Monday 25 May 2020


It may be a surprise to some of you, but Georgian food used to be known as 'the haute cuisine of the Soviet Union' and rightly so!

It's a cuisine that is, of course, heavily influenced by Eastern European cooking but also has elements of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, mainly as over the centuries Georgia, at one point or another, was ruled by the Greeks, Romans, Iranians, Arabs, Byzantians, Mongolians, Ottomans, and of course Russians.

This makes Georgian cuisine incredibly diverse and flavourful, and once restaurants are back to business in the UK I will for sure go back to Little Georgia, the charming, family run restaurant by London Fields which first introduced me to this country's food.

The dish I fell in love with at first taste when I dined there was no doubt khachapuri, or Georgian cheese bread, which is one of their most iconic national dishes.

It's the most amazing combo of cheese and dough, yet not like a pizza, it's hard to explain but boy have I never forgotten the taste of it, which is why I was more than delighted to find a super easy yet authentic tasting recipe for it online that also cuts a few corners for a slightly cooking fatigued lockdown warrior like me.

There are many different styles of khachapuri but most are made by wrapping a pile of cheese in a round of dough, then baking until the cheese is molten. The most famous khachapuri is from Adjara, a region of Georgia on the Black Sea. It’s an open-faced, boat-shaped loaf that’s often served with an egg yolk and a slice of butter to stir in at the table and which not only looks stunning but tastes amazing.

Traditionally, tangy imeruli and sulguni cheeses are used, but they are difficult to find in the UK so this recipe uses a blend of mozzarella, feta and goat cheese which may sound odd but makes for THE most amazing creamy, yet tangy, oozy and cheesy filling.

Feel free to make the dough from scratch but I went for some amazing ready made dough from the Northern Dough Co. which worked a treat once thawed and saved a bit of clearing up in the kitchen!

  • 1 ready made pizza dough (I always get this one from Sainsbury's)
  • 1 cup/100 grams shredded whole milk, low-moisture mozzarella (not fresh mozzarella)
  • ⅓ cup/40 grams goat cheese, finely crumbled
  • ⅓ cup/40 grams drained, finely crumbled brined feta (not low-fat or light)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons cold butter for serving (optional)
  • 1 egg yolk from 1 large egg

  • Heat oven to 180 celsius.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper; set aside.
  • On a lightly floured surface, stretch and roll dough into a circle.
  • Brush off excess flour, then lay the dough on the sheet tray.
  • Using your fingers, roll, press and pinch two opposite sides of the circle a few inches into the centre, building sides up, then press and pinch the narrow ends together to form two points.
  • Continue to pinch and press the sides to create a raised rim and form the dough into an oval boat with an eye-like shape.
  • Let rolled dough rest in a warm place while you prepare the filling.
  • In a medium bowl, combine mozzarella, goat cheese and feta with 3 tablespoons water.
  • Stir with a fork until the mixture is thoroughly blended.
  • Scrape the cheese mixture into the centre of the dough boat, spreading it into an even layer.
  • Bake khachapuri until the crust begins to brown and the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove tray from oven, leaving oven on.
  • Brush sides of khachapuri generously with melted butter.
  • Return khachapuri to the oven for an additional 5 minutes until the crust is extra crisp and the cheese just starts to brown around the edges.
  • Using a spoon, make a shallow, 2-inch-wide well in the centre of the cheese.
  • Add the egg yolk and cold butter (if using), and serve immediately.
  • To serve, hold down one pointed end of the hot khachapuri with a fork; using another fork, quickly stir the egg and butter (if using) into the cheese mixture until it’s smooth and stretchy.
  • Rip pieces of the bread boat off to dip in the cheese while it’s still hot. ENJOY!

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