Kishk is very similar to kubba lebaniya, but the fact that it is made from fermented and dried yogurt changes everything. Some might call lebaniya pungent due to the intensity of garlic and mint that goes into the dish. Kishk is way more pungent, gutsy, and intense, due to both the buckets of garlic, and the fermentation of the yogurt (further intensified through drying). So an acquired taste, it is, but anyone who has studied the fundamentals of nutrition can tell you kishk is the super food.
The proof is in its history: rural citizens in the mountains of the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan especially) would feed on it and suckle it to their children for energy and immunity. Before drying, it is mized with salt and burghul. Therefore, the finished powdered form is salty, and used as a thickener. The soup is actually closer to a porridge, and is commonly eaten by scooping it with bread, but I find it enough of a thick pudding to spoon just by itself. The minced meat is completely optional, and you can easily do without it. On the other hand, you can use boiled kubba instead of the minced meat.
3 Tbsp butter
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup ground lamb
1 cup kishk powder
dried mint (for garnish)
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Lower the heat and add the garlic, cooking just long enough to release the scent without browning it. Add the meat and increase the heat to medium, stirring constantly to break up and brown the meat.
Add three cups of water to the pot. Gradually whisk in the kishk powder, a little at a time. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture is thick, 5-10 minutes. Add one more cup of water if too thick.
Ladle into warm soup bowls and garnish with crushed dried mint. Serve with flatbread or steamed rice.
صحة و عافية