Today I’m sharing bulgur or cracked wheat and yogurt dip (kishkeh in Arabic).
This is a fairly simple dip made with softened fine bulgur wheat, yogurt, walnuts, parsley, onion and olive oil. One key component of this dish is the Arabic sheep’s milk yogurt, or laban. Before refrigeration practices, making yogurt became a way to preserve and ferment milk. Since sheep were always more abundant in the Middle East than cows, traditional Arabic yogurt used the former animal to make its yogurt.
Arabic sheep’s milk yogurt is a much thicker, heavier and more pungent variety than its cow’s milk counterpart. These days, most people prefer to dilute its zestiness with regular full fat yogurt, yet still maintaining the integrity of the flavor that truly defines yogurt dishes of the Middle East.
If you can’t get your hands on Arabic yogurt, cow’s milk full fat yogurt will work just fine. It will be a good idea to source some labneh (strained yogurt) or make your own so you get some of that strong yogurt flavor.
Eat this dish in the morning for breakfast, in the afternoon for a snack, or in the evening as a light dinner next to salad. Serve it with pita bread, olives, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Bulgur and Yogurt Dip (Kishkeh)
Tangy yogurt is mixed with smooth soft bulgur wheat, sharp onions, crunchy walnuts, parsley and silky olive oil to make this dip you can eat any time of the day. Sheep's milk yogurt is preferred for its thick, pungent quality. Dilute with 2 Tbsp labneh. If you can only find regular, full-fat yogurt, use equal parts yogurt and labneh.
Serves: 6 for mezze
Prep time: 30 minutes
1 c sheep's milk yogurt or 1/2 c plain full-fat yogurt
2 Tbsp or 1/2 c labneh, depending on the yogurt
1/4 c fine bulgur wheat
1/2 c parsley
1/4 c walnuts
2 scallions or 1/4 white onion
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Soak the bulgur until soft, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop remaining ingredients.
- Once bulgur is soft, drain by lining a colander with a cheesecloth. Squeeze dry.
- Combine the yogurt, bulgur, olive oil and chopped ingredients. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Serve with pita bread, olives, cucumbers and tomatoes. Can be stored in the fridge up to 2 days.