|Gruel, Dried balls|
Kurdish women preparing Kashk
|Region or state:|
|Central Asia and Middle East|
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Kashk (Persian: کشک, Turkish: Keş) also spelled keshk, kish, kishik or Qurut also spelled qurt, kurt (Cyrillic: ҡорот, Azerbaijani: qurut, Tatar: qort and chortan Armenian: չորթան that chor means dried plus tahn), aaruul (Mongolian: ааруул) is used in a large family of foods found in Central Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Qurut is made from drained sour milk or yogurt by forming it and letting it dry. It can be made in a variety of forms, including rolled into balls, sliced into strips, and formed into chunks.
Kashk or Qurut is a sort of gruel.It is eaten plain, but can be used other ways. For example, it can be dissolved in water and eaten like yogurt. In western parts of Azerbaijan, it's customary to dissolve qurut in water by hand and use the sauce with xəngəl, the traditional Azerbaijani lasagna-type dish. Qurut dissolved in water is a primary ingredient of qurutob, a traditional Persian dish in Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Iran. 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 Inner Mongolia can be flavoured and distributed as candy.
There are three main kinds of food with this name: foods based on curdled milk products like yogurt or cheese; foods based on barley broth, bread, or flour; and foods based on cereals combined with curdled milk. In Turkish and Greek cuisine, there are closely related foods called tarhana or trahana.
Chortan is mentioned in the Armenian epic poem, Sasuntsi Davit, as an oral tradition dating from 8th-century, which was first put into written form in 1873. Kashk is also mentioned in the 10th-century Persian book of poetry Shahnameh. In fact it must have come from khoshk (Persian : خشک meaning "dry") which indicates that the Kashk or Kishk is prepared through a drying [خشکیدن] process.
In modern Iran, kashk is a thick whitish liquid similar to whey (a dairy product) similar to sour cream, used in traditional Persian/Iranian cuisine, like Ash Reshteh, Kashk O Bademjan, 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.
In Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria, Kishk is a powdery cereal of burghul (cracked wheat) fermented with milk and laban (yogurt). It is easily stored and is valuable to the winter diet of isolated villagers or country people. Kishk is prepared in early Autumn when the wheat crop is harvested. 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.
- 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, ISBN 1-86064-603-4.
- Keşkek, a related meat-and-grain stew
- Gachas, a Lathyrus gruel consumed since ancient times in parts of the Iberian peninsula.