I finally managed a step-by-step post for making yogurt at home. Yogurt (or yoghurt or curd or dahi in hindi) is one of the essential ingredients of Indian cuisine and I’ve been making it almost every day for the last 8 years but was never able to click photos at the right moment and sometimes thought it to be too trivial. Be it as is for breakfast, as a simple raita, kadhi, lassi, as a marinade, or in a gravy. While yogurt is now readily available in shops,in India since ages our mothers and grandmothers have been setting yogurt at home. Every night mom would set a covered pot on kitchen counter and remind the whole house not to disturb it. In the morning sweet home-made yogurt will be ready. I used to feel like it’s magic!
Even now after so many years of making yogurt myself, every time that I put the spoon into a fresh bowl of set yogurt, it fills me with excitement. I understand the science behind but it still is magical. We have chosen a life where we move countries every two years or so and no matter where we are, I tell Sikander “as long as the yogurt is setting fine and the chapattis are puffing up like balloons; every place is great.”
For some of my expat neighbours, yogurt has always been bought from stores or if made at home it needs a special yogurt maker. But making yogurt at home is very easy and needs no special equipment. All that is needed is milk, a little starter yogurt and patience. I hope this step-by-step process with pictures for homemade yogurt is clear. I keep making some in small jars for my neighbours and when I show them how simple it is, they are always amazed.
Wait… a couple of points before we start with the steps of homemade yogurt. There are only two ingredients so the final output entirely depends on those two.
How to make yogurt at home without a yogurt maker
By Ashima Goyal Siraj
Preparation time: |Cooking Time: |Makes: 2 cups
500 ml full fat milk
2 tbsp plain yogurt
- In a sauce pan, bring milk to a boil and then keep it aside for 10-15 mins until it is lukewarm. You may choose not to boil the milk but just warm it till it is lukewarm. My test for temperature is to put my finger in milk and if I can keep it in the milk for 10 seconds it is good.
- Take 2 tbsp of starter yogurt and spread on the inside of a bowl. I use a ceramic bowl for setting yogurt but you can use a glass or steel pot as well. If the weather is very cold, warm your pot by keeping it in microwave for 30 seconds at medium power.
- Pour in the lukewarm milk. Mix well so that the yogurt is mixed in evenly.
- Cover with a lid and then enclose in a tea towel and leave the pot undisturbed in a warm place. The time taken for yogurt to set will depend on the ambient room temperature. In temperatures around 30ºC, it takes about 4 hours for yogurt to set. Start checking the pot after 4 hours, every half hour to see if it has set. If you keep it outside for long, the yogurt will start to become sour.
- In Abu Dhabi, where the temperatures are very high, it used to take just about 3 hours for the yogurt to set.
- In Scotland on the other hand where it used to be cold most year round, I used to preheat the oven to about 50ºC and then switch it off before putting in the yogurt inside the warm oven overnight.
- When the yogurt is set, remove the tea towel and keep the bowl in fridge. It stays good for upto 2 days and after which it will start to become sour which is perfect if you want to make some delicious kadhi!
- You can also make flavoured yogurt by adding sugar, vanilla or fruit extract of your choice to the lukewarm milk.
- For breakfast, I set low fat milk yogurt in individual pots. In the morning add some honey, mixed seeds (sunflower, melon and pumpkin), rolled oats and dried fruits of your choice to make a quick and healthy breakfast. When pressed for time, simply close and carry it to work.
- I feel food is the best gift. Quite often I set yogurt in small glass bottles (recycled from jam/ mayonnaise etc) and leave it at my neighbours’ doorsteps as a little delight :).