Kishik, that strange-looking powder that we cook and enjoy at any hour of the day and in numerous forms, remains a staple ingredient in many kitchens around the Middle East. Kishik is a sun-dried mixture of fermented yogurt — preferably goat milk yogurt — bulgur and salt that can be found in cookbooks dating back to the 10th century. It is hand shaped into cakes and sun dried for a week, typically on the roof of your house, before being ground into a powder and stored. When ready to cook, it can be made into a stew or put on manousheh or saj bread. Its use is versatile, it can be prepared with or without meat and is therefore welcomed in vegetarian diets too.
Making kishik was the topic of a business proposal prepared by one of the mothers participating in the Most Outstanding Moms (MOMs) program hosted by Unite Lebanon Youth Project – ULYP. MOMs is a female empowerment program that supports women from underprivileged communities through teaching English and IT and providing interactive workshops on topics important to them as women and mothers in their communities. Rima Al Ghoush, a participant in the most recent MOMs program, created a business plan to make 10 kilos of quality kishik, investing $200 for raw materials and another $10 as additional cost. In her plan she would sell her kishik with a ROI of 25%. She prepared a presentation about her business plan and was able to present it in English, demonstrating her newly acquired languages skills and confidence. Her presentation ended with these pearls of wisdom: “men drool at the sight of a kishik meal, so women, get your husbands drooling!”
This fall, MOMs formed part of ULYP’s CIRCLE program, carried out in partnership with UNICEF.