Yup. Again. Yogurt.
But this time back to basics people. Its actually a shame that after professing my love for yogurt in almost every post of mine so far I haven't posted a homemade yogurt recipe. Why you may ask. This is what I thought:
- Yogurt is easily available. Its affordable. I mean really why would someone want to create it from scratch when its just a few steps away.
- After eating Indian yogurt you of course know what real yogurt SHOULD taste like. Though the store bought sweet kind of yogurt is no comparison to the REAL thing, it wasn't really bad. In fact don't people add sugar to tart yogurts anyway?
This is what I think and know now:
- Yes yogurt is easily available and may not be very expensive. But have you ever checked the ingredients list of your cheap tub of yogurt? You should, chances are it reads "stabilizers, emulsifiers...."And all the weird wacko names. You know where they come from ?Well I know, it comes from a chemical lab.
- If your ingredients list reads just yogurt chances are the first point won't be true at all. It won't be cheap.It would be good for you but not cheap.
- No it doesn't taste alright. It tastes like chemicals once you read the list. Real yogurt tastes tart. Thats what yogurt are supposed to be. If you don't like tart, you add sugar, but you control what you add not the mad scientist behind the chemical lab.
Its true. I try to dump my opinion about food on everyone I know. I get carried away when I talk about food. I just can't stop. And I'll also push you to the edge till I know you know what I mean. I also break down every meal I ever had with anyone by guessing the ingredients and what went inside it. And I'll bug our companion by talking about food related techniques. Really I know I 'm
completely slightly over the top when it comes to food. I don't know when this started happening with me but its been a while. Don't ask me to change.
But today honestly honestly its more about
forcing convincing you to make yogurt at home then the recipe. There are tons of recipes for making yogurt and its all basic. In fact I hardly measured my milk or yogurt and each time it was spot on. Making yogurt is very forgiving if you just know the basics.
My mom would just pasteurize fresh milk and let it cool. And add a few tbsp of yogurt and let it sit on counter top overnight. Next morning the milk is all curdle and set. And then it went in the fridge. That was her.
The basics are the same and this is what you need to do have:
2 l of
full fat whole milk (whole is just a better word, isn't it)
1/4 cup yogurt with bio live cultures ( all natural, unsweetened, good quality)
A squeeze of lemon (optional)
- Get a non reactive large deep bottom pan. Don't use aluminum. Steel works and earthen pot works wonderful as well.
- Lets heat the milk. Its a good idea to keep whisking it so that it doesn't burn at the bottom.People suggest thermometers. I tell you want you don't need it. Just stand near the pot and wait it the milk scalds. Scalding means the point where the milk starts bubbling at the edges of the pot but not boiling. Switch off the gas when you get that.
- Let this sit and become warm.Because the bio live cultures like it cozy not hot. Warm enough that you can dip your finger for a while ( about 10 seconds) .
- Mix a 1/4 cup yogurt starter with the milk and add a squeeze of lemon if you want it tarter.
- Cover the pot with a lid.
- Like I said the bio live cultures like it cozy. If your counter top is already hot you can skip this step. But most of us probably will have to create an artificially created warm place for the yogurt to set. Namely an oven.Warm your oven for 5-10 minutes at the lowest temperature your oven allows. You want a WARM place, you should be able to put your hand inside the oven without feeling like you will burn.
- Place the pot in the oven.
- Let those creatures do there work in peace. Leave them to themselves for anywhere between 10-16 hours . Mine took 15 hours to set. You should check your yogurt after 10 hours.
- You know your yogurt is ready when its set, just a little giggly but set. Now below are two pictures.One is when I made yogurt in earthen pot (true love) and second when I made in a steel pot. I would have probably gone on to make it with earthen pot again but the earthen pot was busy holding the yogurt I made before ( ask me what the hell I was doing with making all this yogurt). In the earthen pot, while the milk scalded I had stood there removing all the frothy things that form on the top, which as you see led to a beautifully silky yogurt from top to bottom. In the latest case, I didn't bother doing that, and what happens is you have an uneven looking top which is totally fine by me because beneath its the same silky stuff.
- Its ready for use. But putting it in the fridge helps to set better. And besides I think having plain yogurt at room temperature is a sin. On the other hand, chilled yogurt is your friend. In the fridge for 8 hours.
- Yogurt will taste and set very much like the starter yogurt you used. So use what you like best. I like a well set yet silky yogurt.
Now, the main question. What do you do what all that yogurt?
My favorite, favorite way is to have spoonfuls of tart yogurt right from the bowl. But the most addictive way of having it is a bowlful of Yogurt with Orange Marmalade, walnuts and Pomegranate and you know your mornings are blessed.
Or plan a big deal Indian meal and dress it up with colorful and refreshing Beetroot Raita.
Or use it on the side of any meal with little of black salt, a pinch of cardomom, black pepper and mint for washing down all that spice.
And then the dessert. Whats a meal without dessert? If you are a yogurt fan (or not) this dessert is sure to woe and make you fall in love with yogurt all over again. Shrikhand is an Indian yogurt based dessert that's luscious, creamy and yet refreshing. Its also royal, with saffron and pistachio working up there.
From dressings, cheese, salads, dips, cakes and drinks, the possibilities are endless. Its no news that you will be seeing a lot more of yogurt coming your way this month.