Feel satisfied with this DIY strained yogurt “cheese” that is so simple to make. Add spices and chilies for rich, tangy flavor.
By Jess Lacey
I am a sucker for those articles that tell you how to make the type of products you normally buy.
I love the idea of making my own cheese, smoking things, preserving things. I just never do it. I bought cheese cloth with great intentions, but instead I just make labneh. It’s straightforward and quick to make and provides just the right amount of smug DIY satisfaction. Labneh is a traditional Middle Eastern strained yoghurt ‘cheese’. Basically you just buy some thick yoghurt, and strain it through cheesecloth for a day or two with some salt, garlic and spices until it has a thick, smooth consistency and a rich tangy flavour. You can use it as a dip with some crispy pitta bread, as a substitute for cream cheese, dress some roasted vegetables with it or really anything you fancy.
- A tea towel sized piece of cheese cloth or muslin
- 250g (8.8 ounces) natural or greek yoghurt
- ½ clove of garlic, crushed
- 1-2 teaspoons chili flakes of your choice (plus a bit extra for topping)
- 1-2 teaspoons dried dill (as above)
- 1 teaspoon zaatar
- A pinch of salt
- Olive oil
- Line a sieve with the cheesecloth, folded to make a double layer.
- Add the yoghurt and remaining ingredients besides the oil and stir well to combine.
- Leave in a fridge overnight over a bowl to drain the excess liquid.
- Grab the corners of the cheesecloth in the morning to form a bag and squeeze the labneh well to drain out any remaining liquid.
- Serve topped with some extra dill, chili flakes, chopped fresh chili if you have it, and olive oil.