White semi-gelatinous substance. Weirdly holds the shape of the container for too long. Chemical-y looking sheen. That’s how most standard store-bought yogurts can be described.
The yogurt I grew up eating was creamy. Milky tasting. Sweet and tart and thick. It was also homemade.
Making yogurt at home is one of three staples of a South Indian household. Melissa Clark’s How to Make Homemade Yogurt was a good reminder of how easy it is to create a delicious homemade version of a daily staple. I’m hopeful that over time it will become a way to stay in touch with our tradition. (In case you’re wondering, the other two are basmati rice and ghee).
You can find Melissa’s instructions for how to make homemade yogurt here. It’s fairly straightforward:
1. Bring milk to a simmer until there are bubbles forming around the side.
2. Remove from heat. Let the milk cool until it’s warm.
3. Whisk in starter yogurt. Cover the pot and put it in a warm, dark place for 8 to 12 hours. I place mine in the turned-off oven with the light switched on. Then put it in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
Part of the fun of making yogurt is also test-tasting how each batch turns out. How creamy is it? How tangy? How thick? How tart? Even if it’s not perfect, it’s still delicious and super easy to make the next batch.
And if life does give you too loose yogurt, what to do? Make a smoothie. Or top it off with berries. Things could be worse. They could be chemical-y induced into the shape of a plastic carton.
2 responses to “Homemade Yogurt”
I am so happy to see that you are blogging again. Missed you all these years. I made yogurt regularly in the summer but have stopped now that weather is colder and no one is eating as much. Good reminder to start it again.
Ambica, my mom also used to stop making it during cold months. Try it out with the oven light on!