Goat's milk yogurt is a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, but because goats only produce milk just after giving birth, the only way to preserve it in the days before refrigeration was through dehydration. Jameed, or hardened goat's milk yogurt, offers a buttery tang to luscious stews such as mansaf, the national dish of Jordan. The key to perfect jameed is thorough dehydrating.
Things You'll Need
Goat's milk or sheep's milk
Churn or canning jar
Pour your goat's milk into a small butter churn or a large canning jar with a tight-fitting lid. Jameed is traditionally made with a goatskin bag called a shakwa, but they can be hard to find. Tighten the lid on your churn or canning jar to avoid splatters.
Turn the handle on the churn or shake the canning jar until the butterfat begins to separate from the goat's milk. Skim this off with a serving spoon and either discard it or use it to make clarified goat's milk butter. Repeat until there is not enough butterfat to skim.
Strain the goat's milk through cheesecloth to further concentrate the protein. Do this two or three times to get the richest texture.
Salt the goat's milk solids, which are called makheed, to taste. This also helps with the dehydrating process. Do not over-salt because as the makheed dries into jameed the salt flavor will intensify. Start with about 1/2 teaspoon per quart of goat's milk and add more if needed.
Form the jameed into balls about the size of a walnut and let them dry for 2 to 3 days in a dry place. Jameed is traditionally dried in the sun, but a sunny countertop will do. Store the jameed in an airtight container.
Reconstitute jameed by soaking it for 24 hours in water and then crumbling and reforming the balls as they soften.
Never make jameed with unpasteurized goat's milk to avoid the risk of bacterial growth.
- The Arab Daily News: Ziyad Liquid Jameed and Middle East Holidays
- Dima Sharif: Jordanian Mansaf - More Than Just Food, It Is a Social Tradition!
- The Jordan Times: Karak Woman Finds Business Opportunity in Local Tradition of Homemade Jameed
- Mother Earth News: Easy Homemade Butter, Step by Step
- Clifford A. Wright: Mansaf