Yoghurt Cheese Balls | Labneh Balls is a creamy and delicious cheese made with Yoghurt. It is one of the easiest and simplest cheeses that can be made with one basic ingredient.
This yoghurt cheese is popular as Labneh or labnah/labne. This Cheese belongs to the Middle Eastern Cuisine. The delicious cheese is easy to make at home.
Ingredients for Yoghurt Cheese
You can make the Yoghurt Cheese with either –
- Home made Yogurt – Make your own yoghurt right from scratch , which means you should use good full fat milk and you need a few hours extra. Or
- Buy store bought Greek yoghurt.
How do I make the Yoghurt Cheese ?
Yoghurt Cheese is a simple cheese made by straining the yoghurt. The process to make Labneh is time-consuming, and this should not put you off. The results are splendid.
At first, add salt to the yoghurt and then transfer it to a cheesecloth. You can also use a nylon strainer for this. Bring up the sides completely overlapping and covering the yoghurt.(in case you are wondering how to tie the nylon strainer – simply use a clip )
Place it in a large strainer over a deep bowl and transfer it to the refrigerator. Make sure there is enough room between the strainer and the bowl.
After three days, you will notice that the yoghurt has become firm and there are no traces of water. It is a nice big chunk, and the Labneh is ready.
How to make the Labneh Balls ?
The yoghurt is firm after two to three days, now roll out balls from the yoghurt. You could use a melon scooper to get a uniform size.
After making the balls I rolled them in Zatar. Herbs like Dukkah, sesame seeds, oregano, chilly flakes taste fantastic too. If you prefer the balls to be plain and simple, go ahead, even they taste excellent.
Next Place them in a jar and pour olive oil. Cover the balls with oil.
You could even flavour the olive oil with herbs like thyme or lemon zest. The herbs in the oil will infuse the ball.
How to serve the Labneh Balls ?
- Labneh balls make an excellent snack or an appetiser. Serve it in your Mezze Platter.
- Serve it with warm pita .
- Spread it on a grilled crisp toast along with some herbs and fresh cucumbers and tomatoes.
- Serve it as a dip with cheese crackers .
- I love these yoghurt balls with my Fulko too.
What to do with the leftover Whey ?
Whey is the pale yellow, the cloudy liquid. It is the liquid left from curdled milk, or in this case, yoghurt. It is full of protein. The whey is full of vitamins and minerals too and there are many ways to use it.
- Add it to your drinks, like smoothies.
- As a stock in your curries and soups.
- Use it in your pancake or muffin batters.
- I even use it to bind my everyday roti dough.
- Add it to the Dals to get that power protein.
And if not any of the above, just water your plants with it, they will get healthier.
I make these Yoghurt Cheese Balls | Labneh Balls very often. The silky, creamy balls disappear in a breeze. I am posting these for the alphabet Y in the A to Z Series.
Here are the recipes under the A – Z series of Thali Recipes –
Yoghurt Cheese Balls | Labneh Balls
- Mixing Bowl
- 1 kg Home made Yogurt
- 2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Zatar or Herbs optional
- Mix the yogurt with salt.
- Transfer the yogurt into a cheesecloth or a nylon strainer. Bring up the sides completely overlapping and covering the yogurt.
- Place it in a large strainer over a deep bowl and transfer it to the refrigerator. Make sure there is enough room between the strainer and the bowl.
- The excess liquid / whey will start dripping into the bowl beneath the strainer. Keep the bowl in the refrigerator refrigerator for 3 days.
- After three days, you will notice that the yogurt has become firm.
- Don’t discard the strained water or whey. We can use it in many ways.
- Remove the drained yoghurt in a bowl , give it a good stir to make it creamier.
- You can refrigerate the Labneh as it is, or go ahead and make balls .
- Lightly coat your hands with olive oil, roll about 1” balls or lemon sized balls.
- Roll the balls into zatar powder or your favourite herbs.
- Transfer the yogurt balls into a clean glass jar, pour the olive oil to fully cover the balls.
- These marinated balls stay good for a week.
- If placed in refrigerator the olive oil will solidy , though you can always remove the required balls in advance .