Caspian Sea Yoghurt
Makes 1 Litre
In a 1 litre glass/ ceramic bowl / jug mix 900mls milk and 100mls of Caspian Sea Yoghurt from a previous batch.
Blend together by stirring well with a fork or whisk.
Cover with a loose cloth. (Masking tape across the bowl will stop the cloth falling in if the bowl is wide.)
Leave for 12 – 24 hours at room temperature until thick and to your taste.
Store in the fridge uncovered for up to 2 weeks.
Ideally to keep your culture strong, make the yoghurt once per week, however the occasional 2 week lapse will be fine.
The hardest part about making Caspian Sea Yoghurt is remembering not to eat it all and to keep back at least 100mls to make your next batch.
You can use Caspian Sea Yoghurt to culture cream. The cream version of Caspian Sea Yoghurt is a wonderful substitute for sour cream or crème freche. This is a great way to reintroduce healthy bacteria back into pasteurised milk, but of course starting with raw is nutritionally better.
Caspian Sea Yoghurt is believed to have been introduced into Japan in 1986 by researchers returning from a trip to the Caucasus region in Georgia. This variety, called Matsoni, is started with Lactococcus lactis subsp, cremoris and Acetobacter orientalis species and has a unique, viscous, honey-like texture. It is milder in taste than other varieties of yoghurts.
Caspian Sea Yoghurt is ideal for making at home because it requires neither special equipment nor unobtainable culture. It can be made at room temperature (20–30°C) in 10 to 15 hours. In Japan, freeze-dried starter cultures are sold in department stores and online, although many people obtain starter cultures from friends.