Many years ago a friend of mine in Kano told me how to make my own yoghurt which I have done off and on with good results. After a while flavoured yoghurt in little pots became fashionable and of course, the children preferred that. Later still real fruit was added, fruit which was not easily available in Nigeria and does not even grow here. Naturally one wants the best for the kids and I bought those as weekly treats.
Looking back I now know that this was foolish, expensive and quite unnecessary! So I want to encourage the younger generation to always provide the very best they can which in my opinion is always made at home.
Homemade, because one is totally in control of what goes into the product. In this case it is yoghurt, full fat, rich and creamy!
Just buy a pot of natural yoghurt without any added sugar and you are ready to start. You will need milk, a saucepan, a whisk, a jug for mixing, a container for maturing the yoghurt and a measuring gadget. A thermometer is not needed, your little finger will do nicely!
I have researched various recipes and I am sure they all work perfectly well but are not ideal for a hot climate. Therefore my method will give excellent results in sweltering conditions!
Measure 500 ml milk and put in your saucepan. Measure 120 ml (1/4 cup) of the purchased yoghurt and place in mixing jug. Put the saucepan on the fire for a few minutes. Dip your little finger into the milk to test. It should not be hotter than a baby's bath water! If it is too hot you have to allow the milk to cool down, otherwise you will get cheese instead of yoghurt! Another way to test is to dip a spoon into the milk and touch it to your lips. You will know it is too hot if you get a burning sensation. A little warmer than lukewarm is alright. Remember we are in the tropics and a little heat goes a long way!
|Yoghurt and milk mixture|
When you are satisfied with the temperature take 120 ml of the milk and add to the yoghurt, whisking to remove any lumps. When smooth, slowly add the remaining milk, whisking gently to distribute the yoghurt mix. Now pour into the container you have chosen and put the lid on. In a warm kitchen the yoghurt will have set in four hours. Average temperature in my kitchen is between 30C-35C(86F-95F).
|The setting stage|
|Yoghurt is set and ready to be placed in the fridge|
When chilled, serve with chopped fruit of your choice. Good options are sliced bananas, cubed mangoes or pawpaw. Instead of milk, this yoghurt could be used for muesli or cornflakes with some fruit added, so no extra sugar is needed!
Don't forget to keep some for the next batch!