How to make yogurt at home
Homemade yogurt

 Making yogurt at home is so easy

You will find 'how to make yogurt' info below. Making yogurt at home is easy and simple. It is a lot cheaper too, compared to buying ready yogurt.

Yogurt is also referred to as yoghurt or curds or Dahi (Hindi, Marathi), Mosaru (kannada), Thyir(Tamil).

You will need some with live/ active culture. Yogurt needs "good, living" bacteria. The easiest way to add this is to use existing yogurt.

A bowl of homemade Yogurt - Curd - Dahi

The first time you make your own yogurt, use store bought plain yogurt or borrow a spoonful from a friend, relative or neighbor. Make sure it has active culture.

Do you know the Benefits of Eating Yogurt?

Buffalo milk or cow milk to make yogurt

You may use cow's milk or buffalo milk, depending on your choice and what is available in your place.

Buffalo milk contains more fat, is white in color and sets in thick curd.

Cow milk is slightly yellowish in color and is thinner than buffalo milk. Cow milk is considered to be healthier than buffalo milk.

How to make yogurt at home

Main ingredients for making yogurt - curd - dahi

Milk - Doodh
Yogurt - Curd - Dahi

Ingredients for making 1/2 litre (500 ml) plain homemade yogurt- curds - Dahi

  • Milk - 500 ml
  • Plain starter yogurt with active culture - 1 tbsp

Step by step instructions for making yogurt at home

  1. Bring milk to boil in a pot. Cool it till it is just warm.
  2. Add 1 tbsp plain yogurt with live culture. Stir gently.
  3. Pour it in the bowl in which you want to set curds.
  4. Keep aside till it sets.
  5. Depending on the weather in your place, the time will vary. With experience, you will know how long it takes in different seasons.
  6. Once the curd is set, keep it in the fridge and use it within a week in your recipes.

How to make perfect yogurt

To make thicker yogurt:

  • Boil milk for some time to thicken milk and then set yogurt.
  • Add some milk powder to the milk. Make sure there are no lumps. Boil milk and then set yogurt after milk has cooled down a little.

Yogurt setting temperature tips:

  • Keep the yogurt warm to encourage bacteria growth. Between 100F and 120F (40C and 45C).
  • If you live in a warm place you can put the container at the room temperature.
  • If you live in a colder place or during winters, keep the containers in oven or crock pot set to the desired temperature.
  • Or in cold places or cold weather, you may wrap the container in warm clothes. Use an old blanket or a sweater to wrap around the container. You will be conserving energy too with this method.
  • If you are in India, you can mix some curd in warm milk and leave it at room temperature to set. It will set in 3-4 hours. In winter it may take a bit longer.
  • Do not move the yogurt till it is set. It can take anywhere from 8-10 hours to set depending on the temperature of the place where you live and where you set your container.

Care after yogurt has set:

  • Refrigerate the yogurt once it is set. Leaving it outside in warm or hot weather will make it sour.
  • You can keep it refrigerated for a week or so.
  • If you are going to use some of it as starter, use it within a week, so that the bacteria is still active.
  • You may store the yogurt in the freezer section of your fridge if you are not planning to use it immediately. The consistency of after defrosting will be different but the taste will not change.

We will be adding recipes to make flavored yogurt. Come back again.

Yogurt making in India

In India, we set curd - dahi - yogurt almost every day as it is a part of our daily meals. 

We use our own freshly made homemade curd to set yogurt for the next batch as it has active bacteria.

As the weather is warm except in winter, the curd sets within a couple of hours.

The everyday used homemade yogurt in plain. Most recipes use plain yogurt.

Now a days, people are enjoying and making flavored yogurt too. Plain as well as flavored yogurt is available very easily in India.

In India plain yogurt is used in lassies (cool yogurt drink), raita (yogurt based salads), Desserts and sweets such as shrikhand, curries etc.

Does yogurt go bad?

Yogurt / dahi / curd does not go bad easily. It stays fresh in the fridge for a week.

Yogurt freezes well and you may keep it in the freezer for a few months. So if you have yogurt that you are not likely to use in a week, freeze it.

In the fridge, after a week, yogurt will change taste.So use it before a week or freeze it.

Otherwise, first it will start to become sour and then will have a bitter taste. It will have a creamy layer and will start smelling. This will happen after a month or so. You should not use such yogurt.

How to freshen up sour yogurt

If your yogurt has become sour, you can freshen it up and use it again.

  • Take a large vessel / jar. Pour the sour yogurt in it and fill it with water.
  • Stir it once and then leave aside for 1-2 hours to settle.
  • You will find that yogurt has settled at the bottom and the water at the top. This water contains the excess sourness.
  • Now carefully, pour out the top water only.
  • You will find the yogurt at the bottom tastes good.

You may now use yogurt in any way you wish.

Related Pages to visit:

Read about Benefits of eating yogurt

After making yogurt, use it in the recipes below.

Salty lassi

Masala chaas

Maharashtrian mattha

Sweet lassi

Mango lassi

Yogurt Raita recipes

Cucumber Raita - A cool yogurt and cucumber salad

Tomato Raita - tomato and yogurt dish

More how to cooking tips

How to make Tomato purée

How to extract coconut milk

Go to cooking tips from how to make yogurt

Go to Vegetarian Recipes homepage

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