October 30, 2008

Khadi Dahi: Hung Yogurt Cheese

I first heard about hung yogurt cheese whilst going through Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking. "Hung yogurt?!" I thought. I was instantly intrigued.

Hung yogurt is made by hanging yogurt in a cheesecloth for several hours until all the whey has been drained off. The result is a thick, creamy cheese akin to Greek yogurt. (For all I know, they could be the same thing. What do I know? I've hated cheese until about two years ago.)

According to Sahni, hung yogurt in India is made from a "rich, creamy yogurt that has a distinct aroma," which is, unfortunately, not commercially available in the States. So I just used some Brown Cow plain nonfat yogurt that I had in the fridge. (Yes, I realize that's as far as you can get from "rich" and "creamy.") I tossed some onto a triple layer of cheesecloth and hung it over a bowl for eight hours. The taste? Not bad. I then added some herbs and had it on crackers with some left-over salmon. Delish.

Herb-Laced Yogurt Cheese Spread
adapted from Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking, pg. 129-130

1 cup hung yogurt
1/2 small onion, minced
1 red chili, minced
1 green chili, minced
1/8 cup fresh dill, chopped
Salt, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste

Mix all ingredients, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour to blend the flavors. Store in fridge no longer than 2 days.

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