CHAKHRAGINA -OSSETIAN KHACHAPURI
Khachapuri (Georgian: ხაჭაპური) is considered to be one of Georgia’s most famous national dishes and several of Georgia’s regions have their own distinctive type. In this recipe we show how to make a khachapuri filled with cheese and beetroot leaves. This type of khachapuri comes from South Ossetia, where it is called chakhragina. It is also a popular khachapuri in Shidla Kartli region (Georgian: შიდა ქართლი), which borders South Ossetia. It is also known as Pkhlovana khachapuri.
Ingredients for the filling (4 servings): 400 grams of beetroot leaves, 600 grams Ossetian or Imeretian cheese (Mozzarella and Feta cheese can be used) and salt. The butter in the ingredients photo below is for glazing the cooked khachapuri.
Ingredients for the khachapuri dough: 1 kilo of flour, 300 ml of water or milk, 1 egg, 1.5 tbs of yeast, 1 tsp of sugar, 1 tsp of salt.
Preparation (Khachapuri dough): There are several recipes for making khachapuri dough but we find the following method to be the easiest way to prepare it.
Warm 300 ml of water or milk to 35C and add to a bowl. Stir in the yeast.
Add 600 grams of flour to a mixing bowl and make a depression in the flour. Add the yeast water, milk and a raw egg. If you want the khachapuri to have a golden color you can add 1 tsp of sugar.
The dough should be formed into a soft ball.
Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for 2 hours. The dough will rise and look like the picture below.
When you are ready to use the dough, add 150-200 grams of flour and knead the dough. The dough should be fluffy, not wet. Separate it into four same-size balls.
Cover the dough balls (we used clingfilm) and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes.
Preparation (Khachapuri filling): Crumble the cheese.
Finely chop the beetroot leaves and add to a mixing bowl with salt.
Mix and then squeeze the chopped leaves to remove as much moisture as possible.
Add the crumbled cheese and chopped beetroot leaves to a mixing bowl.
Use your fingers to mix the beetroot leaves and cheese.
Place one of the balls of dough onto a flour-dusted preparation area.
Use the palms of your hands and your fingers to flatten the ball of dough into a circular shape that is about 1 cm thick.
Add a quarter of the cheese and beetroot leaf mixture.
Carefully fold the edges of the dough over the mixture and seal by pressing the edges together.
Pinch the top together to fully seal the dough.
Use your fingers to very carefully flatten the dough until it is circular – see picture below.
Repeat the filling and flattening process for all 4 dough balls. When you are ready to cook, add a filled dough to a large pan and use your palms and fingers to further flatten the dough until it spreads out and fills the bottom surface of the pan. The dough should be quite thin. Cook on an medium heat for 5-7 minutes, then carefully turn it over and cook for a further 5 minutes. Repeat the process to cook each khachapuri.
Serving: Brush the top of the khachapuri with butter and serve immediately.
Enjoy your Chakhragina Khachapuri!