Sunday, March 29, 2015

Homemade yogurt Indian style

My husband is a total thayir sadam (yogurt/curd rice) case.  This is to say that no matter what is for dinner, his meal is not complete without some rice mixed with yogurt. I, on the other hand, could go for days without eating yogurt.  Of late though, I have made it a point to have yogurt with dinner.  This is my one daily source of calcium and I have been making a conscious effort to add this to my diet.


I make yogurt at home. I cannot eat store bought yogurt.  I don’t like the texture and the taste.  Homemade yogurt tastes so much better, and you know exactly what goes in it.  My yogurt sets 99% of the time – whether it is summer or winter.  And in Colorado, we have some pretty cold winter days.

I use 2% milk, because that is what we buy from our local dairy.  If you use full fat milk, the yogurt comes out creamier.  If you make it with skim milk, it will be a bit watery.  

I use my homemade yogurt as a starter for the next batch.  If I run out or if I have been away on a long trip, then I get some starter yogurt from my friends.  If you don’t have access to good starter, you can use store-bought yogurt (make sure that this has live cultures) to get going.  Make the first batch with the store-bought yogurt.  Then use the homemade yogurt as starter for your next batch.   Make consecutive batches from the homemade version.  After a few batches, maybe three or so, you will have perfect desi yogurt!
Even though I make yogurt all the time, I still get a kick out of seeing perfectly set yogurt.

Here is what you need

  • 4 cups 2% milk (you can use any kind)
  • 2 Tbsp. starter yogurt

Here is how I made it

Pour the milk into a microwave safe glass bowl.  Heat it at 100% for 6 minutes.  At this point the milk is just beginning to boil.

Let this cool for a bit (in summers I let it sit for 45 minutes and on colder days I let it sit for about ½ hour).  The milk should not be too hot or cool.  A good way to check is by putting a few drops on the back of your hand.  It should feel warm.

Now add the starter yogurt and mix well.

Cover this with the lid.  Wrap this whole thing in a kitchen towel and keep it in the oven.  I don’t preheat the oven or turn the light on.  I just keep it there so that the temperature is constant.

After about 6 – 8 hours the yogurt should be set.

My mom sometimes adds a slit green chili to help the process.  If I am having trouble with a batch, then I add the green chili, but otherwise, I just follow the steps above.

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