Labneh is a particular favourite, going into salads, soups, pasta dishes, dips, vegetable dishes, deserts and breakfast dishes.
We call it Thick Thick Yoghurt. See these previous posts on our love for this wonderful food. And this is how to make it: Making Thick Thick Yoghurt. Recently we began making it pre-flavoured with salt and garlic. You will love it too.
Thick Thick Yoghurt with Garlic and Salt
Take a tub of yoghurt. Add around half a teaspoon of salt for a large tub, a quarter of a teaspoon for a small tub. It is best to begin with these amounts, and you can add more on subsequent occasions if you wish. As the yoghurt amount will reduce considerably as it drains, the saltiness of the yoghurt will increase. I recommend using sea salt.
Using a garlic press, add the pressed pulp of one garlic clove (less for a small tub) to the yoghurt. Stir well.
Tip the yoghurt mixture into something that will allow it to drain for at least 4 hours. I line a sieve with a piece of muslin and sit this over a large bowl. A double layer of paper towels is Ok. Even coffee filters! A clean teatowel. But cheesecloth/muslin works best of all.
Placing a weight on top of the yoghurt helps it to drain more quickly. Another way is to tie the muslin containing the yoghurt into a ball shape and hang it from your sink tap overnight. The yoghurt drains under its own weight.
Allow the yoghurt to drain for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours in the fridge. The whey drains off, and can be discarded or used in other ways you would normally use whey (in soups, bread baking etc). The amount that drains is surprising.
Each yoghurt brand contains different amounts of liquid. I like to use a Greek yoghurt as it is thicker to begin with. The times taken to strain the yoghurt will vary. As a guide, 24 hours produces a very thick yoghurt, more like a soft soft cheese. It is great for salads, sandwiches and toast etc. 6 hours produces a thick but still slightly liquid yoghurt. Choose the thickness to suit your taste and the way that you plan to use it.
Experiment with other flavourings too. Try, for example, cumin, garlic and black pepper. Or add chopped herbs!