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cheese in a bowl with tea, olives, and pita
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5 from 1 vote

Buried Cheese (Joopta Doomirtah)

An old Assyrian recipe for Buried cheese, and a great story to go with it!
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: Assyrian, Middle Eastern
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 195kcal


  • 1 tsp. anise seeds
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 8 oz Asiago or kasseri cheese (or a combination of both)
  • 4 oz. gorgonzola (or additional Asiago/Kasseri)


  • Grate the cheese using a medium grater, add gorgonzola, if using.
  • Soak the anise, caraway, and cumin seeds in water for 10 minutes, to soften.
  • Drain the seeds and add them to the cheese.
  • Grab handfuls of the cheese and seeds and rub between your hands, and drop back into the bowl. Or use a fork in a similar fashion to cutting butter into flour.
  • Continue doing this until the cheese no longer resembles grated cheese and begins to clump together. This process helps the flavors of the seeds to infuse into the cheese.
  • Pour the cheese into a glass jar or a container. Press down with your hands to compact the cheese. Why? Because that’s what mom did, don’t question mom!
  • To serve, simply spoon a few tablespoons of cheese into toasted pita bread pockets. Serve with Kalamata olives and hot tea.
  • This cheese can be refrigerated for up to a month.


Serving: 2oz | Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 2mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0g