Cheese, butter, bread and egg, the four simple components used to make one of the world’s most delicious, totally guilt-free dishes: adjaruli khachapuri.
It’s a dish common to the city’s Georgian restaurants, many of which are clustered in neighborhoods including Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay. But there’s an outpost of Eurasian flair in the East Village at Oda Housethat’ll save Metrocard fare for those of us not lucky enough to live in the khachapuri-saturated neighborhoods of southern Brooklyn—though the extra travel exercise wouldn’t be the worst thing.
The adjaruli version of khachapuri—a catch-all term for different types of Georgian cheese bread—originated in the Adjara region of the country, which borders the black sea and accounts for the bread’s boat-like shape. Inside, two different types of cheese; sulguni, which boasts a mozzarella-like texture, and imeruli, which is similar to feta. The two cheeses are bonded with egg and made into a mixture, which is stuffed inside the bread and baked. The finishing touches: a barely poached egg and a hearty stick of butter. Ready for that walk yet?
According to Oda House owner Maia Acquaviva, a Georgian could easily polish off one adjaruli khachapuri by themselves and then move on to eat a main course or perhaps some khinkali, Georgia’s version of soup dumplings. To the uninitiated, we suggest bringing a friend.
Or two. But Acquaviva encourages doggy bags, at the very least, so long as you don’t think about cutting any reheating corners. “Never put this dish in the microwave, I hate the microwave, all my dishes hate the microwave, you lose all the taste,” Acquaviva warns. “You can put in a small oven, in a pot and cover it, do what you want. Not the microwave—I hate it!”