Kashk

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Made from fermented yogurt, kashk has a creamy, rich texture and unique sour and slightly salty flavor. It is usually stirred into a dish or added as garnish, as with the Persian soup ash reshteh. The dairy product goes by many names throughout the Middle East and Central Asia: It's known as qurut in Azerbaijan, keş peyniri in Turkey, ‎and gurt in Turkmenistan. Kashk was originally made from the liquid remaining from churned yogurt. However, since few home cooks have access to such remnants, these days homemade kashk is made by cooking yogurt mixed with water until it thickens. Some cooks start with yogurt that has been left to ferment at room temperature. This recipe omits that step but still produces an appropriately sour and tangy result.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: about 2 cups 
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Scoop the yogurt into a large pot and add 2 cups water. Whisk until the water is fully incorporated and there are no lumps. Place the pot over medium heat and stir constantly until the yogurt comes to a boil, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the yogurt is pretty thick and has lightly splattering bubbles, about 1 1/2 hours. The yogurt will separate and most of the water should be evaporated. Raise the heat to medium-high and stir constantly until the mixture is quite thick and lumpy and the color is light beige, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 20 minutes.   
  3. Pour the kashk into a nut-milk bag and squeeze out and discard as much liquid as possible; you want to end up with dry pulp. Place the kashk in a blender, add 1/2 cup water and blend on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add an additional 1 tablespoon water if needed to create a smooth consistency similar to mayonnaise. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt and blend to incorporate. The kashk should taste somewhat salty and sour. Add more salt, if needed. Adjust the consistency if desired with a little bit of water.  
  4. The kashk will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Stir before using.  You can also freeze the kashk for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then stir before using.   

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