Yogurt cheese also known as hung yogurt/ chakka is just yogurt from which most of the water has been removed. It then resembles a thick, creamy paste. This paste is mixed with fruit paste, sugar and flavouring to prepare Shrikhand, a sweet very popular in north
Indian desserts can be split into four major classes.
1. Desserts soaked / cooked in sugar syrup ( jalebis, katli, mysorepak, burfi, halwah,… )
2. Desserts based on cooked down milk ( rabri, payasam, kheer, peda, kulfi,… )
3. Desserts based on milk solids ( rasgulla, rasmalai, kalakhand, ..) and
4. Yogurt Desserts (Shrikhand & Bengali Mishti doi).
Vary Yogurt : Though common yogurt made from cow / buffalo milk is used to make traditional shrikhand, a variety of yogurts made from goat/ other milk can be used. Flavoured yogurts or even soy yogurt can be used to make fusion shrikhand.
Making yogurt cheese (Chakka) : :: Line a colander/ sieve with a cloth. Pour in 2 cups( 400 ml) of yogurt. Keep colander raised so that water can drain away overnight ( or gather edges of cloth & hang the bag of yogurt to let water drain).
Making fruit puree : Skin and deseed ripe fruit. Mash them to a coarse / smooth paste as per your taste.
Making yogurt : Boil two cups of milk. Let cool till lukewarm. Stir in a spoon of yogurt. Rest in a warm place for 3 -5 hours.
Making flavoured yogurt : Boil two cups of milk. Let cool till lukewarm. Stir in a spoon of yogurt. Mix in a pinch of cardamom / cinnamon / nutmeg / mace / dry ginger powder or mix in a drop of your favourite essence. Rest in a warm place for 3 -5 hours.
Making Mishti Doi ( sweet yogurt) : Bring four cups of milk to a boil. Reduce flame and simmer on low flame till milk is reduced by half. Mix in a cup ( or less, to taste) of powdered jaggery. Let cool till lukewarm. Mix in two spoons of yogurt. Rest covered for 3 - 5 hours in a warm place.
Using Yogurt cheese : In middle east yogurt cheese is popular as labneh and is served as small balls steeped in olive oil. Yogurt cheese is mixed with chopped garlic, cucumbers & olive oil to make the Greek dip Tzatziki. It can be used as a dip / spread / cake icing / in parfaits. Yogurt cheese made from fat free / low fat milk is a low fat substitute for cream cheese. It has a rich taste and a creamy mouth feel without being laden with calories. It is also a good source of calcium.
For detailed recipes and great pictures, check out the model recipes from fellow bloggers below :