Homemade Yogurt

How to make homemade yogurt. Sharing step by step pictures showing how to make homemade yogurt (Indian Dahi) on both the stovetop and in the Instant pot.
Homemade Yogurt

“Happiness is Homemade”

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 my husband and started cooking Indian food on a daily basis.

Homemade YogurtIn the beginning of our courting days my 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 kala jeera and even with just a little salt and pepper. Now my husband jokes that we should own a cow with the amount of dairy our little one and I consume.
Homemade YogurtHomemade 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 and Chobani Full Fat. 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.

Homemade Yogurt
Prep time
Cook time
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Homemade Yogurt, made from whole milk is an essential part of everyday Indian Meals. Sharing both a stovetop and Instant Pot method.
Recipe type: Sides
Serves: 6 cups
  • 6 cups organic whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  2. 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.
  3. Pre heat oven or toaster oven to 350 F (or high heat if the toaster oven only has low/medium/high option).
  4. 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.
  5. Remove from oven and refrigerate for 1-2 hours before use.
  7. Place 2 cups of water and trivet in Instant Pot. Place heat proof/pyrex container inside and add the milk.
  8. Close the lid and move the venting knob to sealing position. Set the steam function for 3 minutes + natural release.
  9. After the pressure releases open the lid and cool the milk to 111°F. An easy way to determine if the milk is at an optimal temperature for the starter is to ensure the milk is hot but not scalding.
  10. Once the milk cools to the correct temperature gently whisk in the yogurt starter. If you wish to have malai add the starter from the side to ensure you don't disturb the top milk fats that have risen. For a thicker yogurt without the malai whisk in that layer with the starter.
  11. Close lid and set the 'Yogurt' function. Adjust the time to 8:00 – 10:00 hours, depending on how tangy you like your yogurt (longer time = tangier).
  12. Don’t disrupt the fermentation process by moving the Instant Pot or opening the lid.
  13. Once the yogurt cycle has completed, remove the inner pot of yogurt and place it in the fridge for a few hours to stop the incubating process and allow it to thicken.
Homemade yogurt lasts 2-3 weeks.

Use whole milk for a creamier yogurt.

Oven method: Make sure the container you set the yogurt in is oven proof.

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.

Homemade YogurtSome tips for making homemade yogurt:
– Use whole milk for a creamier yogurt
– Oven method: Make sure the container you set the yogurt in is oven proof.
– 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.

Homemade Yogurt


Homemade Yogurt/Dahi pairs great with Chicken Dum BiryaniEgg Curry or great for marinating Tandoori lambchops & Tandoori Shrimp.

9 thoughts on “Homemade Yogurt

  1. Love this. So clear and such beautiful pictures. My dad always used to make homemade dhai growing up and my mother-in-law often makes it, but it’s something I generally don’t…I think I will try it now though! Would you use any yogurt as your starter? Is higher fat better or does it not matter?

    1. Thank you Ritu! I’ve been meaning to blog this recipe for a while but I wanted to make sure I had step by step pictures. I would use a plain whole milk yogurt, it will result in a creamier thicker yogurt.

  2. love the pics. Do you always use starter to start a fresh batch of yogurt. I made the first batch with a starter but for the 2nd batch I used the yogurt from the first batch… Came out really bad.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks Bharti I generally only use a starter the first time and then I use my own yogurt going forward. I would start over, using a starter and and then trying to use your own yogurt the next time. Make sure the milk is just warm and not too hot, sometimes that can mess up the yogurt as well.

  3. Really nice abt to try this, but I only have lactose free whole milk on hand right now. Would that work the same?

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