Homemade yogurt is refreshing and healthy. Yogurt is so versatile and is used in many Persian recipes and is usually served as a side dish for lunch and dinner. Making homemade ماست yogurt is easy and while the whole process does take some time it is usually ready by the next day. You can use any kind of milk available. I like to use reduced-fat (2%) milk. You can use a few tablespoons of the store-bought plain yogurt if this is the first time you're making your own yogurt. Save and put aside some of this yogurt for the next batch of yogurt you make. Also, it's helpful to have a thermometer. Since I bought a candy thermometer a while back, I no longer use the old-fashioned method of using the tip of my finger to tell if the milk is at the right temperature before adding the yogurt.
1 gallon of milk (whole milk, 2% fat or 1% fat)
1/2 cup whole-milk plain yogurt
- Pour the milk into a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium to low heat, stirring frequently to avoid the scorching.
- Place a candy thermometer on the side of the pot.
- Milk is heated till it reaches 185-190 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat and let it cool down to 110-112 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the yogurt (with live culture) in the container that you will be storing it in. Pour a cup of milk over the yogurt and stir well. Slowly add the remaining warm milk and stir.
- If you are making the yogurt in the same pot that you were boiling the milk then add a cup of milk to the yogurt, stir and gently add the mix to the pot and stir well.
- Cover the container or the pot tightly, wrap it with kitchen cloth and store in a warm place. It should be left untouched for up to seven hours for the yogurt to ferment till it sets.
- Refrigerate the yogurt overnight or for at least 8 hours.
Yogurt Drink (Doogh)
دوغ Doogh is a popular refreshing drink in Iran that is made with yogurt, water and salt. However, another variation is to add club soda instead of water for a tastier doogh. Yogurt soda is usually served with any kind of kabab dishes, any chicken and meat meals or just served as a cooling and healthy drink. The best kind of yogurt soda is a homemade one where you can adjust the amount of club soda, salt and yogurt to your liking. I find the store bought doogh somewhat harsh and hard to swallow. This is very easy and takes little time and effort to make. I like to add almost equal parts of both yogurt and water, considering that the added ice will melt quickly, especially in hot weather, therefore it will dilute the content.
1 1/2 cups whole-milk plain yogurt, whisk well to make it smooth
2 cups of water
1 cup (8 oz) club soda *optional
Salt to taste
A good pinch of dried mint or Persian herbs for doogh *optional
Lots of ice cubes
- Gradually combine yogurt and water. Mix well using a hand mixer, blender or a whisk.
- Add salt to taste, dried mint and ice cubes, stir till it blends well.
Persian Herbs For Doogh is a wonderful and aromatic combination of the following herbs:
Dried mint, dried wild mint, dried rose petals, dried wild mountain celery, thyme and a herb called "tigh daroogh" in Persian which is native to the Alvand mountain of Hamadan, Iran