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How to make Yiaourti Strangisto (Greek Yoghurt)

How to make Yiaourti Strangisto (Greek Yoghurt)

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Yiaourti strangisto (pr. yeeah-OUR-tee strahn-ghee-STOH) means strained yoghurt, aka Greek yoghurt.

You only need two ingredients to make some delicious, creamy Greek yoghurt.

We are very lucky to have this delicious and velvety yoghurt, the queen of all dairy products, so easily available. 

It is nutritious, high in calcium, a good source of protein and does not contain cholesterol. 

However, in many parts of the world they don’t have it, but they surely do have milk. 

It’s easy to make it so why not give it a try.  The calories will depend on what kind of milk you will be using.

The past few years of blogging I’ve read a lot of posts where bloggers talk about their love for Greek yoghurt. 

However, Greek yoghurt is not available everywhere around the world.

I remember reading a post recently, about a daughter and mother living near the Canadian-American borders, respectively.

The daughter would ask her mother to bring her some Greek yoghurt from the States as she could not find it in the town she lived. 

Yoghurt image

That is how good Greek yoghurt is!

That post is what triggered me to attempt and make Greek yoghurt. 

I can buy Greek yoghurt any time I like not only at the supermarkets but in Greece you kind find yoghurt in “psilikatzidika” which are also called EVGA., from the oldest dairy company in Greece, which would help these family mini markets, by providing them with professional refrigerators and in their turn they sold their dairy products.

Although EVGA has merged with other companies and has kept only the ice cream sector, these mini markets are still known with this name, although now they are sponsored by other dairy companies such as DELTA, FAGE, AGNO, and usually operate from 6 – 7 a.m. till midnight, selling as well newspapers and magazines, bus tickets, candies, as well a small variety of other products, in case you need something during the hours when the supermarkets are closed.

I remember my mother used to make yoghurt but never asked how she made it so I just made a quick google search. 

I found a recipe in Greek saying that they used FAGE Total yoghurt. 

I made it but the yoghurt did not set and it was more like a cream than a yoghurt, although it tasted great.

I did not give up. 

This time I made a more thorough search and read carefully all the details. 

You just need any kind of milk, low fat or full fat and yoghurt with live cultures.  You can use any milk you like, even soy milk. 

I used Becel Proactive milk 0% fat, which is the one I drink every day as it helps lower your total and LDL cholesterol, so this milk makes a very healthy yoghurt. 

However, you cannot make yoghurt with just any yoghurt as a starter.  You have to use a yoghurt with live cultures.

Yoghurt and katiki dip with cucumbers image

All the sites I read in English,  used a thermometre which unfortunately we don’t use in Greece and I am sure in many other countries as well. 

My mother never used a thermometre to make yoghurt and all those shepherds who have been making yoghurt the past 4.500 years never used thermometres. 

I remember what she did was to heat the milk and let it become lukewarm.  She would test it with her little pinky finger and if she could tolerate the heat counting to five then the temperature was right!! 

As simple as that.

When the yoghurt is ready you may notice that it is thinner than the typical store bought yoghurt. 

If you want to make Greek yoghurt, you will have to strain all the water out.

You can line a colander with muslin,  cheesecloth or a clean linen kitchen towel or a thick strong paper towel. 

Make sure that the paper towel will not fall apart when it is wet.  Put the colander in a bowl where there will be some space below for the water to drain.

Yoghurt straining image

Check regularly and remove water. 

Place in the refrigerator until it reaches a thick consistency.  

I found an easier way to strain my yoghurt.  I used coffee filters which I put into V shaped cups so that the filter will not fall inside.

Yoghurt water image

The amount of milk you use makes the same amount of yoghurt and for every litre of milk you will need 100 grams of yoghurt, which is about 2 heaped tablespoons. 

The time needed for the yoghurt to be ready is about six hours during the summer and seven to eight hours during winter. 

Cover your bowl with a lid and then cover with a towel to keep it warm.

You can eat Greek yoghurt as it is, mixed with a juicy fruit or add honey, pecans, pistachios and cherry spoon sweet with syrup as I did in the picture below, or only with honey, with fresh fruit, or with any other kind of spoon sweets. 

You can use it to make other desserts, to marinate meat, in pasta dishes or use it to make tzatziki, as a substitute for sour cream and in so many other ways.

Yoghurt with nuts and cherries image

Don’t forget to save some of your yoghurt to use it as a starter the next time.  You can freeze it and use it whenever you like.

Greek Yoghurt with honey image
Yiaourti straggisto Greek Yoghurt image

How to make Greek Yoghurt

Yield: 1 kilo
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

Yiaourti strangisto (pr. yeeah-OUR-tee strahn-ghee-STOH) is yogurt that has been strained to remove most of its whey, resulting in a thicker consistency.

Ingredients

  • 1 litre fresh milk (cow's, goat or sheep milk)
  • 100 grams yoghurt with live cultures

Instructions

  1. Put the yoghurt in a bowl and whisk with 1 tablespoon milk and reserve.
  2. In a double boiler heat the milk for about fifteen minutes.  If you have a thermometre the temperature should reach 85C (185F) degrees.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow the temperature to fall to 42 – 44C (110F) degrees or test with your pinky finger until you can bear the heat counting to five.
  4. With a ladle add the milk to the yoghurt, stirring until you add all the milk. 
  5. Cover with a clean tea towel and keep it in a warm environment without moving it for at least seven hours.
  6. You can then transfer it into smaller containers and strain it.
  7. Line a colander with cheesecloth or a clean linen kitchen towel or a thick strong paper towel.  Make sure that the paper towel will not fall apart when it is wet.  Put the colander in a bowl where there will be some space below for the water to drain. Check regularly and remove water. 
  8. Place in the refrigerator until it reaches a thick consistency.  

Notes

Don’t forget to save some of your yoghurt to use it as a starter the next time.  You can freeze it and use it whenever you like.

Nutrition Information
Yield 1 kilo Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 591Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 13gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 89mgSodium 608mgCarbohydrates 59gFiber 0gSugar 7gProtein 41g

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Sahil

Wednesday 25th of December 2013

thanks for recipe, I am gonna give it a try and let's see how it comes out:)

Wish me luck

Ambika Choudhary Mahajan

Friday 12th of October 2012

I did come to know about the many health benefits of yogurt recently and I shared the information with my readers so that more people could learn about it. Ever since I learnt about Greek yogurt (It is unheard of in India- where I live), I have been wanting to make some at home. More so because it is not available at any supermarkets here. Thanks for sharing the simple method. I'll surely try that out and get back to you with the results. We, in India, dip our finger in milk to see if the temperature is just right for curdling even for making yogurt. No thermometers et al. I am sure I'll be able to get it just right. :) Lovely share.

Ivy

Friday 12th of October 2012

Ambika, thank you for visiting. I am sure you will get it right, only make sure the yoghurt you use has live cultures.

Shushanik

Sunday 1st of July 2012

Another great recipe of one of the best Greek dishes! :) Mine is a little bit different: Greek yogurt recipe. I'd be glad to hear your opinion on it.

vicky

Monday 8th of August 2011

Using cheesecloth to strain the yogurt works best, but don't leave it too long or it gets too thick. Recipe worked great for me setting my wrapped bowl over a crock pot on warm. Thanks!

raul

Sunday 21st of March 2010

it looks great.. and it seems like to Turkish Haydari.. its very very delicious..

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