Kashk ( fa|کَشک ''Kašk'') is a range of dairy products used in cuisines of Iranian
, Central Asian
and the Levantine
people. Kashk is made from drained yogurt
(in particular, drained qatiq
) or drained sour milk
by shaping it and letting it dry. It can be made in a variety of forms, like rolled into balls, sliced into strips, and formed into chunks.
There are three main kinds of food products with this name: foods based on curdled milk
products like yogurt
; foods based on barley
broth, bread, or flour; and foods based on cereal
s combined with curdled milk.
''Kashk'' is a fermented food
that is made from grain mixed with sour milk
, but in modern times is also used for a separate dish of dried buttermilk
that can be crumbled and turned into a paste with water. Fermented milk products are affected by numerous factors including the species of milk-producing animal, heat treatment processes for raw milk
, fat content of milk, fermentation temperature, and inoculation percentage.
Drying allows longer shelf life for the product.
This coarse powder can be used to thicken soups and stews and improve their flavor, or as an ingredient in various meat, rice or vegetable dishes such as the Persian
eggplant dish kashk e bademjan
The ancient form of the dish was a porridge
s fermented with whey
and dried in the sun. The long shelf-life and nutritional value of ''kashk'' made it a useful item for peasants during the winter months, as well as soldiers and travelers.
Kashk in different languages and cultures
''Kashk'' is found in the cuisines of Afghanistan
, the Caucasus
, and Turkey
. This expansive geographic area contains different language groups, contributing to the complexity of pinpointing the development and usage of this term. In some languages it is called kashk or kishkh, ( fa|کشک, ar|كشك, ku|keşk, tr|keş peyniri), ''qurut'' in others ( kz|құрт, tk|gurt, uz|qurt, az|qurut, ky|курут, ps|قروت, tr|kurut, sürk, taş yoğurt, kurutulmuş yoğurt, cjs|қурут). There are many varied names for this class of dishes including ''jameed'' ( ar|جميد), ''chortan'' ( hy|չորթան
) and ''aaruul, khuruud'' ( mn|ааруул, хурууд).
According to Francoise Aubaile-Sallenave, the first known literary use of the term comes from the Armenian historian Yeghishe
. ''Chortan'' is mentioned in the Armenian epic poem ''Daredevils of Sassoun
''. First put into written form in the 19th century, the poem is said to be based an 8th century oral tradition.
In the 10th-century Persian ''Shahnameh
'' ("Book of Kings") by Firdausi
the term is used in the sense of "barley flour", but it's also used for a mixture of cracked wheat and cracked barley.
Aubaile-Sallenave argues that the original Persian ''kashk'' known from early Persian literature
was made with barley
that contained either a mix of leaven with water or some fermented milk. To answer questions about the modern meaning in Iran for a dried dairy dish she argued "Iranian speaking pastorialists, for whom dried sour milk was a staple, and who had no easy access to barley, applied the word ''kashk'' by analogy to dry sour milk". Charles Perry
offers an alternate explanation based on the 13th century Arabic cookbook ''Wasf al-Atimah al-Mutadah
'' which says dried yogurt was a Turkomen
By the Middle Ages the word had two meanings, one referring to barley flour or a mix of barley and cracked wheat, and another to mean a meat or fowl dish cooked overnight (''kashak'' or kashba
). A 10th century Arabic cookbook describes two types of ''kashk'', one made of wheat and leaven and another of sour milk.
''Kashk'' is the origin of ''tarhana
'' found in the moderns cuisines of Turkey
, where it is called ''trachanas'' ().
To make the dried yogurt ''qurut'' a traditional or modern method can be used. For the modern method, sour yogurt is blended until smooth, then boiled and strained. It is left to ferment in a warm oven for several days, then the moisture is strained and blended with salt to make the ''kashk''. The drained liquid can be used to make ''qaraqorut
'' ("dried black whey").
For traditionally prepared ''qurut'' water is added to full fat yogurt and poured into a goatskin "churn" - a sack hung from a tripod that is swung back and forth until the milk separates into a type of butter and buttermilk. The buttermilk is boiled and drained to obtain curd
which is dried in the sun over a period of weeks to make ''qurut''.
[ While traveling in the Baluchistan English explorer Ernest Ayscoghe Floyer encountered this form of ''kashk'':
...from the butter manufacture is left the buttermilk called "dōgh." This is boiled, and the remainder is "luch"; this is pressed and dried, and becomes "shilanch", or in Persian, "kashk," a hard, white biscuit of very sour cheese. This is powdered, and, boiled with savory herbs, is very palatable.
When ''kashk'' is made with grain in the Armenian, Arab and Turkish cuisines strained yogurt is added to grain and stored until it begins to ferment. After being left to dry in the sun for over a week it is turned into a coarse powder by rubbing and sifting.
''Matzoon'' in Armenia and ''mats'oni'' in Georgia, is a commonly used ingredient in Caucasian cuisine. One of the ways ''matzoon'' is used is for the production of butter. When ''matsun'' is churned it separates from the buttermilk. By boiling and churning the buttermilk one obtains ricotta cheese. The product obtained by drying the ricotta clots is called ''chortan'';
''chor'' means "dry" and ''tan'' means "buttermilk" in the Armenian language.
In Azerbaijan, ''qurut'' is made in a similar way from strained yogurt. Yogurt (''qatiq'') is made from fresh milk and strained to make ''suzma qatiq''. When the buttermilk "whey" has been separated from the butter using traditional methods the buttermilk curds are formed into small balls and dried in the sun.
In western parts of Azerbaijan boiled flat dough is layered with a ''qurut'' white sauce and chicken to make Azerbaijani ''xəngəl''.
Qurut dissolved in water is a primary ingredient of ''qurutob'', which is thought of by some as the national dish of Tajikistan. One of the main dishes in Afghanistan is ''kichree qurut'', made with mung beans, rice and qurut dissolved in water. It is sometimes salted, and in Mongolia can be flavoured and distributed as candy.
Kashk has been a staple in the Iranian diet for thousands of years. In modern Iran, kashk is a thick whitish liquid similar to whey or sour cream, used in traditional Persian and Kurdish cuisine, like ash reshteh, kashk e badamjan, ''kale joush''. 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). The procedure is, subtracting butter from milk, the remainder is doogh which can be used as the base for kashk. The water is subtracted from this whitish beverage and what remains is kashk which can be dried. Iranian kashk has made an appearance in US markets in the past half-century by several Iranian grocers starting with Kashk Hendessi.
In Turkey, kashk is a dried yogurt product also known as ''keş peyniri'', ''kurut'', ''taş yoğurt'', ''kuru yoğurt'', or ''katık keşi''. Its contents and production vary by region. In western and northern Turkey, especially in Bolu, the product is categorized as a cheese owing to its shape and white color. In eastern Turkey, especially Erzincan, Erzurum, and Kars, kurut is produced from skimmed yogurt made from the whey left over from production of butter by the ''yayık'' method, and then crushed or rolled. In parts of southeastern Turkey with a significant Kurdish population, it is called ''keşk''. All versions of this dairy product are salty. It is used as an ingredient in soups, keşkek, erişte, etc.
There is also a closely related dried food product called tarhana which is based on a fermented mixture of grain and yogurt or fermented milk. It is very similar to ''kishk'' of the Levantine cuisine described below.
Levant and Arabian Peninsula
In Lebanon, Palestine, Arabian Peninsula and Syria, ''kishk'' is a powdery cereal of burghul (cracked wheat) fermented with milk and laban (yogurt), usually from goat milk. It is easily stored and is valuable to the winter diet of isolated villagers or country people. Kishk is prepared in early autumn following the preparation of burghul. Milk, laban and burghul are mixed well together and allowed to ferment for nine days. Each morning the mixture is thoroughly kneaded with the hands. When fermentation is complete the kishk is spread on a clean cloth to dry. Finally it is rubbed well between the hands until it is reduced to a powder and then stored in a dry place. In Jordan a dried yogurt similar to kashk called jameed is commonly used. Elsewhere in the Levant, similar products are referred to as drained labneh (''labneh malboudeh'').
A 10th-century recipe for ''kishk'' recorded in the ''Kitab al-Tabikh'' was made by par-boiling dehulled wheat, milling it and blending it with chickpea flour. Yeast, salt and water were added to make a dough from the flour, which was left in the sun for around 2 weeks, and re-moistened with sour yogurt (or sour grape juice) as needed. After 15 days the dough would be seasoned with mint, purslane, cilantro, rue, parsley, garlic and the leafy tops of leeks, shaped into disks, and allowed to dry in the sun.
* Iranian cuisine
* Gachas, a Lathyrus gruel consumed since ancient times in parts of the Iberian Peninsula
* Keşkek, a related meat-and-grain stew in Iranian, Turkish and Greek cuisines
* List of yogurt-based dishes and beverages
* Karabulut I., Hayaloğlu A. A., Yıldırım H. ''Thinlayer drying characteristics of kurut, a Turkish dried dairy by-product.'' Int J Food Sci Technol, 42 (2007), 1080–1086.
* Françoise Aubaile-Sallenave, ''Al-Kishk: the past and present of a complex culinary practice'', in Sami Zubaida and Richard Tapper, ''A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East'', London and New York, 1994 and 2000, .
*Liu W J, Sun Z H, Zhang Y B, Zhang C L, Menghebilige, Yang M, Sun T S, Bao Q H, Chen W, Zhang H P. ''A survey of the bacterial composition of kurut from Tibet using a culture-independent approach.'' J Dairy Sci. 2012 Mar, 95(3), 1064-72. .
Category:Fermented dairy products
Category:Types of cheese
Category:Middle Eastern cuisine