Yogurt (Yoğurt)

As it is obvious from the name, the word ‘Yogurt’ is derived from the Turkish word ‘Yoğurt’. The word ‘yoğurt’ is derived from the verb ‘yoğurtmak’ which means ‘to blend’ that refers to how the yogurt is made. Yogurt is made by introducing some bacterial cultures to the milk under controlled temperature. I prefer to make yogurt at home since the commercial yogurt we purchase does not taste as good. Most people in the U.S. consume flavored yogurt instead of plain. If you like, you may add some fruit or fruit juice to make it flavored. I have never tried it as I prefer my yogurt plain, but I do not see any reason why it would not work.

Yogurt contains a great amount of calcium which is wonderful for your bones as well as many other nutrients. Yogurt is widely used in Turkish cuisine such as in kebabs, fried eggplants, mantı (Turkish version of ravioli), cacık (Yogurt with cucumbers & garlic) and etc. At home, we eat yogurt plain and as a side dish.

1 gallon whole milk
1/3 cup plain yogurt

Boil the milk in a large pot. Remove from heat, uncover and let cool until it reaches a temperature of 115 Fº. Once it reaches the desired temperature, add the yogurt in and stir well. Cover pot with a lid and then cover with a towel or any type of cloth. Place somewhere to be untouched for at least 8 hours or overnight. I usually cover the pot and place it in the oven overnight. Be careful not to turn on your oven forgetting the yogurt inside. If you tend to forget, just put the pot in one of the cupboards to avoid any accidents. The next morning or after 8 hours, open lid and check to see if the yogurt is thick. Place in a refrigerator and serve cold.

Note: If you like your yogurt sour, keep it out longer than 8 hours. Depending on your preference of yogurt, you can adjust the time you leave the yogurt outside the fridge. I like my yogurt sour, so sometimes I leave it 12-13 hours untouched.

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