This recipe comes from the Middle East, where plain yogurt is a common ingredient in everyday cooking. This is a handy substitute for sour cream, heavy cream and cream cheese.


  • 2 quarts whole milk
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup half-and-half


  1. Bring milk to a boil in a very clean pot (dirty or greasy utensils won't produce the desired results). Remove from heat and pour into a glass jar or pottery container; let stand until cool.
  2. Dilute yogurt in 1 cup cool milk and the half and half. Gradually add this mixture to the remaining milk, stirring slowly and gently. Place container in a protected spot (it must not be moved or touched). Cover with a lid. Cover container with a large towel or blanket and allow it to sit at least overnight.
  3. To obtain a thick yogurt, place 3 or 4 layers of paper towels over the top for a few hours to absorb the excess liquid.
  4. Store yogurt in the refrigerator.

Yield: about 9 cups

Per half cup: Per serving: 92 cal, 5.6 g fat, 21 mg cholesterol, 6.3 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 4.4 g protein, 65 mg sodium