How to Make Greek Yogurt at Home

Greek yogurt (aka yogurt cheese, strained yogurt, or labneh), simply put, is plain yogurt that has been strained in a cloth or some sort of filter to remove the whey, giving a consistency between that of yogurt & cheese, while preserving yogurt's distinctive taste [wiki]. 

If you think Greek Yogurt sells quite expensive outside, you can easily make Greek Yogurt at home using regular plain yogurt, it is not complicated at all.

how to make greek yogurt at home
If you are using store-bought yogurt, proceed step 2 onward.
If you want to use homemade yogurt/curd, check this page for step-by-step instructions & tips on How to Make Curd/Yogurt/Dahi at Home.

Let’s Begin!

1.  In a nutshell, to make homemade yogurt/curd: boil milk to a lukewarm stage, add the yogurt starter, transfer to container, cover & place it in warm secluded area, undisturbed, for 4-6 hours, then place in refrigerator to set better.

how to make curd at home
2.  Get your linen ready for straining.  You can use layered cheesecloth (layered so that yogurt does not drip out of the thin cloth and its holes & go waste), muslin cloth, cotton handkerchief, chinoise/chinois [which is very expensive I have heard] or even 100% cotton pillow cover.  What I generally use are in the pictures below:

(L-R): cheesecloth ($3.99, Bed Bath & Beyond), dish towel ($0.79, IKEA), handkerchief ($0.40, India)
3.  When your homemade plain yogurt/curd is set well, place your linen on a bowl or sieve, and empty the yogurt into it.  Tie the opposite ends of your cloth & hang so the water/whey out of yogurt drips out - the same concept as hanging paneer/chena.  If weather is cold, you can let it hang over the counter, if warm then you should leave the yogurt on the cloth on top of a sieve over a bowl inside the refrigerator.  Why?  Because curd will turn sour if left longer in a warm place.

Let the water drain for couple of hours until the yogurt inside thickens – depends on your yogurt quantity too, the more it is the longer it will take, obviously ;)

step by step - making greek yogurt at home using plain homemade yogurt
4.  When you notice no more water dripping out of yogurt, the Greek Yogurt is ready.  What, seriously?  Was making Greek Yogurt SO EASY?  Yes.

What you now have remaining in your linen will be thick but smooth yogurt, just the texture between yogurt and cheese.  Greek Yogurt may appear like Indian Paneer at first glance, but it is NOT.  Paneer (Ricotta Cheese) and Greek Yogurt are not the same; nowhere close.

When you touch Homemade Greek Yogurt you can feel it is much softer, smoother - like thick whipped cream.  You can either use this home made Greek Yogurt right away, or let cool in refrigerator & use later.

You can use Greek Yogurt as a dip, as a cheese spread on bread, in place of cream cheese for cheesecake, and there are numerous uses.

Making Greek Yogurt at home is totally worth it.  Here's an example of an Indian dessert made with Greek Yogurt: Shrikhand and a Greek Garlicky Yogurt dip: Cacik.

Easy Dessert Recipe of Shrikhand made with Yogurt

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