Many cultures have traditional milk dishes based on yogurt or yogurt-like cultured milks. Yogurt's classic taste lends itself to an assortment of recipes ranging from sweet to spicy delicacies.
Labneh is a strained yogurt, popular in Middle Eastern countries. Olive oil, cucumber slices, olives, and various green herbs may be added. It is used on sandwiches, but also can be thickened further, rolled into balls, preserved in olive oil, and fermented a few more weeks. It is sometimes used with onions, meat, and nuts as a stuffing for a variety of pies or kibbeh balls.
Mishti dahi is an East Indian dessert made by fermenting prepared milk and sugar into thick yogurt. Traditionally it is fermented in earthen pots, allowing moisture to evaporate naturally, creating a thick, custard-like product, much sweeter than Western yogurts.
Tzatziki is a yogurt sauce made with strained yogurt and grated cucumber, olive oil, salt, and mashed garlic. Tzatziki is served with grilled meats, in gyros and souvlaki pita sandwiches. Dill Tzatziki Sauce and Mint Tzatziki Sauce are flavorful recipes.
Lassi is a traditional cold beverage from India and Pakistan. Salted lassi can be blended with cumin or turmeric, while sweet lassi is blended with sweeteners, fruit juices or pulps, rosewater, saffron, butter, or other sweet substances.
Chaas or Mahi is a buttermilk (the liquid after butter is extracted) based drink containing raw milk, cream or yogurt. Seasonings for this Indian yogurt beverage include salt, cumin, mustard, coriander, asafetida, ginger, salt, and green chilies.
Clabber is a naturally fermented milk, made by letting raw milk sit at room temperature for several days, and the bacteria present in the milk act as the culture.
Amasi is an African yogurt with a mild, almost cheesy flavor, made by clabbering raw milk in a calabash (squash) container or a container made from hide. It can also be produced very much like yogurt, with Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis and L. lactis subsp. cremoris bacteria in pasteurized milk.
Dadiah/Dadih, from Indonesia, is made by letting unpasteurized buffalo milk ferment at room temperature in a bamboo tube capped by a banana leaf.
Mast Va Khiar is a tasty dip originating from Iran. Also known as “Persian yogurt and cucumbers,” it is mixed with various herbs to make a quick and easy staple for parties.
Shrikhand is a Middle Eastern yogurt dessert using nuts, raisins, and spices like cardamom and nutmeg. Sweetened with honey, this Indian recipe of shrikhand is served chilled.