A small amount of yogurt as a starter culture and warm milk is all you need for a cost effective and endless supply of your very own creamy yogurt. Making yogurt at home is such an easy process, once you get the hang of it, keep it going as per your needs.
I was always fascinated seeing my mother in law making her own yogurt. When we stayed at her place in Delhi it was like an effortless evening routine setting the yogurt for the next day. It didn't seem special at the time but once you know the steps you wonder why you never picked up this habit yourself.
Why make our own Yogurt?
We initially thought we didn't eat as much yogurt so why make our own at home as it will go to waste? But then realized, we actually do use it for many things like:
- As a breakfast yogurt with muesli
- As marination for fish and meat
- In recipes for sauces, dressings, cakes and our naan bread
- For yogurt based ice creams and Popsicle
Not to forget how much we love eating yogurt with Indian food and our son loves eating it as a snack or an after dinner dessert with fruits.
Also, a plastic container less in our bin is a step closer to an environment friendly household, don't you agree?
Ingredients to make Yogurt
We will show you how to make homemade yoghurt with this recipe but first let's look at the ingredients. To make yogurt you need a starter culture. The easiest way is to use some from your favorite brand, if you want your yogurt to taste like that eventually.
Before choosing your yogurt read the label as it should have at least one active culture. The live culture is what actually turns the milk into yogurt. As for the milk, similar to making ricotta you should avoid UHT milk as it might not work, look for pasteurized milk, preferably organic. In this recipe I used full fat milk, low fat is fine too but bear in mind, the yogurt might be less creamy and thick.
How to make yoghurt at home
In a stainless steel pot bring the milk to simmer on medium heat. Once the milk rises and appears to be foamy, that's when you reduce the heat to avoid it from boiling. This step will take 5-10 minutes. Leave the milk on a light simmer for another 5 minutes and set aside.
Now you want to reduce the temperature of the milk to 45 degrees to give the bacteria the ambience they like the most. To check, put your finger in the milk, it should be just warm to the touch. That's the moment you are ready to add the culture.
In a bowl, mix your starter yoghurt with a ladle of milk. Add this mixture back into the remaining pot of milk. Stir carefully, cover the pot with a lid and let sit in a warm place for at least 4 hours. Ideally in a turned off oven or you can also wrap the pot in a blanket or towels to keep the milk warm as it sets.
Tip: The end result of making yogurt at home might be slightly runnier than the store bought you normally use. To make it thicker, you can strain the yoghurt in a cheese cloth and use the whey perhaps for another recipe.
My favourite way to eat yoghurt is with muesli, topped with fresh berries or poached peaches and a drizzle of honey.. Yum!!
How to make yogurt at home
- 1 l full fat milk
- 3 tablespoon yogurt
- In a stainless steel pot, bring the milk to boiling point. Reduce the heat and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the milk from the stove and bring the temperature down to 45° degrees. If you do not have a thermometer probe, insert your finger in the milk, it should be just warm to the touch.
- In a bowl, mix one ladle of warm milk with 3 tablespoon yogurt. Pour back the mixture into the pot of milk. Mix carefully.
- Cover the pot with a lid and place in a warm spot. Inside an oven works best or you can also wrap the pot in an old blanket or towels to keep the milk warm as it sets. Leave for at least 4 hours and check if the yoghurt has set. Place the yogurt in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving it.
- If the yogurt is too thin, strain in a cheese cloth. Don't throw the whey as this can be used for another recipe.