Featured in Guang Ming Daily

Remember that story about Guang Ming wanting to know how I made yogurt at home?

Well, they featured my how-to as well as a tiny picture of me holding a tub of yogurt on 20 March 2011.

UPDATE
[Li Choo, the Guang Ming reporter, recently emailed me the link to the feature on the Guang Ming website. Here’s the link: http://www.guangming.com.my/node/98904?tid=46 This online report also includes photos of how I made my yogurt in a step-by-step way.]

It was published about 2 weeks after I gave the photos to the journalist. It was also a day before our trip to Hong Kong which meant if it had been later, I would not have managed to run down to the Indian news vendor to grab a copy. The journalist had SMSed me and told me it was appearing in the Sunday edition – this was a feature you see.

Featured in Guang Ming newspaper 20 March 2011
Featured in Guang Ming newspaper 20 March 2011

The thing is, I am still a newbie at Mandarin so my reading skills aren’t terribly exciting. I can manage roughly to get an idea what the feature said. Hope to get it translated one day by my aunt.

But if you want the English version, you can get the yogurt recipe here – I call it the pictorial guide.

How to Make Yogurt, The Pictorial Guide

Last week I made yogurt after a long time!

I made it because Lee Choo, a journalist from Guang Ming Daily contacted me and was curious about my homemade yogurt recipe and process.

She said that many people needed to use a special yogurt maker and yogurt starter to get the yogurt made. When she came across my blog post, she was really excited because it meant anyone can make yogurt at home using the simplest tools and ingredients.

Well, I consider myself blessed because Dada Lalitesh taught me this method almost 10 years ago and I still use it and it has never failed me. Dada was my yoga teacher but we became firm friends as we shared similar interests – books, travel, eclectic movies, all things Chinese. And he’s from South America. Right now, he is in Vietnam and I met him just before he left and we still have that many things to talk about (and yoga wasn’t the topic either!)

So here it is – a step-by-step process via photos. I use Marigold brand for both yogurt and milk. I used to use milk powder and that makes a thicker yogurt compared to packet milk. Taste-wise, it’s still the same.

While Dada used to eat yogurt with fruits and muesli for breakfast, I have other uses for yogurt. I love fruit lassi’s (mango lassi is super delicious but if you can get strawberries or blueberries, they taste yums too!) and I love using yogurt to make cucumber raita. I can also use yogurt to make chicken curry. I also use yogurt to mix with mayonnaise as a not-too-calorie laden dressing for salads. The possibilities are truly endless.

But the end result is: it’s healthy. It’s good for your gut. And you’ll feel more satisfied because you made it on your own. You know what you put into it.

You can use yogurt to bathe – just slather the yogurt over your body, exfoliate with a natural loofah scrubber and then rinse well. After that, feel your skin’s ultra smoothness! Like a baby’s bottom. I always feel like I’m Cleopatra when I am using yogurt in the bath, except that she used to bathe with milk.

You can use it as a face mask too and it helps with blemishes and acne. You see, there’s plenty of ways to use yogurt. You can keep the yogurt for 3 – 5 days in the fridge (not freezer or chiller please). After the 5th day (and you don’t feel like you want to eat any more yogurt), use it for bathing and as a mask.

I haven’t really figured out why Marigold contains the right sort of live cultures (I have tried making yogurt with Dutch Lady brand and it never came out right) but Dada himself said that he uses Marigold only for best results.

Anyway, try this at home and you’ll never need to buy commercial yogurt any more!

Only 2 ingredients: UHT Full Cream Milk & natural yogurt, Marigold brand
Only 2 ingredients: UHT Full Cream Milk & natural yogurt, Marigold brand

You can use milk powder too. If you use milk powder, you will need about 6 heaped tablespoons of milk powder. Mix this with room temperature water first before you add hot water. Keep adding the hot water until the milk mixture is warm (not hot please).

Pour the 2 packets of milk into a pot.
Pour the 2 packets of milk into a pot.
Heat the milk for 3 minutes. Do not bring to boil.
Heat the milk for 3 minutes. Do not bring to boil.

Take a tablespoon of yogurt and mix into the warm milk. Milk must be warm to touch, not hot.
Take a tablespoon of yogurt and mix into the warm milk. Milk must be warm to touch, not hot.

Here I must add my two cents. Stick your pinkie into the milk. If you can keep your pinkie in the milk for more than 10 seconds, it’s warm enough. If you find the milk too hot, stir the milk a bit to cool it down. We want to create a warm world for our live culture. We do not want to kill the lactobacillus strains.

Pour milk mixed with yogurt into a container. Cap the lid.
Pour milk mixed with yogurt into a container. Cap the lid.
Wrap container with a plastic bag. Tie the ends tightly. This is the insulation your yogurt needs for the next 12 hours.
Wrap container with a plastic bag. Tie the ends tightly. This is the insulation your yogurt needs for the next 12 hours.

Put this into a container and cover with an old towel. Again, it's for keeping in the warmth so the culture can get to work fermenting the milk.
Put this into a container and cover with an old towel. Again, it's for keeping in the warmth so the culture can get to work fermenting the milk.

Here I use the inner container from an old rice cooker (my old rice cooker died on me many years ago) and I never had the heart to throw out the (still) good inner container. So I line it with an old cloth and use it as my yogurt maker!

Set it aside for 12 hours. After 12 hours, your milk has become yogurt. Once it has set properly, keep it refrigerated.
Set it aside for 12 hours. After 12 hours, your milk has become yogurt. Keep it refrigerated.

How do you know if the yogurt’s done fermenting?

The mixture should not be runny like milk. You can scoop some out and the mass of yogurt stays firm on your spoon. Taste some. It will taste a little different from commercial sweet yogurt. Sweeten this with honey or fruits and you’ll be a happy bear in no time.

This recipe makes 500 ml of yogurt.

Make Your Own Yogurt

I learnt how to make yogurt from my yoga teacher many years ago. I still keep in touch with Dada Lalitesh whenever he is back in Malaysia because he’s always a fount of knowledge about philosophy and books and of course, yoga asanas! He’s the first person I’d refer to if I have some niggling doubt about yoga which I have been practising for the past 6 years.

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