Adjaruli khachapuri is arguably Georgia’s most iconic dish. This eye-shaped, molten cheese bread is one of the most photogenic, decadent and delicious dishes from Georgia and, along with khinkali, is one of the most sought-after and well-known items of Georgian cuisine. And while it is absolutely delicious to go out to a top restaurant in Tbilisi and dig into a freshly made khachapuri, not everyone can get to Georgia and this delicious dish isn’t easy to find outside of this nation in the Caucasus. It is for this reason that I put together this Adjaruli khachapuri recipe so you can make this Georgian delicacy at home!
Adjaruli khachapuri (also referred to as Adjarian khachapuri or Acharuli khachapuri) may look complicated to make, however, I assure you that it is actually fairly simple and only requires a handful of ingredients. Not only is it relatively easy to make, but it is also lots of fun! So if you want to travel to Georgia without leaving your own kitchen, make sure to check out this Adjarian khachapuri recipe — you won’t be sorry.
What is Khachapuri?
Before I dive headfirst into the khachapuri recipe, we need to talk about what this amazing Georgian cheese bread is! Well, there are actually many variations of khachapuri that you can find throughout Georgia and they all hail from their own particular region of this small nation.
The most well-known (and decadent) of the khachapuris, however, is Adjaruli khachapuri, which hails from the Adjara region in western Georgia — where the coastal city of Batumi is. This is the most distinctive khachapuri and is notable for its boat shape and egg yolk that gives it the look of a cheesy, eggy eye.
While there are lots of different kinds of khachapuris available in Georgia, the two other most common that you will find (aside from Adjarian khachapuri) are khachapuri Imeruli and khachapuri Megrula. The former comes from the Imereti region around Kutaisi and the latter hails from the Samegrelo region near Zugdidi.
These two khachapuris differ from Adjaruli khachapuri in the fact that they are circular breads that are fully stuffed with cheese. They aren’t open like the Adjarian khachapuri. Imeruli khachapuri is my personal favourite and the easiest on your stomach and it is simply a circular cheese-stuffed bread. Megruli khachapuri is similar to Imeruli khachapuri except that it is also topped with cheese along with it being stuffed.
The main takeaway with any kind of khachapuri is that Georgians aren’t shy with the cheese — and neither should you be!
How to Make Khachapuri Adjaruli
Now that I’ve discussed what khachapuri is, it’s time to dive into how to make khachapuri! This easy khachapuri recipe is surprisingly simple to make and though it may be slightly time-consuming, the vast majority of the time it takes is inactive, so you don’t have to work too hard to get the best results of this Georgian cheese bread recipe!
Adjaruli Khachapuri Recipe: Dough
In this Adjaruli khachapuri recipe, you have to make the dough first.
Khachapuri dough is a very simple yeasted dough that is light, fluffy and moist and very easy to make. You don’t need any special equipment to make it (just your own two hands!) and it’s a really good introduction to yeasted doughs if you’ve never made anything like it before.
First and foremost, measure out your water and make sure that it is slightly warm to the touch — not cold, but not hot. Mix in the sugar and then pour the packet of yeast over the water. Set aside for about 5-10 minutes or until the yeast produces a lot of foam.
Weigh out your flour in a large mixing bowl and whisk in the salt. Make a well in the flour and crack your eggs into it, adding the oil, yeast and water mixture and matsoni, as well. Matsoni is a kind of thin Georgian yoghurt and it is unlikely that you will be able to find it outside of Georgia. Using something like kefir is a good substitute or even a thin, plain yoghurt — just make sure not to use Greek yoghurt, it is too thick for this recipe. If you don’t have any of these ingredients, you can also use milk with no problem at all.
Mix these ingredients together until well blended and a shaggy dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it evens in consistency and has a bit of stretch — about 5-10 minutes. The dough will be slightly tacky in consistency, just make sure to flour your surface as necessary (if you live in a more humid climate) to avoid the dough sticking either to the surface or your hands.
Once the dough is glossy and cohesive, transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl (to avoid sticking!) and set aside at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size –about 1.5 to 2 hours.
Assembling the Khachapuri
Preheat your oven with a baking sheet already in it (or, if you’re fancy, a pizza stone) — the preheated baking sheet will ensure that you have a crispy-bottomed Georgian cheese bread instead of a soggy one.
Punch down the dough so it returns to its original size and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. The measurements in this recipe make enough khachapuri to feed about 4 people and it’s up to you if you want to divide the dough in half and make two khachapuris or make one large one — I tend to opt for the former option as I think it is easier to eat a smaller one.
Before I go any further about the assembly, let’s talk about cheese! Traditional khachapuri adjaruli calls for Imeruli cheese and sometimes and a mixture of Imeruli and sulguni cheeses. Imeruli cheese is a fresh, salty, and slightly tangy and funky cows milk cheese that is absolutely delicious. However, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to find it outside of Georgia. So, what is one to do?
Well, in a pinch, you can combine equal parts feta (for the fresh tanginess that Imeruli provides) with some low-moisture mozzarella (for its great ability to melt) and you be rewarded with arguably the same result. You won’t have the mild funk that Imeruli cheese provides, so you’re just going to have to plan a trip to Georgia to taste it for yourself!
Roll out your dough in a circular shape until it reaches about 5 millimetres thick. Then, on both the top and bottoms of your dough circle, take a couple of tablespoons of your cheese and lay it out in two lines at the top and bottom of the dough circle, about 2 centimetres from the edge.
Take the edge of the bottom part of the dough and fold it over the line of cheese, tucking it under and rolling lightly until you get to the centre of your dough circle. Repeat with the top cheese line until you are left with two parallel cylinders of dough. Pinch either end of the dough together and, with both hands, lightly pull the cylinders apart until you get a wide middle and achieve an eye-shape.
Fill the middle with cheese (don’t pack it down, though — it is detrimental to optimal meltiness) and then brush the sides of the dough with a glaze made of an egg beaten with a bit of water. Transfer the khachapuri to the preheated baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, or until the cheese bread is lightly golden brown and the cheese is mostly melted.
Then, pour one egg yolk onto each khachapuri into the centre of the cheese bread and bake for a further 2 minutes. You want the pastry to be deeply golden brown, the cheese to be molten and bubbly, and the egg yolks to be lightly set.
Pull from the oven, top with a pat of butter and serve immediately — it’s time to eat!
How to Eat Khachapuri Adjaruli
Now that your khachapuri is steaming and out of of the oven, it’s time to dig in! But how does one eat an Adjarian khachapuri?
Well, it’s pretty simple and you can’t really do this a wrong way. But, traditionally, you would mix the egg yolk and butter up with the cheese and then rip the crusts off and dip it into the molten cheese middle. Georgians will generally eat this as a finger food, but there is no shame in using a knife and fork — I do!
How to Make Megruli or Imeruli Khachapuri
Don’t want to make Adjarian khachapuri? Well, Megrelian and Imertian khachapuris are even more simple to make and are perfect if you’re looking for an easy khachapuri recipe.
Follow all of the steps in the Adjaruli khachapuri recipe until you reached the cheese rolls. Instead, heap some cheese in the middle of your dough circle, leaving about three centimetres of dough around the edges.
Fold all of the edged into the middle and lightly roll your rolling pin over it to seal the seam. Then, flip it over and roll it out until it is about a centimetre thick and it is completely sealed. On the top, cut a few slashes in the dough to help steam escape.
If you want to make Imeruli khachapuri, just pop it in the oven now and bake for about 8 minutes. If you want to make Megruli khachapuri, then top with cheese before baking.
- 50 millilitres water
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 (7 gram) package instant yeast
- 350 grams all-purpose (plain) flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 90 millilitres matsoni (or equivalent in kefir or milk)
- 30 millilitres sunflower oil
- 600 grams Imeruli cheese, grated OR 300 grams crumbled feta and 300 grams grated, low-moisture mozzarella, combined
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Dissolve sugar in lukewarm water, add the yeast and set aside until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
- Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well and add eggs, matsoni, oil, and water and yeast mixture. Stir until a shaggy dough forms.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until cohesive, tacky and glossy, about 5-10 minutes
- Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rest at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1.5 - 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F) and place a baking sheet on the centre rack of the oven.
- Punch down dough, divide in two, and, working one by one, roll each piece out on a lightly floured surface until it reaches about 5 centimetres thick and about 20 centimetres in diameter.
- Place cheese in lines at the top and bottom of the dough circle, leaving about 2 centimetres of dough along the edge. Roll each side of dough to the middle of the circle until you have two parallel cheese-filled cylinders.
- Pinch both ends of the dough together, joining the cylinders at both ends and gently pull them apart in the middle, making an eye-shape and a wide middle. Fill middle with remaining cheese, taking care not to pack it down
- Brush each khachapuri with one egg beaten with a tablespoon of water. Transfer to baking sheet in oven and bake until lightly golden brown, about 8 minutes. Pull the khachapuris out and add one egg yolk to the centre of each bread, baking a total of 2 more minutes, or until dark golden brown and cheese is molten.
- Transfer to a wire rack and top with a pat of butter. Serve immediately.
And there you have it — an authentic way to make Adjaruli khachapuri! If you want to keep the memories of your trip to Georgia alive or if you are just interested in experiencing new cuisines from the comfort of your own kitchen, then this Georgian khachapuri recipe is for you!
Are you looking for an easy khachapuri recipe? Have you made Imeruli, Megruli or Adjarauli khachapuri before? Let us know in the comments below!