Kishkeh Khadra Dip (Fresh Kishkeh)
Kishkeh is a simple important mouneh traced back to the Turkish, Levantine and some regional Iraqi cuisines. It is made from combining bulgur and yogurt together. Back in the days where the produce of the land and animal was seasonally in high peak during the summer, summer and the beginning of autumn were the time to prepare mouneh, the act of preserving food, vegetables and fruits using different methods and techniques in order to be consumed during the harsh winters. Kishkeh was one of those prepared by villagers by soaking fine bulgur in yogurt then rolling the mix in small balls and leaving them to ferment and dry outdoors until hardened. At this point they develop that distinct sour taste from the fermentation process. It is then crushed into power and stored in the mouneh room for use during winter time, such as kishkeh soup.
On the other hand, today's dish, kishkeh khadra, is a simple dish that is an all-year-round dish and hardly takes any effort to prepare. Bulgur and yogurt are still used in this dish but there is a twist here to the winter dish. It is prepared and eaten fresh; hence the word khadra (green) which means soft, fresh and undried. Goat milk and yogurt were very common back in the days in Syria, so this dish used to be made using goat yogurt; these days it has been replaced by cow milk. Kishkeh Khadra can be made with a dip or mezza in mind, or simply a side dish. This recipe I am sharing is presented to you exactly as my grandmother used to prepare it. Most of my fond memories of kishkeh were with my friend Abeer and her mom; I loved her kishkeh so much she used to make me sandwiches to take to school in the morning as we lived one building away from each other.
This is normally eaten with bread and green onions, but since my body can’t cope with so much carbs I use it as a dip with crudités.
For kishkeh base:
- 1/4 cup bulgur, fine
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup yogurt
For the dip:
- 2/3 cup the above mix
- 1 cup labneh*
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons walnuts, finely chopped
- Salt, to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
* To make the base, pour the boiling water and yogurt over the bulgur. Mix well and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside until all the liquid is absorbed and it has completely cooled down.
* To make the dip, put 2/3 cup of the base mix above in a bowl then add all the remainder of the ingredients for the dip. Season well.
* Drizzle with olive oil and eat it with bread or crudités.
* The base mix can be portioned and frozen for later use as no matter how little you make you will always end up with more than you need. Simply defrost the base mix then add the dip ingredients.
*Labneh is yogurt strained through a cheese cloth to get rid of the whey which then gives it a thicker consistency. The closest to this is Greek yogurt.
Per Serving : 730 Calories; 52g Fat (62.5% calories from fat); 22g Protein; 48g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 8mg Cholesterol; 41mg Sodium.