Strained yoghurt, yoghurt cheese, labneh/labaneh (Arabic لبنة), or Greek yoghurt is yoghurt which has been strained in a cloth or paper bag or filter, traditionally made of muslin, to remove the whey, giving a consistency between that of yoghurt and cheese, while preserving yoghurt's distinctive sour taste. Like many yoghurts, strained yoghurt is often made from milk which has been enriched by boiling off some of the water content, or by adding extra butterfat and powdered milk.
Strained yoghurt is a traditional food in the Middle East and South Asia, where it is often used in cooking, as it is high enough in fat not to curdle at higher temperatures. It is used in both savoury and sweet dishes, both cooked and raw.
Types of strained yoghurt
Yoghurt in Greece is traditionally made from ewe
's milk, as is traditional Greek strained yoghurt. More recently, cow's milk is often used, especially in industrial production
In Western Europe and the U.S., "Greek yoghurt" by itself has come to mean the strained, enriched yoghurt. "Greek-style" yoghurts are similar to Greek strained yoghurt, but may be thickened with thickening agents. or if made the traditional way, are based on domestic (rather than Greek) milk. Greek yoghurt's live and active culture content is much higher than that of regular yoghurt.
(кисело мляко, lit. sour milk
), commonly consumed plain, is popular for its taste, aroma, and quality. The qualities arise from the Lactobacillus bulgaricus
and Streptococcus thermophilus
culture strains used in Bulgaria and F.Y.R. of Macedonia. It is also used to prepare Bulgarian milk salad
Dishes made with strained yoghurt
Strained yoghurt is used in Greek food
mostly as the base for tzatziki
dip, and as a dessert, where honey, sour cherry syrup
, spoon sweets
, are often served on top. A few savoury Greek dishes use strained yoghurt.
Dishes made with dahi include:
- Shrikhand is a dessert made with dahi strained in a soft cloth with very fine holes. Sugar, saffron, cardamom, diced fruit and nuts may then be mixed in for taste.
Strained yoghurt or labneh (also known as labni or lebni) is popular in the Levant
. Besides being used fresh, labneh is also dried then formed into balls, sometimes covered with herbs or spices, and stored in olive oil
. Labneh is a popular mezze
dish and sandwich
ingredient. The flavour depends largely on the sort of milk used: labneh from cow's milk
has a rather milder flavour.
In Lebanon, a type of particularly flavoursome goat labneh is known as Anbariz.
Labneh (known as lebni in Armenian) is popular among Western Armenians from Levantine countries such as Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.
Strained yoghurt has become popular in northern European cookery, partly because low-fat versions are now made, and so it can function as an alternative to cream in many preparations.