Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kechk Dip Recipe. What is this Kechk stuff anyway?

Kechk is a traditional Lebanese food made from yoghurt and wheat, that is fermented, dried, and ground into a shelf-stable powder that can be used for all sorts of different things.  According to one person I talked to, it doesn't have to be made from yoghurt, his mother in Lebanon, makes it from raw goats milk.  Either way, it looks like a great way to preserve excess milk and/or yoghurt.

Before I set out to make Kechk, a project that takes a few weeks I'm told, I decided to try some of the commercial variety.  It comes as a fairly fine off-white powder, and smells exactly like what I use to put on popcorn when I went to the movies as a child.

For my first experience with Kechk, I made a dip.

Kechk Dip

2 Tbs Kechk powder
few drops olive oil
herbs like mint, chives, sage, thyme, &c.  Fresh or dry is fine.

  • Combine the Kechk powder with enough water to make a thick paste. Mix in a few drops of olive oil.
  • Finely chop the herbs and add them to the mix.
  • Let it sit for about 20 min or so before eating with crackers, vegetables, or a spoon.
At first it has a grainy texture, but after it sits for a little while, it becomes smooth like hummus.

Kechk isn't always easy to find in these parts, or affordable when you can find it, but it looks like fun to make.  I can see myself making this in future.  According to the book The Art of Fermentation, you can make a vegan version using the same method (but different ingredients), but not drying it all the way, forming the paste into small balls and store covered with olive oil.  Apparently it makes a shelf stable vegan cheese substitute which is also good for flavouring and thickening soups.

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