Georgian khinkali dumplings with black lentils

I am not sure how it happens, but sometimes I wake up in the morning with an idea for ​​some experimental food I would like to make. There is a combination of ingredients in my head and I know I just have to try it out. And although there are times I am very disappointed with the final result, most of the time I am very proud and happy with what I have achieved. Sometimes I also Google my idea and it turns out that I wasn’t the only one who came up with it, but that’s a different story.

A few days ago I woke up with the idea of ​​vegan khinkali dumplings. And although I’ve never been to Georgia, I knew it is one of its flagship dishes. Even though they are not traditionally vegan, I was allured by the idea of ​​a Georgian feast full of local delicacies and homely atmosphere. So I have reached for the black lentils hoping for my own little vegan Georgian feast. And I must admit that it has turned out well.

Vegan khinkali dumplings with black lentils

Recipe for about 20 dumplings (they are quite large and filling – 5 pieces is a good dinner portion)

Lentil stuffing:

  • 1 cup of black lentils*
  • 2 glasses of water
  • 2 smaller onions (or one large)
  • 3 tbsps of oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 flat tsp of pepper (they should be slightly spicy!)
  • Bunch of coriander** (stalks will be useful for stuffing)

* the taste of black lentils fits here really well, but both green and brown should also work

** if you are not a fan of coriander, prepare khinkali with a bunch of parsley 

Dough for dumplings:

  • 500g wheat flour
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp oil 

Serve with:

  • Coriander leaves, freshly ground pepper

  1. Boil a glass of lentils in two glasses of water for about 25 minutes. It should be al dente because later we will cook the stuffing inside the dumplings.

  2. Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry the diced onion for about 5 minutes, then add a large handful of chopped coriander stalks, cumin and pepper. Fry for another 3 minutes.

  3. Add the aromatic fried onion and other spices to the lentils. Mix everything.

  4. Mix the stuffing with a hand blender, but only partially, carelessly. You can leave about half the lentils not blended – thanks to this, the texture of the stuffing inside the dumpling will be more interesting.

  5. Mix the ingredients for the dumplings dough and knead an elastic ball. Divide into three smaller parts.

  6. On a flour-covered work surface, roll out part of the dough to achieve a 3mm thickness. Cut out circles of dough with a large glass or bowl (diameter about 10cm). You can re-roll dough scraps if necessary.

  7. Apply one tablespoon of stuffing in the centre of the round pieces of dough. Now the coolest part of the whole thing – use your thumbs and index fingers to make an accordion-type fold all around the edge. Then spin the whole dumpling by holding its tip. The process of making them is best shown in this video: CLICK.

  8. Place the prepared dumplings on a cloth. Cook in a large amount of lightly salted boiling water for 10 minutes. Serve hot, with coriander leaves and freshly ground pepper.