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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Homemade Plain Yogurt


Yogurt......yummm..... my favorite food of all...plain yogurt and rice was the first solid food that my father introduced to me, well okay...second solid food besides Parle Glucose biscuits :)

Till this day yogurt and rice are my soul food. I consume yogurt in large quantity as you can tell by this picture. I eat plain yogurt, I use yogurt in my cooking and I make yogurt at home.. very often my American friends are amazed..that how can you make yogurt without yogurt maker. So here it is, this is how my mom used to make in India and this is how I and lot of my Indian friends make it here in US.

You will need milk (can be skim, 1%, 2% or whole) (here I used 2%)
You will need 2 table spoon of plain yogurt as starter (you can buy a small 8 oz container of either Dannon plain yogurt or even better Greek yogurt)

Pour milk (here I used 1/2 a gallon) in a Pyrex bowl and heat it in the microwave at high power for 20-25 min till it boils. Of course we did not have microwave in India when I was growing up, so my mum used to boil it on the stove and she had to constantly watch over it. The advantage of heating it in Microwave is that it will not boil over and it will not stick to the bottom either.

When you see it boiling, turn the microwave off and carefully take it out of oven.

Now cool it at room temp for good 30 - 45 min till you can dip your finger in it and hold it in there for 10 sec without getting burned (in other words it should be luke warm, not cold and not too hot)

Now you can add culture or starter yogurt to it and churn it with hand churner or mixture so it is evenly mixed with milk.

You can either set the yogurt in one large container like I did, of you can put it in small containers for individual servings. (they just take too much room in my fridge so I make it in large bowl)

Place the container/containers covered in a warm place. I usually put it the kitchen cabinet under the counter, but if you have pilot light oven, you can put it there. Some people preheat the oven at 200 and then turn the oven off and put the yogurt it the oven.

Set the timer for 4 hours. If the milk temp is right and the culture is good the yogurt should set in 4 hours. You can check it my tapping the container, if it is not set, you can leave it in the warm place for 30-45 min. Don't let it set for too long, as it will turn sour and watery.

Once set, move the container to fridge and leave it in there for until ready to use. It will stay good in the fridge for 8-10 days, just remember to put it back in the fridge, if you leave it out too long it will turn sour and watery.

I like home made yogurt because it is not jelly like the one you get in the stores and it is not sweet either.

You can mix desired fruits to it to make a healthy snack and or use it in the cooking, or use it to make delicious side dishes like Raita or drinks like smoothies or Lassi, or you can tie it in the cheese cloth to make your own sour cream. Enjoy :)

Recipe source: My Dearest Mom Mrs. Kasturben
Photograph by Surekha.

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