Like the regular, cheese-filled khachapuri that I usually make, this bean-filled variation is from the book Flatbreads & Flavors by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid (I’ve only recently discovered Naomi’s evocative personal blog – check it out, it’s wonderful).
I’ve raved about this cookbook repeatedly on this blog (do you have a copy yet? If not, why not?) The only thing I wish is that the first edition had been bound more effectively, because my copy is completely shot. You can tell it’s been well-loved. It’s the only place I’ve found recipes for Georgian food, which is a wonderful savory cuisine full of walnuts, cheese, pomegranates and herbs.
I love cheese-filled khachapuri so much that it was hard to make myself try something new, but I’m glad I made the effort. What I really like about the bean filling is that it really highlights the flavor of the bread, which is very tender and tart. Full of protein from both beans and yogurt, it makes a great vegetarian meal. I made a quick pureed spinach soup to dip the breads in, but a sharp green salad would also be good alongside.
The dough (I give the recipe and technique in this post) is very quick to make, like a biscuit dough. It’s soft enough that it can be a little tricky to work with, so have plenty of flour on hand while you’re rolling out the individual breads.
The basic filling is just cooked red beans (I used canned azuki beans, but any would do), seasoned with salt, a little garlic and some chopped fresh cilantro. I added in a small sweet onion, sauteed until it began to turn golden. I’ve also seen a recommendation of some grated carrot, but I haven’t tried it yet.
By the way, these are really good rewarmed for breakfast. You can even break them in half and stuff fried or scrambled eggs inside, like a pita pocket.
Hmm…what else would be good inside a khachapuri? I’m thinking sausage…