Labneh is a Middle Eastern yogurt cheese, flavored with just about anything you like. It is very easy to make, but you do have to start it a day in advance. By pouring some yogurt into a cheese cloth and letting it strain overnight, you will end up with thick yogurt that looks like a creamy cheese. Add the flavoring, spread it on crackers or bread and enjoy.
|Yogurt, with the liquid drained|
Serving Size = About 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds, crushed in mortar pestle
- 1/8 teaspoon or so of freshly grated ginger
- Chili pepper/garlic oil to taste
How to make the chili/garlic oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1/8 cup oil
- In a saucepan, heat everything together. Once it gets hot, shut it off and leave it until it goes back to room temperature. Remove the garlic and serve.
- For the Labneh, line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth (a couple of layers), place over a bowl (the strainer cannot touch the bottom of the bowl, make sure it's a few inches away), and pour in the yogurt. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, there should be liquid (whey) in the bowl (save to add to bread, in the place of milk) and the yogurt will be thick. If you need to, you can gently squeeze out some more liquid from the yogurt. It depends how thick you want it to be.
- Add all of the ingredients (oil, cumin, etc) to taste. Mix gently. Serve with toasted bread or crackers.