Let me introduce a rare food of Turkish cuisine which I’m not sure exactly in which category I should put in. Many people define it as cheese. If the keş was exactly a cheese, it could be placed between bread and eaten. But it is not possible to put it in between bread and eat it. Because keş isn’t exactly a cheese. But I can not say that it is not cheese either, because it looks like cheese in taste and its usage area intersects with one of the usage areas of cheese. So let’s start by asking the main question.
What is Keş?
Keş is a food obtained by drying the strained yogurt. Although it is identified with Bolu cuisine, it is also known and used in different places such as Zonguldak and Beypazarı. It also finds a place in the Jordanian cuisine with the name jameed. It is usually used as a sauce in noodles or pasta after stşr fried with butter. But actually, its usage area can be expanded. You can grate it on your egg for breakfast or on the soups fro dinner, for example.
Keş is not the only dried milk product of Turkish cuisine by the way. At this point, we should not skip mentioning the Sürk recipe, one of the most important elements of Hatay cuisine.
Keş is dried under the sun. Since it is dried outdoors, it is necessary to cover it with cheesecloth. So it is not fully exposed to the sun. Drying time of the keş will vary according to their size and temperature. We can say the average drying time is 2-7 days.
The amount of yogurt lowers very much since all the water in it is evaporating during the drying process. With 1 kg of yogurt you can obtain keş just enough to fill the small jar you see in the photo.
Keş has a long shelf life. You can store it in the refrigerator, in a jar with a lid for months without spoiling.
Enjoy the recipe…
- 1 kg of strained yogurt or Greek yogurt,
- 1 heaped teaspoon kosher salt.
- Put a strainer into a deep bowl and spread a cheesecloth inside it,
- Pour the yogurt into the cheesecloth, collect the ends of the cheesecloth and tighten,
- Set aside in the fridge and let it drain for 48 hours,
- Take the yoghurt which took a really thick consistency into bowl,
- Add the salt and mix,
- Spread two layers of kitchen cloth on a tray and a dry cheesecloth with half of it out,
- Take small pieces from the mixture with two dessert spoons, roll as much as possible and place them on the cheesecloth,
- Fold the cheesecloth over,
- Place the tray under the sun outdoors,
- Change the places of the keşs (turn upside down, etc) 1-2 times a day and dry them until they become completely dry and stone-like.