How to prepare savory Dagestan khinkal with green onions (RECIPE)

If you want to try another type of authentic pasta, try making khinkal with green onions from the mountainous region of Dagestan.

If you want to try another type of authentic pasta, try making khinkal with green onions from the mountainous region of Dagestan.

Yulia Mulino
Today, we are making khinkal with fresh green onions that resembles gnocchi to some connoisseurs of Italian cuisine.

Khinkal is one of Dagestan’s utmost signature dishes, and there are many variations of it. Classical Dagestan khinkal consists of thick, soft pieces of kefir dough served with beef, broth and sauces. Therefore, it should not be confused with the equally well-known Georgian dish that has the same name - khinkali, which is a large meat dumpling in the form of a sack.

Dagestani khinkal has a spring variant - Avar khinkal with wild onions. The Avars are the most numerous people living in Dagestan. Avar khinkal is a seasonal dish that can rarely be found on restaurant menus. There are several variations of it, which differ in technology and ingredients I chose the one which will work out for everyone and retain the authentic flavor.

I used a recipe with kefir and egg, although many people make Avar spring khinkal only with water. Mashing the kefir with baking soda and kneading the dough for a long time gives the final dish a puffiness. This is where the nuances begin: the dough can stick to your hands, and if you add more flour the khinkal will be less tender. Some housewives make a set of khinkal immediately after combining the ingredients, using flour to keep the dough from sticking. It is important to put butter in a bowl of cooked, hot khinkal so that it does not stick together.

I used regular green onions as a spring stuffing. But next year I will try this dish with green ramsons. Avar housewives serve local cheese with this dish. Some of them might roast a turkey and homemade sausage and serve it with khinkal in a plate with milk. Some serve chicken broth and chicken pieces separately. I used a simple serving with Greek yogurt and fresh green onions. 

Ingredients for 2-4 servings:

  • Flour - 280 g
  • Kefir - 100 ml
  • Egg - 1 unit
  • Salt - 0.5 tsp
  • Soda - 0.5 tsp
  • Green onion - 150 g
  • Butter - 30 g


1. Add baking soda and salt to the kefir and let the mixture stand for 20 minutes. Add the egg to the kefir.

2. Chop the green onions finely and place in a deep bowl.

3. Combine the onion with the liquid mixture.

4. Add flour gradually. The dough will be sticky. Some Dagestan housewives knead it until it’s elastic and does not come off their hands. Some form the khinkal after the dough is combined.

5. Gather the dough, sprinkle it with flour and let it stand for 30 minutes.

6. You can divide the dough into parts, make strips and cut into cubes.

7. Make a 1.5 cm flatbread, sprinkling the surface with flour. Cut it into rhombuses.

8. Boil khinkal in salted water and place in a bowl with butter.

9. Serve with yogurt and greens. Enjoy!

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