Labneh is a creamy, rich yoghurt cheese that can very easily be made at home and be served in place of dips and spreads. They are fun to make as you can play around with the spices and herbs you choose to use. The Labneh can also be a part of your party mezze or cheese board platter. Have them with almost anything like crackers, pita bread or simply spread them over toasties. These wonderful cheese balls tastes amazing when added to salads or warm winter soups. They can also be served as toppings over sourdough/ bread toasts or even sliced boiled eggs. Once prepared these Labneh balls that are dipped in olive oil stay good inside the refrigerator for at least a month!Print
Arabic Labneh Balls
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
Colourful Circles Of Joy
- 900 gms full cream Curd/ yoghurt (I have used store bought ones)
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Olive oil – enough for balls to immerse
Ingredients For Coating:
- powdered pistachio
- crushed walnuts
- fresh dill
- sesame seeds ( both white and black)
- dried rose petals
- red chilli flakes
- Crushed flavoured Corn Chips like Doritos or extruded snacks like Kurkure
- fresh or dried mint or cilantro
Line a deep bowl with a piece of cheesecloth or muslin and set aside
2) In a separate bowl, mix the yoghurt with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. You may season with some fresh or dried thyme or oregano, some 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes if you prefer. But this is not mandatory. Pour into the cloth-lined bowl, then bring the edges of the cloth together and wrap tightly to form a bundle.
3) Tie firmly with a piece of string. Hang the bundle over a bowl (or attached to the handle of a tall jug so that the bundle can hang free – and drip – inside the jug) and leave in the fridge for 24- 48 hours, until much of the liquid is lost and the yoghurt is thick and fairly dry.
4) Another method is to put the bundle into a sieve placed over a bowl, with the weight of a plate, for example, or a couple of tins, sitting on top: this weight speeds up the draining process
5) With lightly oiled hands, spoon a small amount (about 20 gms) of the labneh into the palm of one hand. Roll it around to shape it into a smooth ball, and transfer it to a tray lined with a clean damp cloth. Continue with the remaining labneh until all the balls have been rolled. Transfer to the fridge for a couple of hours (or overnight) to firm up.
6) Half-fill a jar (large enough to fit all the rolled labneh (about 4 inches wide and 6 to 7 inches in hight) or airtight container with olive oil and drop in the balls. Top with more oil, if required as we need the labneh balls to be completely covered with oil. You may add fresh thyme or oregano if you like, but not a must. Seal the jar and store in the fridge.
7) A day before serving , you may coat the labneh balls. Remove the jar from the fridge and bring to room temperature. Lift the balls out of the oil one at a time and roll them in the chilli flakes or za’atar or any other ingredients you have chosen for the coating. An easy way to do this is to spread your chosen coating on a plate, place a few balls at a time on top and shake the plate. The balls will be coated in seconds .
8) If you are not eating immediately, return them back to the fridge on a plate (but NOT in the oil). Remember to bring back to room temperature before serving as you don’t want them to be freezing cold when serving your guests or family.
Once prepared these Labneh balls that are dipped in olive oil stay good inside the refrigerator for a month at least.
Feel free to experiment with the coating. It’s fun to try out different edibles in your pantry.
- Serving Size: 6 - 8
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