Ordering something for the table is always fun to do, but it’s even better when the dish that’s served comes with an extra dash of interactive drama. That’s certainly the case with Adjarian khachapuri (pronounced eh-JERR-e-an HA-cha-PUR-ee), which not only tastes delicious, but is incredibly fun to say. Add this pizza/hot dip/fondue-ish option to your menu, and you’ll be guaranteed plenty of oohs, ahs — and copycat orders.
Simple ingredients and prep
Even better, as dramatic as this dish looks, it’s easy to make from what’s already on-hand in the pantry and walk-in. It requires just dough, cheese, butter and eggs. The final step happens tableside, as diners stir egg and a pat of butter into the hot cheese filling to ﬁnish its cooking, then break off chunks of crust by hand and dip it into the hot filling. No special serving equipment is needed, since the baked bread can rest on a wooden board or rustic platter, and diners will devour all of the “serving bowl” by themselves.
If you’re wondering about the origins of this gooey, cheesy delight, it’s the most iconic dish from the autonomous republic of Adjara, a historical, geographic and political region of Georgia. While it’s traditionally eaten as an appetizer and has gained popularity as a street food in its place of origin, it’s now appearing on many menus for breakfast, brunch and as a late-night snack. In Israel, it’s even edging out shakshuka as the most popular brunch offering at some trendy restaurants.
Who’s serving it and how
At the Georgian bistro Cheeseboat in Brooklyn, many different khachapuri versions are on the menu, including the Bubba (shrimp and feta), steak and eggs and even a vegan version made with ajapsandali, a Georgian version of ratatouille that’s made with onions, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers and parsley. In New York’s East Village, traditional Greek restaurant Oda House serves up 19 khachapuri different varieties, including vegan, gluten-free and a $58 “assortment plate.” Also in New York, Barbounia bakes the bread boats in a traditional taboon, a clay oven that’s shaped like a truncated cone. Choices there include the addition of wild mushrooms, creamed spinach, a BLT version and a Croque Madame.
Eater New York article on khachapuri’s growing role as an “essential” dish
Adjaruli khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread) from Saveur
Khachapuri from The Splendid Table
Eater tutorial on how to make khachapuri