My goal for Ramadan was to cook new things. This week I started out by making my own yogurt. My mother is a little bit of a health freak, as in she honestly thinks your diet can fix pretty much anything that is wrong with you physically and mentally. We don’t always agree on things when it comes to her health advice, for example, I was the only child in our family to not have vaccinations because she thought it would give me autism. She never told me this and I found out at 32 that I was coasting through life ready to catch every illness ever. I had a lot of injections in a very short space of time after that.
But yogurt is something I consume on a daily basis. I eat it with soft fruit, with homemade jam, with honey. I make lassi with it and put it into smoothies. A carton of plain yogurt runs pretty expensive in the grocery store, and I had a bit leftover and figured I would give it a go. To make yogurt you heat up some milk until it is blood temperature (my mothers’ exact phrase there) so it’s hot enough that when you put your hand in its sort of warm. Too cold and it won’t kick start the yogurt bacteria, too hot and it will kill all the yogurt bacteria. It is a very delicate science.
Once you’ve got this good warm milk you whisk in your leftover yogurt until it’s all incorporated and getting along swimmingly. Then you pour that bad-boy milk into a container and let it sit in a warm place for 8-12 hours. Once it’s set you can stick it in the fridge and then start to eat it. Apparently, my apartment in the summer is ideal for making yogurt, but Mother Nature has decided to make it an icebox this weekend and so my yogurt was coming along slowly. Some post-iftar my brain now works again thinking hit me with some brilliance and I put the yogurt in my over, which is always very warm even when it’s turned off. So now I’m hoping it will set up and be delicious.
My goal is to try and blog my cooking adventures for the month of Ramadan. Stay tuned this week for Ful Madamas and Shakshuka as I go a little bit Middle Eastern.
I will probably also take pictures of the actual food. This has been a spur of the moment idea and my yogurt has yet to set so we are imageless this week.
Maryam Hassan is a 32 year old Photographer, Montessori Teacher, Wearer of Yellow from London who transplanted herself to Chicago in 2015. She likes punk music, hash browns, animal facts and mangoes.
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