My joy of triumph knows no bounds. Why? You are talking to a yogurt lover about the joy of making her own whole milk yogurt at home. And my ‘success’ coincided with the 4th of July. For real.
I eat yogurt everyday. And when I say that I mean plain yogurt preferably whole milk. In India, because of the heat, it was easy to make yogurt at home. But after crossing the seven seas and moving to California, this is the first time I saw light at the end of the yogurt-making tunnel, thanks to my childhood friend and a New Yorker, Oindrilla (Oinky).
So, during my recent trip to NYC, I gasped in wonderment seeing her amazing homemade ‘dahi’ or curd or yogurt. She walked me down the process. (I have tried doing the same at home many a times before and have failed miserably. I knew I was doing something wrong). Once I got home I had to try her method.
Most recipes will ask you to use a Yogurt Starter. But Oinky mentioned that even if I don’t find a yogurt starter it doesn’t matter, I could use a couple of tablespoons of yogurt that I already had at home but just to ensure it has ‘Live and Active Cultures’. (This is what I was missing before!!) I previously used Trader Joe’s Yogurt or some other brand where it isn’t mentioned that it has Live and Active Cultures. Thankfully, I had some Mountain High whole milk plain yogurt at home. And I followed Oinky’s process with very little milk (I had wasted enough milk before with my trial and error yogurt making attempts) and the results were perfect homemade yogurt. (AND it was July 3rd) So I made another (much bigger) batch and here I go! It’s July 4th and I can proudly say my family will have freshly homemade whole milk yogurt now forever!
6 cups organic whole milk
2-3 tbsp full yogurt (with live active cultures)
1. Boil the milk well. Ensure that the milk reduces to approximately 4 cups. The milk needs to cool down to a lukewarm temperature, approximately 115 F. Use a cooking thermometer if you want to be sure. (The milk cannot be too hot or too cold)
2. Take a glass container. Use most of the (leftover) yogurt to coat the insides of the container (like you would grease a cake pan). Take remaining yogurt and mix it with the lukewarm milk.
3. Pour the lukewarm milk in the container through a strainer. Cover the container and wrap it with a kitchen towel.
4. Put it in the oven to set overnight (approx. 6-7 hrs). I keep the oven light on for warmth.
5. Take it out of the oven and unwrap towel. Put it in the fridge for 3-4 hrs. And you are done! Firmly set and creamy homemade whole milk yogurt is ready.
Consume this within 2-3 days. And hereon enjoy a preservative free healthy snack.
Thank you, Oinky, for that magic sentence ‘Use Yogurt with Live Active Cultures only’ and for the detailed process. Now no more store-bought yogurt!
Hope you are all having a restful and happy July 4th!