Monday, June 25, 2012

Making Yogurt

Hey There. Lately, I’ve been getting my cook on. A lot. Thought I would share some fun knowledge for those looking to experiment.

Home Made Yogurt (or Heaven for those South Indians who are addicted to yogurt rice, like me)

You’ll need:

~1 qt milk (or however much yogurt you want)

~At least 1 spoon yogurt with active cultures. I like Danone best in India. I’ve heard Whole Foods has a good one in the US. You’ll have to look it up. Active cultures is the key word here. I always put 2 – 3 large spoonfuls, but I’ve been told this isn’t necessary. This is referred to as Starter.

~1 large glass/metal/plastic container that can hold the milk and has a tight fitting lid.

~1 large pot – milk expands as it cooks

~A fine sieve for straining the milk

To Make:

Bring milk to a steady boil, watching constantly. No kidding – milk that boils over is a huge mess and it happens in the 2.6 seconds that you turn your eyes to see something else. Before it comes close to boiling over the edge of the pot (and it doesn’t matter how big the pot is, the milk WILL boil out), turn heat down to low and stir with a wooden/plastic spoon until it has stopped expanding. Leave milk to simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, turn heat off and leave for 15 minutes to cool. Milk should still be hot to the touch after 15 minutes, but not hot enough to burn you. Adjust sitting time accordingly. Place starter yogurt in the bowl and pour milk into bowl through sieve, stopping as needed to pick out any clumps from the sieve. Do not stir, do not put your fingers in there. Cover completely and firmly. Cover with a towel and set in a corner overnight, or for 8 hours where it won’t be disturbed at all. Seriously, don’t pull off the lid and peak, or stick your finger in there and check out the texture. After the time is done, you can take off the lid and check. It will look wobbly (homemade always is) and watery. Stick your finger in and check if you must, but unless the milk was WAY too hot or not hot at ALL, it will be fine. Stir a little with a spoon to mix together water and creamy part and recover. Store in the fridge.

Homemade yogurt lasts for quite a while, but keep an eye on it. If it starts turning different colors (pink, green, etc), it’s time to toss it and make a new batch. If you like it, make sure you cook a new batch before you run out! Do not use starter from a batch that was not good or spoiled.


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