An easy recipe to make this staple food from scratch
Recently, I got chatting to my Turkish-Kurdish greengrocer who conceded he only ate his parent’s homemade yoghurt. His mum brings it to him every few days, along with her cultured butter and kefir. She refuses to eat the shop-bought stuff, he told me. On tasting it, I could see why. This yoghurt was tangy, thick and rich, thanks to the cream she had added to it and the time she’d left it to ferment. It was totally delicious. This is my take on her yoghurt, made using cream for extra richness. You can, of course, leave out the cream entirely.
Making yoghurt is incredibly easy and the reward far outweighs the 15 minutes of hands-on labour you need to make it. When you’re doing this for the first time, you’ll need to buy a small pot of live yoghurt. This is the ‘starter’, which has the bacteria you need to transform plain milk into yoghurt. Once you’ve made your first batch, you can use that yoghurt to start the next lot and so on.
For more on making basic ingredients, read Malou’s latest blog
1 litre of whole milk
250ml double cream
2 tbsp plain, live yoghurt
Heat the milk and cream over a medium-low heat until almost boiling (85C), stirring often so it doesn’t catch on the bottom. You don’t necessarily need a thermometer; as soon as it starts to froth and little bubbles appear, it’s ready. Leave it to cool to about blood temperature—meaning you can stick your finger in it, but it’s still warm (46C).
Add the yoghurt to a large, wide-lipped thermos flask or a heavy pot (with a lid). Pour in a good splash of the warm milk mixture and stir well to combine with the yoghurt, then pour in all of the remaining milk, stirring gently. Put the lid on immediately. If you’re using a pot, cover it with a few towels to keep the warmth in. Set aside for at least 8 hours or overnight. It’s important it is not moved at all during this time.
At this point, your yoghurt is ready to eat, but if you want more tang (as my Turkish friend would), leave it to ferment at room temperature for another 12 to 24 hours before putting it in the fridge.
Recipe and image: Malou Herkes