Armenian Hachapuri Recipe
What Is Hachapuri?
Hachapuri (or khachapuri) is the Georgian national dish (Georgia as in the country that's near Russia, not the U.S. state). Hachapuri consists of dough with filling. The dough is leavened, allowed to rise, and is then shaped in various ways. The filling contains cheese (fresh or aged, most commonly suluguni), eggs, meat, and other ingredients.
There are various types of khachapuri in Georgia based on the territory: Imeretian (Imeruli), which is the most common type; Adjarian (Acharuli/Adjaruli), in which the dough is formed into an open boat shape and the hot pie is topped with a raw egg and a pat of butter before serving; Mingrelian (Megruli), similar to Imeritian but with more cheese added on top; and several others.
Khachapuri is such a popular dish that it "migrated" to many neighboring countries. With time, each nation modified it a little bit to its own liking. In this article, I'll describe the Armenian version of the hachapuri recipe. Being an Armenian myself, I can tell that Armenians most often bake Imeretian khachapuri. But this recipe is much easier and faster to make than the original because it uses lavash (an Armenian bread) and doesn't require making dough from scratch.
Armenian hachapuri will require some ingredients that might seem exotic for those who don't know much about Armenian and Georgian cultures. But you will be able to find them easily in your local Middle Eastern, Russian, or Armenian deli store, or even on Amazon.
Matsoni is a fermented milk product of Armenian origin, very similar to yogurt. It can also be called "Armenian yogurt," "tahn," "yogurt drink," or something like that. In this recipe you can substitute it with ryazhenka (Russian baked milk) or kefir. Both of them are sold in Russian deli stores, but kefir can often be found in a dairy section of regular supermarket chains. But make sure to buy unflavored version.
Suluguni cheese is a pickled Georgian cheese that has a sour, moderately salty flavor, a dimpled texture, and an elastic consistency. A typical sulguni cheese is shaped as a flat disc, 2.5 to 3.5 centimeters thick. It is usually sold either in vacuum packs with all the cheeses, or in a can (cheese in water) in a dairy section. If you can't find it, you can substitute it with mozzarella cheese.
Lavash is a thin Armenian flatbread. I often see it in regular supermarkets, so it's not a hard find.
How to Cook Armenian Hachapuri
- 2 Armenian lavash, large
- 2 eggs
- 200 g (7 oz) suluguni cheese
- 750 g (0.5 lbs) cottage cheese
- 0.25 L matsoni, can substitute kefir or ryazhenka
- Beat together matsoni (or kefir) and eggs.
- Grate the cheese, mix it with salted cottage cheese.
- Grease a baking pan with butter and place one lavash on it.
- Tear the second lavash to large pieces and wet them in matsoni with egg.
- Now we will be making layers which should be places on the lavash which is lying on tray: first spread there 1/3 of torn and soaked in matsoni lavash; then place half of cheese on top of it; then another 1/3 of torn lavash; and another half of cheese; and at last the remaining 1/3 of torn lavash.
- Tuck it and cover with the second half of lavash.
- Grease it with matsoni and egg and place into the oven (355 F) for 25-30 min.
- Enjoy it hot or cold. It's great in any way.