Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kashk

kashk = qurut = quroot = yazdie = caramelized yogurt = cream of whey

Recently, we received a note from one of our customers in the mid-east, requesting a recipe for kashk. She described it as "a thick yellowish-grey paste with "cheesy" scent." She said the closest taste would be a blue cheese sauce or a roguefort dip. She had made a delicious eggplant casserole with it - Kashke Bademjan.* 

Her note reminded me that we had posted a request for kashk recipes in the October 2011 Moosletter and had received no replies.  So, I decided to open the discussion again here in hopes that we will receive some comments and recipe suggestions about this elusive delicacy.

According to Wikipedia:

Kashk (Persian), keshk, kishk, or kishik is a large family of foods found in Iranian, Kurdish, and Arab cuisine.

In modern Iran, kashk is a thick whitish liquid similar to whey (a dairy product) similar to sour cream, used in traditional Persian/Iranian cooking. It is available as a liquid or in a dried form, which needs to be soaked and softened before it can be used in cooking. Kashk was traditionally produced from the leftovers of cheese-making (more specifically, the milk used to make it).

Traditional dishes containing kashk include “Kashk-e Bademjan” (a dish of grilled aubergines (eggplant) mixed with kashk) , “aash-e reshteh” (a noodle broth with various pulses), “halim bademjan” *(similar to kashk-e bademjan, but with minced meat) and “aash-e kashk” (a broth). (Wikipedia)

A few days after she sent us her note, our customer (who wishes to remain anonymous) found a recipe for kashk in a Persian cookbook - Food of Life and sent me a copy of it.  I also found a couple of recipes online - Persian Cuisine From Javane's Kitchen and Daei Mansoor.

Summarizing the 3 recipes, I came up with the one below.  (I have not tested it.)  However, I would welcome any comments you may have about different ways to make kashk.  If you have your own recipe, send it to Moosletter@gmail.com so we can share it in a future issue.

Kashk

You will need:
8 cups plain (whole fat) yogurt
1 tablespoon sea salt
Cheesecloth or butter muslin

Make sour yogurt by storing it for 1 or 2 days at room temperature (or until it tastes sour).

Place it in a blender with 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon salt.  Mix until smooth.

Pour into a pot, bring to a boil and simmer the yogurt (with the top off the pot) until thick, (this may take up to 4 hours).

Drain through 2 layers of cheesecloth or 1 layer of butter muslin until all the liquid has come out (at least 1/2 hour).  (You may hang it, press it under some weight or use our new Greek yogurt maker.)

Roll it into walnut-sized balls and place them on a cookie sheet to drain for a couple of hours.

When dry, store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze the little balls of kashk in separate baggies to use when needed.


*Kashke Bademjan
From Persian Recipes

Ingredients (2-4 people):
1-2 large eggplants
approximately 1 cup kashk
1 medium onion
1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons dried mint
oil
salt/pepper

Directions:
Peel the eggplants and cut them up into circles (with a thickness of approximately 1/4" each). Rinse the cut pieces and add some salt to the eggplants. Heat oil on the stove (medium-high heat) in a frying pan and fry the eggplants until golden (both sides need to be fried). If you can’t fry all the pieces in the frying pan at once (which may be the case) just set the fried eggplants aside on a plate until they are all done.

Mix the tomato paste with 1/2 cup hot water. Add pepper and salt (as desired) to the tomato paste and water. In the same frying pan, or in a different one, add all the eggplants and pour the liquid mixture over all the eggplants and cover the pan. Allow the eggplants to cook for 10-15 minutes on medium heat.

Peel the onion and finely chop the onion up into pieces. Fry the onion in oil until golden then set aside. Then, fry the dried mint in oil, as well. After you place the eggplants in a serving dish pour the Kaskh over the eggplants and sprinkle the onions and dried mint over them. Its ready to be served.

6 comments:

rhysmhor said...

I wonder if Kashk is a bit like "Puck" - a ubiquitous cheese product you can get here in Europe in Turkish/Middle Eastern delis? It comes in glass jars with pry-off lids which can be reused as perfect arabic mint tea glasses. The product is white, thick but not as thick as cream cheese, and a little bit sour.

You can see an image of it here: http://www.hashems.com/store/dairy/puck-cheese

rhysmhor said...

I wonder if Kashk is similar to "Puck", a ubiquitous cheese product you can get here in Europe in most Turkish/Middle Eastern delis?

It comes in little glass jars with pry-off lids that make excellent arabic mint tea glasses.

It is white and thick, but not the thickness of cream cheese. I must admit i always suspected the consistency of it - somehow just a little tooooo smooooth.

You can see an image of the product here: http://www.hashems.com/store/dairy/puck-cheese

Jeri said...

That's a good question. It sounds like kashk from your description and it looks like it in the jar. Does anybody know?

Elena said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
leostrog said...

I think i succeeded to repeat original sour taste of Kashk.
I began to make it as basic yogurt, but before adding a starter I added lipase.
After ending of process and for get a thick and creamy mass, I added a little salt and drained the yogurt with cheesecloth.
Received product have a distinctive sour/salty taste and "cheesy" aroma.

Jeri said...

Congratulations, Elena! Happy cheese making!