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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Making Labneh Balls At Home

Labneh balls are made from soft cheese or yogurt and has middle eastern origins. It is a delicatessen that can be found in most well-stocked deli's, but it is also something you can make quite easily at home. My friend in Botswana, Louise, showed me how she turned her homemade yogurt into Labneh. Now let me share with you what I learned from her.

Strain your homemade yogurt (which we learned to make in the previous blog) through cheesecloth.

The whey will run through, trapping the curdled yogurt in the cheesecloth.

This picture clearly shows the whey running through the cheesecloth.

Hang your cheesecloth out in the fridge to allow the excess whey to drip through overnight.

By the next day, a lot more whey has dripped through and the cheese have become substantially more solidified.

You can see how much more solid the cheese is in this photo.

Hang it out again for 12-24 hours to get rid of even more whey. Hang it in the fridge.

When we open the cheese later, it is finally ready. By now it resembles a soft clay.

Transfer the cheese to a mixing bowl.

You can add any salt of your choice, but guard against adding too much.

Season the cheese with salt. You can add more seasonings, such as pepper ,chilies, or herbs at this stage, or you can add it later. Louise added it later. I'll show you when and how.

Mix the salt in. Wrap it in cheesecloth and hang it out again for 12-24 hours. Hang it in the fridge.

Transfer the cheese to a bowl.

Prepare a clean bottle by filling it about 1/4 with olive oil.

Roll small cheese balls in the palms of your hands.

Transfer the cheese balls, Labneh, to the jar with olive oil.

Wash some fresh sprigs of herbs. Louise used thyme. Put these in the jar with the Labneh and seal the bottle. It is immediately ready for use, but will keep a long time in the fridge.

You can also roll the Labneh into a loaf before rolling it in sesame seeds, or peppercorns, or flacourants of your choice.

Labneh is delicious as is, or with crackers, on bread, etc. My suggestion for enjoying Labneh? Anywhere, anytime with good company.

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
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