Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Homemade Yogurt and Shankleesh

I promised you in an earlier posting about a homemade yogurt recipe, also from the same recipe we can make a mezza platter which we all enjoy- Shankleesh - you can serve it as a mezza platter or as side dish, or even for lunch. 

Homemade Yogurt is a healthy source of protein, calcium, magnesium, and other essential vitamins, whose active bacterial cultures aid in digestion. You can make yogurt in your own home for a fraction of the cost of the typical store-bought type and it requires no special equipment

Home made yogurt tastes better, and it doesn’t include preservatives, sugar, or chemical added, no packaging wasted.  This an old posting for making homemade yogurt.

In a heavy bottom pot, dissolve the powder milk in liquid milk and heat on a medium heat to start the small bubbles around the edge soon as it reached the boiling point take it off the heat and let it cool to reach the finger test.  Make sure that your hands are extra clean; you are using your index to test the milk. To test the temperature of the milk, dip your index in the milk , you should be able to handle the heat till you count till No. 10 before the heat force you to withdraw your finger, if its cold you need to cook it couple of seconds more , if its too hot you need to cool it and try your index again. Make sure that the milk is at the right temperature to add the starter, if it’s cold it will not ferment, and if it’s too hot you will kill the starter.  Temper your yogurt starter with some warm milk mix well then add it to the milk and stir well to combine.

cover the yogurt and let it ferment in a non draft place.  It takes between four to six hours.
check after this time and if its turned to a solid yogurt leave the cover and put it in the fridge. 
for Shankleesh keep the yogurt covered in the fridge for at least four days to obtain the right flavour.

Now we are ready for the Shankleesh Recipe

In a clean thick bottom stainless steel pot add the yogurt and cook on a medium heat .  You will notice after 10 minutes it is starting to break and gather in the centre (like making homemade ricotta)

when you get the right consistency and you had a separated mixture transfer the cooked yogurt to a clean cheesecloth and let it drain

 drain well for couple of days , changing the cheese cloth every day
or you can let it dry on paper towel in the fridge.
before it dries completely add 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp chili pepper, and 2 tbsp of ground oregano, mix the spices well and roll the yogurt ball in this and let it dry completely (should feel like a dry white cheese, but still crumble)
some call for adding the salt and chili in the yogurt before you drain it, and I think you will loose the flavour as it will keep draining.

Leave it to dry in a cool place for couple of days more before serving.

Don't throw the leftover brine.  You can use it in making bread

To serve the Shankleesh, crumble in a plate and add chopped green onion and chopped tomatoes , adjust the salt and black pepper and cover with olive oil.
The flavour is a cross between Cottage Cheese and Greek Feta Cheese.

Note:  I am getting lots of emails asking about the temp of the milk before adding the starter.  I did some this weekend and I used a thermometer and i tried my finger first then took it off the heat and measure it , it was 54C or 136F try to take it of the heat when it reaches 53C .


Kathleen said...

Fabulous post. Making yogurt is on the top of my to do list. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks ;) Loved your painted bread too!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That fresh cheese looks fabulous! What a gorgeous salad!



Rachana Kothari said...

What a lovely post! The fresh cheese looks great and the salad looks so delicious :)

Azure Islands Designs said...

That was very interesting Arlette, you make it look/sound easy to do...looks delicious & I'm sure it is!


Fimère said...

une explication parfaite, il est excellent
bonne journée

tasteofbeirut said...


It is funny that you posted this right when one of my readers, a lovely lady from Beirut originally, gave me her grandma's recipe for an Armenian version of shankleesh!
I love your step-by-step explanations: perfectly clear and user-friendly!
I am leaving for Beirut the first week of June but I don't know yet if it is temporary or permanent; we shall see!
bet' wasseh 'ashee?

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I've always wanted to make yogurt from scratch so thankyou Arlette! :) And good tip about the leftover yogurt brine. Where would you use it in baking in place of?

Anonymous said...

How wonderful that you made your own yogurt at home! And the Shankleesh looks terrific!

Sook said...

Wow, that is impressive! I have never attempted making yogurt at home.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I've been looking forward to this. I've never made homemade yogurt, but have always wanted to give it a try. Thanks for the tip about the leftover brine. I would have thrown it away otherwise. You sure make it sound easy.

Mary said...

I have never made yogurt, although I've made soft cheeses. You have inspired me to try your method. I curious to see what I end up with. It was a great post. I hope you had a great day. Blessings...Mary

Mamatkamal said...

Salam Arlette,
I love your step by step instructions, I would love to give it a try one day. I've never heard of Shankleesh before, it looks delicious!
Have a great day

Nadji said...

2 recettes que je ne connaissais pas et qui me plaisent beaucoup.
Bonne semaine mon amie.
A bientôt.

Angie's Recipes said...

I have never made yogurt at home...I don't even know where to buy milk powder in Germany. Are these baby drinking milk can be used in making them?

Arlette said...

Hello ladies,
thanks so much for your sweet remarks, I do encourage you to try my recipe, its very simple and straight forward.
*Lorraine: you asked me what to use the brine for, I used it in making a dough, and also in a cake recipe.
**Angie: check the bulk stores where they sell baking supplies. I am not sure about baby milk is it full fat?? in Lebanon we have Nido Milk Powder and Tatra Milk Powder and that what we use.

Momgateway said...

thanks for sharing this homemade yogurt recipe... it's my first time to see the use of yogurt brine..

Anonymous said...

Amazing. Have eaten this dish a lot in the Middle East but never thought to make. Will have to try. Cheers!

Madeleine said...

Dear Arlette,

It's so nice of you to share this yummy recipe with ur friends. I love Shankleesh a lot especially with green onions.

Mom said...

thanks for posting these "how to make" recipes...i will have to try the shankleesh one day soon :)
great post and very delicious photos too

gourmandelise said...

Nice work this yoghurt!!

Lisa Michelle said...

Nobody, and I mean nobody..has ever made me want to make yogurt as much as you..just to be able to spic it up like yours and/or crumble it over dishes. I'm bookmarking this! Also, LOVE your gorgeous painted breads below!! *hugs*

Julia @Mélanger said...

I have never made yogurt but really want to now. Question - when you test the temperature of the milk, if you had a thermometer and didn't just rely on experience, do you know approximately what F/C it would be?

Deirdra said...

Thank you, Arlette for sharing!

This weekend I plan to make labneh... I will make homemade yoghurt to go with it instead of store bought...


tobias cooks! said...

I have read about this a lot. It is about time to try it out!

Amal said...

Hi Arlette!! how are you?
I love shanklish, thank you for sharing!

Yasmeen said...

Love the salad with the tangy shankleesh :D

Arlette said...

this comment came by mail from Marisa who shared very interesting tips about making her her yogurt starter:

Hello There:

I also make my own yogurt, but instead of buying any yogurt to start with I make my own "sample". To do so I have two techniques depending on how sauer I want it.
The most sauer one I start with warm milk and add some lemon juice, then bring it to boil and let it rest for some hours, after that I separete the solids (it has a cheese texture) and that I use to make the laban.

The other option is I boil milk and leave it to warm down and then I add a piece of white bread (baguette will do it), add some powder milk, cover it and leave it to ferment in a warm but not hot place for 2/3 days.

In both recepies is necesary to filter the whey.

I hope you find this useful and forgive my bad english.

Judy said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. Yogurt is something I've always wanted to try making, but just never got around to.

Susan: My Food Obsession said...

WOW! This looks amazing! Thank you for sharing this recipe :)

Ariel said...

Happy holidays to all your blog readers!

Eftychia said...

I will definately give this yogurt recipe a try. It sounds very good!! Thanks for sharing.

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