Ajarian khachapuri has a unique shape and origin. Its history is related to the Lazs, who were boatmen and fishermen. The Lazs kneaded dough in the shape of a boat filled it with cheese, and cracked an egg into the middle, just like how the sun sets into the sea. They would then add a pat of butter to the baked khachapuri, as a symbol of prosperity and a good harvest.
Ajarian khachapuri, one of Georgia’s most iconic dishes, is still served this way to this day.
Ajarian khachapuri has become a symbol of Batumi, and any visit to the city would be incomplete without sampling this local delicacy.
Keep in mind that like all khachapuri, Ajarian khachapuri is a heavy dish, but unlike other khachapuri, it is eaten in a very specific way. Before sinking your teeth into this delicious delicacy, it is important to mix the hot cheese, soft-boiled egg, and butter inside the “boat” so that their flavours can mingle. While it is possible to eat Ajarian khachapuri with either your hands or a knife and fork, it is often easiest to use the latter, as Ajarian khachapuri should be served piping hot!
What Ingredients do you Need to Make Ajarian Khachapuri?
For the dough you need:
400 g of flour
500 ml of milk or water
10 g of yeast
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
For the filling you need:
400 grams of (slightly salted) Imeretian cheese
100 grams of sulguni
1 small coffee cup of milk
40 grams of butter
If you want to make your own Ajarian khachapuri at home, you’ll need to follow the below steps.
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm milk or water.
Add salt and an egg yolk to high-quality wheat flour in a separate bowl
Pour the yeast mixture on top, and then knead the dough.
Knead the kneaded dough once again, this time with oil on your hands, then put it in a deep bowl, piercing holes into it in a few places to let the dough breathe, covering it with a towel or plastic wrap.
Knead the dough once more after 30 minutes, then give it ample time to rise.
Grate the sulguni and Imeretian cheese for the centre. Add one tablespoon of milk and stir.
Remove a ball of about 250-300 grams from the risen dough and flatten it evenly to two to three centimeters in thickness. Give it an oblong shape.
Put the cheese onto it while leaving some empty areas of dough around it and fold up the edges. Your dough should now be boat-shaped, with space in the middle for the cheese.
Put the khachapuri on a baking tray dusted with flour, then put the tray into a hot oven and bake it at 230 degrees.
Once it has turned golden brown, take it out of the oven, crack an egg, carefully, into the center, and then put it back into the oven after two or three minutes.
Place a pat of frozen butter into the center of the khachapuri when it is finished.
Those with long experience of baking Ajjarian khachapuri will give you one piece of necessary advice: you have to knead the dough with your bare hands, without any sort of gloves, so that it is filled with your energy and warmth. They believe that Ajjarian khachapuri made in this way is much more delicious.