Laban

Laban

Home-made yoghurt

By
From
Saha
Makes
1 litre
Photographer
Matt Harvey

Laban is an essential part of the Middle Eastern diet. There are plenty of quality commercial brands around, but home-made yoghurt just seems to taste sweeter and fresher. All you need is milk and yoghurt. Many families have a ‘starter’ yoghurt that lasts for years – sometimes even generations. The main thing to remember is that you need to use good-quality, plain live yoghurt to start things off – not a flavoured, sweetened variety. Live yoghurt contains the natural bacteria that cause milk to thicken and sour slightly.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 litre full-cream milk
1 tablespoon plain live yoghurt

Method

  1. Put the milk in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. When the froth rises, turn off the heat and leave to cool.
  2. As you are dealing with a living ‘culture’ the bacteria will only grow within a certain temperature range – between 32°C and 49°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, the traditional way of testing is to dip your finger into the milk. You should be able to leave it for a count of fifteen seconds without yelling the house down.
  3. When the milk has cooled sufficiently, remove any skin that has formed on the surface. In a glass or earthenware mixing bowl, beat a few tablespoons of hot milk into the yoghurt, then pour in the rest of the milk and beat again.
  4. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and leave it in a warm place, undisturbed, for at least 8 hours – overnight is ideal. It should thicken to a custard-like consistency. Transfer to the fridge where it will keep for up to a week. If you want to keep making your own yoghurt, reserve a little to make another batch within 4 days.
Tags:
Saha
Malouf
Lucy
Greg
Lebanon
Lebanese
Syria
Syrian
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