“Porikhha bhalo howk”, Wish your exam goes well, Ma said with her Yoghurt dipped finger on my forehead. That’s correct, yoghurt is not only an essential ingredient in Indian food but also in Indian traditions. Yoghurt is considered auspicious, in fact ” Panchamrita”, a concoction of honey, sugar, milk, yoghurt and ghee is used in religious cerermonies.
What would food be without this key ingredient? Use it as a marinade, base for sauces, knead it in the dough for flatbreads, mix it to make smoothies or savour it as is. Making yoghurt at home is so simple that once you start you’d wonder what took you so long. You do not need any “stabilisers” or other chemicals. If you use it on a regular basis like I do, making yoghurt at home can save you a tidy sum too.
With the days getting warmer and longer, there are new leaves and flowers around. “Chokh meley cheyeche “, Opened their eyes, as Ma says. In the hot days of summer, yoghurt is a must which helps cool the body. Friends do you feel adventurous to try this. I’d like to know how you made out.
Whole milk One litre
Starter culture One tsp
Take the milk in a deep bottomed pan on a high heat. Keep stirring to prevent it sticking to the bottom. Bring to a boil and turn the gas off. Let the milk cool to lukewarm. Add the starter culture, mix well. Transfer this to a pot. Cover and set aside in a warm spot overnight. Next morning refrigerate until use.
In the evening I warm the oven for an hour, turn it off and keep the pot inside overnight. It has worked very well.
You can strain the yoghurt through a cheesecloth to make it thicker.
The starter culture can be borrowed from friends or neighbours. The store bought plain yoghurt has produced excellent result too.