Cooking With Chef Guram Baghdoshvili

Award-winning and Celebrity Georgian Chef Guram Baghdoshvili speaks 5 different languages and is a true artist at heart, being a professionally trained singer and chef, he considers food an art and is thrilled to bring Georgian cuisine to Dubai. Chef Guram has previously been seen on My Kitchen Rules Georgia Jury 2018, front cover of the City Magazine Georgia, Head Chef of Nikki Beach PT, Executive Chef of NoSoloÁgua, Executive Brand Chef of Vinotel and Owner/ Executive Chef of Restaurante Anona GEO. In 2011, he opened his own seaside tapas and wine bar restaurant titled NoSoloÁgua in Portimão, the coastal town of Algary in South Portugal. There he specialises in experimental cuisine, with dishes of local Portuguese tradition added with a discrete inspiration from other countries. Chef Guram is famous for preparing food for three Georgian presidents, and he was given a prestigious honor by the JW Marriott Cannes to kickoff a week of events celebrating the Franco-Russian week, and is considered a top TV influencer and chef in Georgia. Modi is Chef Guram’s first restaurant in Dubai.

Khinkali are a specialty of the Caucasus nation of Georgia. They are most often enjoyed at special restaurants where the tasty, meat-filled dumplings are served simply with a generous sprinkling of crushed black pepper. While ground beef and lamb are the most common fillings, you can also make khinkali stuffed with chopped mushrooms or cheese.

Ingredients - makes 12 to 15 dumplings

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg beaten (optional)
1 to 1 ½ cups water

1 pound ground beef or lamb
½ cup broth or water
2 onions, minced
¼ cup parsley, chopped
¼ cup dill, chopped
1 tablespoon ground caraway
Salt and pepper to season

Method and preparation
Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and 1 cup of the water. Stir the egg and water into the flour with a fork. Add more water as needed to form a soft dough. Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 5 to 6 minutes. Cover and set aside for at least 20 minutes to rest.

In another bowl, mix together the ingredients for the filling. Cook a small portion in a greased skillet to taste seasoning and adjust as necessary. Cut the rested dough into 2 portions. Roll out one portion of the dough to about ¼ inch thick. Cut out 3 inch rounds of the dough using a cookie cutter or large glass. Roll each round out into a 5 or 6 inch round. Sprinkle each round with a little flour and set aside as you finish with the rest. Place about ¼ cup of filling in the centre of a round of dough. Working around the dumpling, bring an edge of the dough up over the filling, making pleats in the dough and bringing the edges together over the top of the filling. Pinch the top of the dumpling together to seal it and form a knob. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds and filling.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the dumplings to the water and cook at a low boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the dumplings to a serving dish with a slotted spoon. Season generously with cracked black pepper and serve hot.

How to eat khinkali the Georgian way Grab the top knob of a dumpling and bring it to your mouth. Take the first bite carefully. If the dumpling has been sealed properly, delicious, brothy juice will gush out. Eat the remainder of the dumpling except for the top knob. The knob is never eaten by Georgians. Instead, line them up on your plate to keep a tally of your appetite.

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