I've always thought the name was funny.
Say it a few times. You’ll see what I mean.
So, what is Kishkeh? I’m not referring to the Slavic variety of kishke or kishka which are various types of sausages filled with a combination of meat and some type of grain, although this one does involve a grain as well.
Middle Eastern kishkeh, or kishk, is made from a yogurt and bulgur mixture that is left to ferment. After 7-10 days, it is dried and ground to make a powder, which is used in many different ways throughout the Middle East. It can be sprinkled in bread dough, made into a paste and baked on flatbread, used as a soup starter and to thicken sauces, or simply to add flavor and nutrients to a dish.
A Syrian porridge-like soup that’s popular in the cooler months is made of Kishk powder that is sautéed with butter, onions, and garlic, then reconstituted with water and seasoned with dried mint. Top it with toasted pita bread and let it warm you up on a chilly winter day.
While there are many delicious ways to enjoy Kishk, this recipe is for the fresh version of Kishkeh. Remember how I mentioned that the powder is made from a mixture of yogurt and bulgur that is left to ferment? Well before the kishkeh is left out to dry, we take this fresh, tangy mix and add chopped walnuts, mint, parsley, green onions and Labneh to make a dip that can be enjoyed with fresh bread or pita chips. It’s so simple to make but does require slight planning ahead because the base is stirred together and left out overnight so the bulgur can absorb the liquid of the milk and yogurt.
I love mine topped with more walnuts, black kalamata olives and extra virgin olive oil for an enticing textural experience that’s packed with flavor.
Fresh Kishkeh is usually found on breakfast or brunch spreads, but I think it’s great any time of day. Tonight, it’s even our dinner!
Fresh Yogurt & Bulgur Kishkeh
About 4 Cups
1 cup Milk
1 cup Yogurt
1 cup Fine Bulgur
1 cup Labneh
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup Parsley, chopped
3-4 stalks Green Onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp Fresh Mint, chopped (optional)
Sea Salt to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
In a medium bowl, stir together the milk, yogurt and fine bulgur until well combined. Cover loosely and let it sit for at least 5 hours or overnight. It will seem thin, but the bulgur will absorb the liquid from the milk and yogurt, soften, and expand.
The next morning, stir in the labneh, walnuts, parsley, green onion, mint and salt to taste. It’s ready after this, but I find that allowing it to sit for a few more hours will develop the flavor even more.
Plate and garnish with desired toppings. Serve with fresh pita bread or pita chips and enjoy!