Monday, February 21, 2011

Kishk from Nourishing Traditions

Here's another recipe from "Nourishing Traditions". I LOVE that book. It is a cookbook but it's so much more. Dr. Weston A. Price was a dentist in the early 1900's. He noticed that people from different cultures had better teeth and were more healthy than people of other cultures. He had a theory that diet had a lot to do with that and began traveling the world, researching people's diets, mostly concentrating on people who were still eating their primitive diets. He studied not only what they ate but how they prepared foods. The healthiest groups of people had certain things in common in their diet. I don't know the list off the top of my head but those similarities included fermented veggies/fruits, soaking grains and beans to release phytic acid (some even ferment them as well), they included animal fat in their diet, and whatever I'm forgetting. I first learned about this guy when I was on the raw diet. There is a whole book that comprises his findings, and this book is like the how to of his findings. The first pages give a brief overview and each chapter has information on that particular subject. And on the side of each page has more information. It's the kind of book I could sit down and read...and often do. It's my night time reading. It's a great book but can be very overwhelming when I think about all I'm supposed to be doing.

Like any change, it's best to take baby steps. So my first step was to do some lacto-fermenting. I've made several batches of sauerkraut and a couple of dilly carrots. I've not mastered it in any way, shape or form but I have started. So, now that I am comfortable with fermenting, I can add to it. I have chosen to add soaking grains. For some reason, it's the most intimidating of all. I'm not really sure why. So, my first attempt at soaking is actually one that also ferments. Kishk comes from the Middle East. And it's a super simple recipe...a good one to start with.

4 cups bulgur
4 cups plain yogurt
(I cut it in half in case I really didn't like it)

Mix them together in a bowl and put in a dark place to ferment for 24 hours, covered. Make sure there's extra room in the bowl because it will expand to about twice the original volume.

Spread the mixture on cookie sheets and put in the oven which should be set to the lowest setting. I would dry it that way for an hour or two then just leave them in the oven for several hours to continue drying. The recipe says 12 hours but I didn't need nearly that long.

You can store it on the shelf in an airtight container after it dries but if you plan on having it around for months, it might be better off in the fridge/freezer. For me, I plan on replacing my bran flakes with it so one batch won't be around long enough to have to worry about the fridge.

I tasted it for the first time yesterday. It has a subtle sour flavor to it when eaten alone but when mixed with fruit and milk, you don't really notice it. It does not get soggy at all! It takes a lot more chewing to get through this bowl than it does to get through a bowl of bran flakes...which is probably a good thing anyway since I tend to inhale breakfast.

Next batch (which will be very soon), I will try it before I dehydrate it. If I like that better, than I'll forego the dying step. I can keep a container of it in the fridge to slow down the fermenting process so the flavor doesn't get too sour.


Michael Mercer said...

Very interesting. My roommate wants to make sauerkraut so I may have him call you when he decides to take the plunge. I would like to try this stuff sometime. Maybe I will make it!

Tiff :o) said...

It's much easier to chew when heated up on the stove top than when eaten cold. Still more crunchy then cereal though. I think I like it hot better. Now, I just need to get non freezer burnt fruit and it would be really good.

Mike, you can have him call or email me. I don't know a whole lot but I have learned a couple things that may help him.

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