Recipe

Labne

There's so many ways to use this Middle Eastern strained yoghurt.

  • 5 mins preparation
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Labne is yoghurt that has been drained of some of the whey. Use it as a base for dips, to temper spicy curries or sweetened for desserts. To make a larger quantity of labne, double or triple the amount of yoghurt at the start. As a general rule, you will lose about half of the yoghurt as whey (the drained watery mixture).

Ingredients

Labne
  • 1 cup (280g) greek-style yoghurt or homemade yoghurt
  • 1 25cm piece cheesecloth or muslin (see notes)

Method

Labne
  • 1
    Place a sieve over a small bowl. Line with muslin; spoon yoghurt into muslin, gather into a ball, secure with string or an elastic band. Refrigerate for 24 hours or until thickened. Transfer labne to a small airtight container; label and date. The leftover whey has many uses.
Smoky harissa
  • 2
    Stir ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes, ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika and 1½ tablespoons mild harissa into ½ cup labne.
Lemon & mint
  • 3
    Stir 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind, a pinch of salt, ½ teaspoon honey and 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh mint into ½ cup labne.
Tzatziki
  • 4
    Coarsely grate 1 lebanese cucumber; squeeze the excess juice from the grated flesh. Combine flesh with ½ cup labne, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ small crushed garlic clove and 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
Marrakesh cream
  • 5
    Stir 1½ tablespoons honey, ½ teaspoon orange blossom water, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom into ½ cup labne.
Strawberry rose cream
  • 6
    Mash 125g (4 ounces) ripe strawberries with ½ teaspoon rosewater, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 2 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar. Fold through ½ cup labne.
Passionfruit, mandarin & honey cream
  • 7
    Sieve juice from 2 passionfruit, reserve 1 teaspoon seeds. Stir juice and reserved seeds into ½ cup labne with 1 teaspoon finely grated mandarin rind and 1 tablespoon honey.

Notes

You need a 25cm piece of cheesecloth for this recipe; it is available from fabric stores and some kitchenware shops. Labne can be drained for longer than 24 hours, in fact, 48 hours is better; the longer it is drained the firmer it will become.Keeps for up to 10 days.

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