“Happiness is homemade.” -Unknown
This is one of those recipes that I make so often that I’m surprised I haven’t posted it sooner. Dhai (yogurt in Hindi) in our house is a MUST have with dinner. For as long as I can remember my mom made homemade yogurt. Only in a dire dahi emergency (yes that’s a real thing ;)) did she buy it from the store. There was a pure creaminess about the yogurt she made at home. I only realized the taste and texture difference between store yogurt vs. homemade yogurt in my twenties, after moving away from home. As dahi was always served with dinner growing up, store bought yogurt was something I settled with for a few years until I met The Husband and started cooking Indian food on a daily basis.
In the beginning of our courting days The Husband thought I was being dramatic the few times I mentioned how I couldn’t eat Indian food without dahi. After noticing on a few dates how I always ordered dahi first (before even choosing the main course), he realized I was far from kidding. Fast forward a few years later Little Mirchi is a yogurt addict. She loves it plain, with fruits and even with just a little salt and pepper. Now The Husband jokes that we should own a cow with the amount of dairy our little one and I consume.
Homemade yogurt is much simpler to make then most people think. It requires no slow cookers, thermometers or coolers. All you need is two ingredients: milk and a starter. When choosing your starter pick your favorite plain yogurt that has as little additives as possible. I used a family friends homemade yogurt for my initial starter but I have also used Brown Cow Farm’s Cream Top Plain Yogurt. Once you have made homemade yogurt, you can use that same yogurt to be your next starter, keeping the cycle going using your own yogurt each time.
- 6 cups organic whole milk
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- In a heavy pot, heat milk on medium heat stirring often to avoid burning. As the milk comes to a boil turn off and remove from heat.
- Pre heat oven or toaster oven to 350 F (or high heat if the toaster oven only has low/medium/high option).
- Let milk cool until its warm to touch. Once it's warm turn off oven/toaster oven. Pour milk in heat proof container, add the starter to the warm milk, wisk well, cover and place in the oven/toaster oven. Let the yogurt incubate for 4-6 hours.
- Remove from oven and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before use.
- Homemade yogurt lasts 2-3 weeks.
Some tips for making homemade yogurt:
– Use whole milk for a creamier yogurt
– Make sure the container you wish to set the yogurt in is oven proof.
– In the summer months we avoid using our oven and use our toaster oven instead, as long as the area you let the yogurt incubate is warm – it will set.
– Homemade dahi is free of any additives, gelatin and pectin.
– Always use a plain yogurt starter, to make flavored yogurt add in fresh fruit purees or vanilla essence after the yogurt has been made and chilled.