The flatbread in this recipe is a specialty of the druze community in the Shouf area of Lebanon. It uses a very traditional product named keshk (or Kishk). This was prepared by Lebanese folks as part of the provisions for the winter season. What is keshk? It is simply a mixture of yoghurt and bulgur, ground into a powder. Its use goes back centuries all the way back to the Crusaders time in the 10th century. Since keshk is sun-dried, it is made at the end of summer, after the wheat harvest. Keshk isa staple food for farmers because it is very nourishing. It can be eaten fresh, or it can be dried and reconstituted in water before consumption. A popular way to consume keshk is in a flatbread (man’ooshe) which is ordered at hundreds of bakeries every morning throughout Lebanon. It will fill you up for the rest of the day!
In the US and elsewhere, it is available at middle-eastern groceries or online. In Lebanon, traditional people still make it at home but most people purchase it. The most known producers of keshk are located in the North near Baalbeck.
This recipe comes from Fragrance of the Earth, by Nada Salehand is adapted.
INGREDIENTS: This recipe will make 2 large flatbreads
- 1 recipe flatbread dough (See post on flatbread with zaatar)
- TOPPING: 1 large onion, finely chopped or pureed (6 ounces)
- 1 small red chili pepper or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 tablespoons keshk
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or more as needed)
- 4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- salt, to taste
- Either: 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped or pureed or tomato ketchup or tomato sauce.
- 4 tablespoons red pepper paste, preferably hot
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, less the olive oil. If the paste feels too wet, drain it a bit through a coffee filter over a small bowl. When ready to spread it, add the olive oil and mix.
- Roll out the dough on a cookie sheet or a large piece of aluminum foil into a 12 inch circle.
- Spread a few tablespoons of the topping on the flatbread.
- Bake in a preheated oven or on the grill.
- Serve hot with some fresh mint leaves.
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