Assyrian Yogurt "Mesta"
Yogurt, which is made by fermenting milk, is one of the oldest and most popular food known around the world. The origins of yogurt are traced back to Mesopotamia around 5,000 BC. Ancient Assyrians made yogurt, sour cream, butter, to a variety of cheeses--from cottage, sharp, crumbly and sweet varieties.
Homemade yogurt has many nutritional benefits without the additives and preservatives found in store-bought yogurt. Homemade yogurt is a base for many Assyrian Kitchen dishes, such as, girdoo, booshala, dokhwa, yogurt salad, etc. Here is a simple Assyrian Kitchen family recipe to follow.
1 half gallon milk (whole-fat)
1/2 c. plain live cultured yogurt
Scald milk by slowly heating to 180 degrees F.
Cool to 110-115 degrees F.
Stir yogurt into 1 cup of warm milk until smooth.
Add milk and yogurt mixture to remaining milk and stir.
To incubate, wrap with blankets and leave the yogurt undisturbed in a warm place so it maintains a temperature of 110 degrees for between 6-8 hours.