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Kishk: Fermented Wheat and Yogurt

Enjoyed as a soup, a dough filling or a sauce for different Lebanese dishes, Kishk is a preserved dairy product traditionally made from cracked wheat fermented in milk and yogurt. Like most Lebanese mouneh, Kishk was prepared in summer to preserve dairy for winter. To this day, the preparation of powdered kishek holds its tradition and mainly takes place in old villages and is made in large quantities at a time
Kishk: Fermented Wheat and Yogurt

While the delicacy is common to different regions of Lebanon and its neighboring countries, taste and texture can vary according to the type of wheat and yogurt used. Originally brown wheat was paired with goat’s milk. However, to reduce its acidic taste and to create a lighter colored powder, it is more common to find Kishk prepared with white wheat and cow’s milk. Even though this recipe will use this combination, substitutions can be made to reach the nostalgic taste you require.

All you need to prepare Kishk is yogurt, crushed wheat and coarse salt. Simplified to be made at home in smaller than usual quantities, the recipe can be prepared at larger scales and stored properly for several years seeing the time and effort its preparation can take.


Serves : 300-500g

Ingredients you will need

  • 240 ml of crushed white wheat
  •  1 L of yogurt 
  • 15-30 g of coarse salt


  • Bowl 
  • Cheesecloth
  • Food processor 
  • Jar





  1. Mix the crushed white wheat with about one cup of the yogurt to soak overnight allowing the wheat to soften. 
  2. In the meantime, prepare Labneh (https://theessentialthings.com/blogs/dairy/labneh) with the rest of the yoghurt to use the next day.
  3. After the wheat has absorbed all the yogurt and the Labneh is ready, mix together the soaked wheat and drained yogurt with the coarse salt in a bowl and leave it to ferment on a countertop for about 3 days (or more if the weather is not warm) kneading the dough-like mixture daily. 
  4. After fermentation, you will have the pre-finished version known as Kishk Akhdar or Green Kishek that can be consumed like Labneh with tomatoes, onions and oil. 
  5. The dough should be split into palm-sized patties and placed on a cheesecloth, on a tray.
  6.  While it is preferable to place the tray in the sun outside for the Kishek to dry out, it can be placed in either a sunny spot inside or on a countertop but it will take longer to dry out. 
  7. Frequently rub the green Kishk patties between your palms to break it into smaller pieces and accelerate the drying process which might take several days. Make sure the tray is brought inside at night if it is drying outside. 
  8. Once the Kishk is completely dried, place the Kishk in a food processor to grind into powder. To make sure it is fine, swift the powder and reprocess the larger pieces. 
  9. Store the powder in glass jars in your pantry or plastic bags in the freezer if you live in a warm area. 

Questions and tips:

  1. What can I use if I don’t find crushed white wheat? If you can’t find crushed wheat easily you can use wheat berries and process them. Any kind of wheat can be used, not strictly white wheat but it will affect color.
  2.  What yogurt should I use? Full-fat goat, sheep or cow yogurt can be used, Greek yogurt and Laban are preferred. Using goat and sheep yogurt makes a more acidic Kishk.
  3.  If you decide to prepare the recipe on a larger scale, split the labneh into several portions, mixing in one portion a day during the fermentation period. 
  4. Why is coarse salt used? Coarse salt is used to prevent the Kishk from rotting. 
  5. Can you skip fermentation? Yes, the recipe will still succeed if you skip fermentation and will have a less acidic taste.



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