us Georgian lemonade, and after we had eaten as much as we could, we were able to admire the view from the restaurant’s balcony.

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About the author

Jordan Bryant

Jordan Bryant graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Slavic Languages & Literatures. She  previously spent two summers studying abroad in St. Petersburg and one in Prauge. She participated in SRAS’s Home and Abroad Program in Vladivostok, Russia.

View all posts by: Jordan Bryant

Sadie Brink

Sadie Brink, at the time she wrote for this site, was attending Reed College in the US and participating in Batumi: Russian as a Second Language with SRAS partially funded by an SRAS Challenge Grant.

View all posts by: Sadie Brink