Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Recipe : Yogurt Power

Recipe

To make this luscious and thick yogurt you will need:
2 1/2 cups of full-fat or full cream milk
2 heaping tbs of yogurt (yogurt starter)

I used a milk powder yogurt starter and the results was creamy, smooth and thick yogurt. Don't worry if you don't have a powder-milk based starter, you can always add 1-2 tbs of dry/powder milk to get this consistency.

Check out my homemade yogurt in a jar, turned upside down and you can see how it did not slide down onto the lid.

You can use whichever container you find convenient and each has its own benefit. I have in steel pot, enamel bowl, recycled the store bought yogurt container and in jars.

Making it in a steel pot was most convenient because there wasn't much washing up to do later. I heat milk in the pot, left it to cool a little, then scooped out two big ladle of warm milk and mix to combine the starter, pour this back into the pot, gently stir and let it sit somewhere warm until yogurt was formed. But the drawback, my kids would stir too much when scooping out yogurt from it.

The next option was to make it in medium sized jars. Although it's not as convenient as steel pot option but I liked having the option of making different types of yogurt, from plain to flavoured and one jar would usually be enough for all of us at meal time.  You can purchase some mason jars for this but I just recycled my jam jars. The best for me.

Method

Bring milk almost to boil but DO NOT boil it. You will see the milk start to froth, signalling that milk has reached the desired temperature. This process will prevent any unwanted bacteria from growing and to denature the protein so it can thicken the yogurt. (If you have a thermometer it should reach 85'C (160-180'F).

Remove from heat and let it cool down to 45'C (110'F) - as warm as the milk you would make for your baby.
Then take half cup of warm milk and stir it well with the starter (add dry milk powder here). Pour this mixture back into you pot of warm milk and stir gently to mix. Then divide equally into jars or just leave it in the pot, whichever suits you. Put the lid on gently and cover with tea towels.

I like to cover my warm pot and jars with a thick layer of towel and keep it wedged between hot water kettles for 4-6 hours. Some like to put their yogurt container  in an heated oven (switched off once it has heated up) with the oven door slightly ajar for 4-5 hours or until the milk sets and magically transforms itself to yogurt.

Once it is ready, keep it refrigerated and it can stay good for a couple of days to weeks, if it survives that long!. Once it becomes too sour, that's a sign that your yogurt has past its expiry date but don't discard it. Use it for your hair or leather it onto your face. Makes a great facial pack.

One important thing, don't pour away the whey liquid that separates from your yogurt because it is full of protein. Instead add this liquid to your smoothies, bread or even your curries.
 I usually add it to my wheat flour when I am making roti. This gives the roti some air and makes it very soft and fluffy. This my friends, is my mother-in-law's secret in whipping out soft like tissue roti every time.


Almost jelly like consistency in my steel pot



Whey- The liquid which is full of protein.


If your first attempt fails, don't be disappointed and keep trying. You will eventually get it and once you do, you will realise how much cheaper and better making your own yogurt is, you may not want to purchase it anymore.

What to do with so much yogurt!

The options are limitless. Here are some ways I use yogurt.

Eat it straight out of the jar
Plain yogurt rice
Yogurt popsicle
Carrot yogurt rice for the kids

Overnight oats

Roti/chapatti

Pretty pink smoothie

Raita with fresh vegetables

Fruit salad

Passion fruit lassi
For more recipes, please head over to my Recipes page

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