Making yogurt at home is not a big deal in India. Setting the yogurt is a daily chore. It is a part of routine to boil milk and add a spoonful of the day's leftover yogurt to it before going to bed. The next day you have a perfectly creamy yogurt. I am a big fan of such homemade yogurt for its texture and taste. I truly missed it when I first tasted yogurt in the US. My yogurt consumption subsided noticeably. Though I missed the fresh yogurt that I was used to eating, I eventually got used to this new taste . I have tried setting the yogurt with plain store bought yogurt, but never got the results.
Some days back I read a post on One Hot Stove about making homemade yogurt. I was so excited to read it. Nupur mentioned that she used Yogourmet culture. I decided to give it a shot and went to the local organic grocery store. There were a couple of yogurt starters. As soon as I saw a packet of Yogourmet, I jumped on to it :) I simply followed the instructions on the packet and woke up to a perfect yogurt I was dreaming for.
I used the following -
4 cups whole milk
1 sachet of Yogourmet culture (5gm)
I boiled the milk and let it cool. Since I did not have a candy thermometer, I used my judgment to gauge the temperature of milk and added the culture to the warm milk. I let it sit for about 6-7 hours and got amazing results. You must read the original post by Nupur (and I strongly recommend it) where she has explained the process step by step in detail. I cannot thank her enough for letting us know about this yogurt culture. The only reason I am writing this post is because I am super excited to see the way this yogurt turned out.
Another thing that I did differently was that I did not remove the malai (skin that forms on the milk) before adding culture. That is the thick patch you see on yogurt in the picture above. It is all malai that happened to set on one side of the casserole. I wanted to see if I can churn any butter, but that did not succeed. Anyway I am happy that I can now eat fresh yogurt everyday :)
March 2: An update
Today I tried setting a new batch of yogurt with the leftover yogurt from previous batch and it worked beautifully :)