Margarita's International Recipes



Chechen Gnocchi with Beef

Galnesh, Chechnya's national dish, is known by many different names including Cirdingis, Galnish, Galvash, Gilnis and Djirdigish. Basically, they are very simple flour gnocchis, cooked in broth and eaten with boiled meat and garlic sauce. They are priced throughout Chechnya, however, and while I didn't fall in love with the dish I made I can see why: it's a very homey dish that speaks of grandmothers at the kitchen table.

Galnesh can be made with any type of meat. Lamb seems more traditional, but beef or chicken is also used.



  • 2 lbs. boneless beef or lamb, cubed or 3 lbs chicken parts
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting
  • 1 egg
  • 8 - 10 cloves garlic


Place meat in a cooking pot and cover generously with water. You want to have enough water to cook both the meat now and the pasta later. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, skim the surface of the broth, and then simmer until the meat is cooked through and tender, 30 to 90 minutes depending on your meat.

Meanwhile, mix the flour, the egg, 1 tsp. salt and 3/4 cup water. Work the dough carefully with your hands, it should have a pasta-like consistency. Add more flour or water if necessary. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let stand for 30 minutes.

Generously flour a working surface and your hands. Work the dough with your hands into a large round loaf. Cut with a knife into strips. Roll each strip with your fingers into a long string, like you would for Italian gnocchi, cut rectangles, flatten these with your fingers, and then roll into the galnesh (see video).

Alternatively, roll a portion of the dough to a 5mm thickness with your hands or a floured rolling pin. Cut the dough into small triangles, put your fingers on the wider side and roll them towards you (see video on this webpage).

Place galnesh onto a flat surface. Continue until you are out of dough. Cover and reserve.

When the meat is cooked, remove it from the broth using a slotted spoon. Place in a bowl and set aside. Pour 1/2 cup of broth into a bowl and bring the remaining broth in the pot back to a boil. Add the galnesh to the pot, and cook over medium-low heat until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove galnesh with a slotted spoon and reserve. Return the meat to the pot and cook until warmed through. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve as well.

While the galnesh is cooking, make the garlic sauce. Mash the garlic cloves with a bit of salt and then mix with the reserved 1/2 cup of broth.

To serve, put the garlic sauce in a small bowl and place this bowl in the middle of a large serving platter. Place the galnesh and meat around the bowl. To eat, dip the galnesh and meat into the garlic sauce.

Adapted from a recipe at Syrian Foodie

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