I am dabbling in Mediterranean cooking at the moment, spurred on by a recent visit to a Turkish friend’s home. Her mother served me the most delicious bulgar wheat cooked in savoury spices and accompanied by vegetables, minced beef, and the most amazing homemade yogurt. I had noticed through my many previous interactions with Mediterranean food that yogurt or yogurt is a core accompaniment on many of the meals in Lebanese, Turkish and Greek restaurants. It feels like the yogurt balances out the spicy flavors leaving you full but not bloated following the meal.
I was keen to make my own yogurt to enjoy with some of the Mediterranean cooking that I was hoping to indulge in. After researching several options on the internet, I decided to try out a recipe. It seemed simple enough and did not involve any of the cooking specific yogurt making appliances that some of the recipes advocated.
1200 ml fresh full-fat milk
1 tbs live yogurt ( I chose my favorite natural Greek yogurt from the available ones on the supermarket shelves)
I was going to prepare the yogurt in three mason jars so I ensured they were washed thoroughly and then sterilized with hot water.
Put the milk into a saucepan on a high heat cooker setting.
Let it simmer. Observe when small bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the milk. These bubbles appear just before the milk achieve the boiling point. use a temperature probe to check if the milk has achieved 85 degrees Celcius.
Switch off the cooker and allow the milk to rest for an hour until it reaches room temperature.If you have a temperature probe available, this will be 45 degrees Celcius. Alternatively, scoop out a spoon of the milk and use a finger to touch it. If it feels lukewarm then it is ready for the next preparation stage.
Skim off the top layer of milk that has formed
Add a spoon of live yogurt and stir in well
Add the milk mixture into the sterilized mason jars.
Seal with clingfilm and insert lid
Place the jars in a warm place and cover with 1-2 blankets for 8-12 hours.
After the 8-12 hours has elapsed, remove the blanket coverings and open the lids to check whether the yogurt has set. If the yogurt smells like spoilt or soured milk,
If the yogurt smells like spoilt or soured milk, the process failed and the contents should not be eaten since it is spoilt. This may have occurred if the jars were not cleaned and sterilized properly. If it looks and smells like yogurt, refrigerate and consume within 3-5 days.
I will be posting some meal ideas that include this yummy homemade yogurt so stay tuned.
Stay well until the next blog post!