Coming to the second post after the Almond Milk… Yes, Labneh is not vegan, and I am not using it at the moment, but I do make it for the kids at times when I am in a mood for making shawarmas. 😀 OK, please don’t search for that recipe, it is not yet on the blog, but hopefully it should appear soon – how soon, I don’t know. 🙂
Labneh is a staple in Arab cooking. You will see a lot of recipes using this ingredient in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and a big part of of Arab and North African countries. What is labneh? Labneh is nothing but strained yogurt. Once yogurt is strained off its whey, it attains a cheesy texture. The use of salt gives it a cheese feeling and keeps it staying fresh in the fridge for at least a week. You can also find that labneh is rolled into balls and soaked into the seasoned olive oil to keep it for a longer shelf life. Making labneh is so similar to making shrikand, though the former is on the savory side! 🙂 The only difference is for shrikand, you don’t drain for as long as you would drain to make labneh.
There is no dearth in getting labneh here, fresh or UHT treated, since it is like a staple in cooking in this part of the world. But the price is just too high that I rarely buy labneh and it is bought only if I have any plans with it. Ever since I discovered that it was so easy to make it at home, I have never gone back to buying them from the store. Especially if you have yogurt threatening to expire, make labneh and you can see the salt just extends the shelf life by another few days! The easiest way to eat it is to slather it onto your bread – truly delicious! You can leave it plain or sprinkle into it your favorite seasoning – mine is definitely zaatar! The combination of labneh and zaatar just cannot go wrong and the delicious sandwich that I post along is just proof for it. So let’s go ahead with the process? There you go…
- FOR LABNEH:
- 1 litre full fat yogurt
- A pinch of salt
- FOR SANDWICH:
- 2 slices bread
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- ¼ tsp Zaatar
- 2 tbsp labneh
- For preparing the labneh, mix salt into the yogurt and whisk well.
- Keep a muslin cloth over a deep pan. You can put a rubber band around to keep the cloth in its place. Slowly empty the yogurt into it.
- Close the lid and keep it overnight or even long in the fridge, upto 12 hours.
- Take out, transfer the drained labneh into a neat container.
- Store in the fridge and use within 5 days.
- For the sandwich, mix up the cucumber, zaatar and labneh in a bowl.
- Spread onto one bread and top with the other. Dig in!