Labneh is made by draining full cream yogurt for a few hours to remove its whey, resulting in a relatively thick consistency, i.e thicker than conventional yogurt but less firm than cheese), while preserving yogurt’s distinctive, sour taste. Labneh is a popular mezze dish and sandwich ingredient in the Middle East. It is usually eaten in a fashion similar to hummus, spooned on a plate and drizzled with olive oil and often, dried mint.
1 kg full cream plain yogurt
5 ml salt
60 ml fresh mint, finely chopped
15 ml dried mint
2.5 ml crushed garlic (optional)
- Line a strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth or muslin cloth and set the strainer over a deep bowl. It should be deep enough so that the bottom of the strainer is a few millimeters above the bottom of the bowl, where the strained liquid or whey will collect.
- Stir the salt into the yogurt, then transfer the yogurt into the lined strainer.
- Fold the ends of the cheesecloth or cloth over the yogurt and refrigerate for at least 8 to 12 hours. Or longer if you want a thicker labneh.
- Remove the strained cheese from the cloth and transfer it to a bowl. Set it aside.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
- Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil and serve with store-bought or Home-made Pita Bread.
Shop-bought Greek yogurt can be used if pressed for time.