Ultimate Egyptian Karish Cheese Dip: جبنة قريش بالطماطم

Photo of Egyptian Cottage Cheese Dip


Wanna use up the milk leftovers in your fridge to create something  delicious, heathy, and super easy, try my “Gebna Karish bel Tamatem”, جبنة قريش بالطماطم, the ultimate Egyptian Karish (Cottage) Cheese Dip.

Gebna Karish Bel Tamatem (جبنة بالطماطم) is the name of this dish in Egyptian dialect Gebna means cheese and tamatem means tomatoes. 

It a creamy, dreamy cottage light cheese dip, that melts on your tongue, leaving the subtle notes of spices, and freshness of mint flirt with your taste buds. 

Years and miles away from home, this staple Egyptian Karish Cheese dip, which I grew up with, resurfaced in my life, precisely when I became a mother of two fickle milk consumers. 

One week, they finish up all the milk in the fridge, before I know it. While the next week, I end up with a gallon of  milk, begging to be used.

Given how pricey organic milk is becoming, I hate to see it going to waste!  Therefore, this zero food waste Egyptian cheese recipe came in so handy.

Using the milk leftovers became an obsession of mine and set me up for a race of homemade cheese making.  Cottage cheese or Gebnah Karish, which is the hero ingredient of this food post, is, by far, my first successful stop. 

The Ingredients of Egyptian Karish Cheese 

Cottage Cheese, Gebna Karish is the hero ingredient of this Egyptian dip or salad. 

In fact, making cottage cheese (جبنة قريش) can’t be easier or more economic. It only calls for three 3 main ingredient and just one optional:

  • Milk 
  • Cream, optional 
  • Salt
  • Lemon or Vinegar

How To Make Cottage Cheese: GEBNA KARISH: جبنة قريش

Making homemade Karish or Cottage Cheese is as simple as mixing a dash of salt into your milk, bringing it to a gentle simmer, once bublling, add a spoonful of either vinegar or lemon juice, and then watch the magic happen. The milk eventually curdles, the solids separate from the whey or the liquid.

As a rule of thumb, every cup of milk calls for 1 tablespoon of acid (whether white vinegar or lemon). 

To drain the whey or the liquid, the curdled milk is poured over a fine sieve mesh strainer, lined with cheese cloth and snug into a container to catch the whey or the liquid. 


WHEY or (the liquid resulting from curdling the milk) is a protein powerhouse.

Store it in clean jars and keep it in the fridge, or freeze it to use later to marinate your meat and chicken. Also, the whey replaces water in baking.

To learn more about whey multi uses, check this informative this comprehensive article on Old Fashion On Purpose.

What Else Goes Into The Egyptian Cottage Cheese Dip 

To assemble to Egyptian Cottage Cheese Dip, you need :

  • Fresh Tomato

A seeded, ripe and juicy tomato is the perfect match with this dip 

  • Bell Green Pepper 

The crunch of green bell pepper is exactly what this creamy Karish dip needs.

  • Green or Red Hot Chili 

A finely chopped and seeded chili pepper will go a long way in this dip.

  • Fresh or/and Dry Mint 

Whether fresh, dry or both, mint offsets the onions after taste, and adds a desirable freshness to this cottage or Karish dip.

  • Red Onions, Shallots or Spring Onions 

While the three type of onions are interchangeably used in this dip, my personal preference is the red onions for its beautiful purple hues and its fresh taste.

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

This humble Egyptian Cottage Cheese dip will benefit from a generous drizzle of a good quality olive oil that ties all the ingredients together and takes it to the next level.

  • Spices 

Salt, pepper and a springle of sweet paprika would be just right. For some heat, feel free to add cayenne.

Health Benefits 

According to Just Go To Chef,

  • Cheese curd is a good source of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B12, phosphorus and zinc.
  • It contains milk protein that helps to neutralize plaque acids.
  • It helps prevent acid demineralization of tooth enamel.

Do You Have a Similar Recipe in Your Cuisine? 

I am curious to know if YOUR cuisine has a similar use of milk leftovers!

 If yes, please share your knowledge with us in the comments.  I am always on the outlook for new zero food waste recipes.

More Homemade Dairy & Non-Dairy Cheese Recipes:

Don’t forget to check out:


Make sure to grab your February calendar.  It that has February National Food Days. It is a fun way to celebrate the gift of food and get inspired with meals ideas. 

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Egyptian Karish Cheese Dip: جبنة قريش بالطماطم

Photo of Egyptian Cottage Cheese Dip
Photo of Egyptian Cottage Cheese Dip


For the Cottage Cheese 

  • 5 cups full fat milk
  • 1 cup of heavy cream, optional
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/3 cup white distilled vinegar 

For the Egyptian Cottage Dip 

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon sumac (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of mint 
  • 1 small red onions, finely chopped 
  • 1 ripe tomato, seeded and diced 
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green or red chili, diced, optional 
  • Salt & pepper 


For the Cottage Cheese 

  1. Pour milk into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Heat slowly to 190°F/88°C. Add the spoonful of salt and stir regularly so the milk doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot.
  2. Pour in the vinegar and let the milk gently simmer for 5 minutes or until the milk curdles, and the solids separate from the whey or the liquid. 
  3. Meanwhile, line a fine-mesh sieve or colander with a clean piece of doubled cheesecloth. Place the colander over a deep bowl to catch the liquid (aka whey) that drips out.
  4. Pour the curdled milk into the bowl lined with colander. 
  5. When it cools down, gather the ends of the cheese cloth tightly together and form a cloth-wrapped ball of cheese and squeeze to force any liquid out. Ideally, leave the cottage cheese, and drain its liquid overnight in the fridge. 
  6. When the cottage cheese is all dry, then it is ready assemble the Egyptian Cottage/Karish Cheese Dip. 

For the Karish/Cottage Dip Assembly 

  1. Dump the cheese out of the cloth into a deep mixing bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil, mint, spices, tomato, and pepper, and mix very well. 
  3. Transfer the cheese to the serving dish, garnish with fresh mint, a drizzle of olive oil.
  4. Serve it with hot pita bread or crackers. ENJOY! 
  • To make the cottage cheese, every cup of milk or cream calls for one tablespoon of acid, whether white distilled vinegar or lemon.

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Former diplomat | Travel & Food Writer | Stauch advocate of Culinary Diplomacy. Find more here: https://cheznermine.com/about/

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