Keshek is a very nourishing food traditionally prepared in rural areas for sustenance year-round; it is a mixture of yogurt and milk fermented with bulgur, dried and ground into a powder. Urbanized Lebanese buy it commercially made; however, there are still plenty of people in the villages who still make it at home. It is a long process.
Keshek is incorporated into many dishes such as flatbreads for breakfast, soups, and salads. This is a simple soup with keshek and shredded cabbage. Keshek smells like buttermilk powder.
Keshek connoisseurs will insist that the best is made with goat milk; I bought both and found the one with goat milk to be a bit too pungent. I guess I am definitely not an expert on keshek.
I found keshek sold at the Middle-Eastern store in my Dallas neighborhood. It is also sold online.
INGREDIENTS: 4 servings
- 2 cups shredded white cabbage
- 1 cup ground meat (lamb preferably)
- ½ cup keshek
- 1 onion, chopped
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper or allspice
- 4 cups water
1.Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat and fry the onion until golden; if adding meat to the soup, fry the meat alongside the onion; add the cabbage and stir-fry 10 minutes longer until softened and translucent. Add salt, spices and the keshek and stir; pour the water over the mixture. Cover and simmer the soup for 15 minutes. Serve.
NOTE: The meat in this soup can be replaced with lamb confit (awarma), which is traditional; if unable to source awarma, a few slices of bacon, chopped, can be substituted.