Happy New Year! What a great way to start it off…. with a beautiful batch of homemade Golden Yogurt.
I have been spending the last couple weeks immersed in the final edit of my cookbook, From Vegetables with Love: Recipes & Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen. So many hours! But so exciting to see this mammoth project getting closer to completion. The photo shoot is done (for full color photos throughout), the illustrator is hard at work, and the creative director has a beautiful vision for the book’s design. It is on track to be published in April of this year. I will give you more previews in future posts and share progress.
Since I have been on a Golden Yogurt “thing” for some months (eating every day and frequent mentions in blog posts) I have received a few messages and comments from readers requesting the full recipe. My post a month or two ago, “Turmeric and Ajwain for Immune Strength” gave lots of info about the benefits of turmeric and Yogi Bhajan’s recipe for Golden Milk, but rather sketchy instructions for Golden Yogurt. Here is everything you need to know, in detail!
Yield: 2 Quarts
You will use commercially made yogurt for your first “starter.” Select a brand of plain yogurt that contains at least 4 different live cultures. I like Stonyfield Farms and Wallaby. Ideally your local natural foods store will have organic yogurt produced by a small dairy that is sold in glass jars.
2 cups water
4 Tbsp. turmeric powder
2 quarts of whole milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt with live cultures
You will also need to have at hand:
2-3 trays of ice cubes
2 clean quart-size glass jars or plastic containers with lids
4-6 quart size stainless steel pot
stainless steel stirring spoon
wire whisk (helpful, not required)
electric heating pad (helpful, not required)
2-3 bath towels and/or a blanket
First, fill your kitchen sink with 4-5 inches of water and add 2-3 trays of ice cubes.
Make Turmeric Paste
- Pour water into a 4-quart or larger heavy bottomed stainless steel pot and bring to boil on high heat.
- Add turmeric and return to boil.
- Boil turmeric for at least 8 minutes until it forms a thick paste.Once it starts thickening you will need to stir almost constantly to prevent burning. If it gets very thick and 8 minutes is not up, add more water. Don’t worry about it getting browned around the edge of the pan as it cooks down.
- if you wish, you can stir turmeric paste into plain purchased yogurt to make instant Golden Yogurt. The paste will keep about a week in the fridge. But, for the best golden yogurt ever, continue on with making your own….
Make the Yogurt
- Add milk to the turmeric paste and stir to combine. Still over medium-high to high heat, bring milk to the boiling point, stirring almost constantly with a stainless steel spoon. When it reaches the boiling point turn heat to medium and let it simmer a minute or two.
- Remove pot from heat and immediately place pot in sink of cold water. This is to cool it down quickly to the right temperature and prevent that annoying film of protein/scalding from forming on top.
- Stir occasionally as it cools down to about 120-125 degrees. This will take about 5 minutes. Either use a clip on cooking thermometer or your clean finger to test the temperature every 15-30 seconds or so. It should feel quite warm, but not so warm that you cannot hold your finger in the milk for 20 seconds.
- When it reaches the correct temperature immediately remove from ice water.
- Combine 1/2 cup of milk with the plain yogurt starter until smooth.
- Mix this yogurt-milk mixture into the milk and stir until smooth (or gently mix with a wire whisk; avoid creating froth.
- Pour into clean quart size glass jars or plastic containers and add lids.
- Place containers on top of electric heating pad and wrap snugly with towels and/or blanket (I use a big bath towel, folded lengthwise 2-3 times to wrap around the containers, and put another one folder over the top, and wrap a blanket around all that. It’s probably not all necessary.). This is insulation to keep the warmth in.
- Turn heating pad on and set at “LOW” (lowest setting)
- Let this sit undisturbed for at least 7 hours, except after 1 or 2 hours (at most) turn heating pad off.
- After 7 hours (can be longer, even 12 hours) unwrap yogurt.
Enjoy a serving of Golden Yogurt while it is still warm. Stir it all the way to the bottom; turmeric solids will have settled at the bottom and you want to stir them around back into the yogurt. Then store your containers in the refrigerator.
Note about using a heating pad: I have left the heating pad on all night by mistake more than a few times. The yogurt will still turn out, but will have more watery fluid that has separated out. Just stir that back in. It may also taste a bit more sour, but it is perfectly fine.
If you don’t have a heating pad, don’t worry. Still wrap it up and it should still come out OK, maybe not quite as thick. If you have an old fashioned gas oven with a pilot light that is on all the time, that is an ideal incubating spot. Wrap your containers up in a few towels overnight. If you’ve read my Jujube Crisp blog post, you will know the importance of taping a sign on your oven door saying “Do Not Turn On!!! Yogurt Incubating!”
Dear friends, I hope by next week I am completely done with this editing and revision process of the cookbook so I can get back to cooking!!
Wishing you the very best for this New Year… that all light, love, fulfillment, and joy may come to you, and that whatever comes your way, you accept with gratitude. As I love to say… May you enjoy every breath and every bite!
Siri Ved Kaur