Laban and Labneh

March 25th, 2010

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This post is related to : Typical Syrian Breakfast

Laban is the Arabic word for Yogurt, Labneh is prepared from Laban and is known as yogurt cheese, so the word Labneh is drived from Laban.

This post is about the types of Laban in Syria, and how to prepare Labneh.

More pictures with details:

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Above: Laban

In Syria, there are two types of Laban which are Laban A’rabi and Laban Baqari:

Laban A’rabi:

Laban A’rabi, is made from  sheep’s  milk, it is mainly prepared by the Bedouins, and now it is also prepared by some factories, but the Laban that is made by Bedouins is the original and the tasty one.

Laban A’rabi is available fresh from February to July, the rest of the year you can find it in markets in the fridges.

Laban A’rabi is thick, creamy, and high in fat. It is eaten for breakfast, snack, or anytime, served plain or with dried mint or fresh mint, with green olives, with cucumber and scallions, and Arabic bread. It is also served with some dishes such as Bathenjan Maqli, E’jjeh, Zaher Maqli, and it is also used in cooking such as Kibbeh Labniyeh, Sheikh Al-Mehshi, Shesh Barak because it doesn’t curdle.

Laban Baqari:

Laban Baqari, is made from cow’s  milk, it is prepared by factories.

Laban Baqari is available all the year.

Laban Baqari is eaten for breakfast, snack, or anytime, served plain or with dried mint or fresh mint with green olives, with cucumber and scallions, and Arabic bread. It is also served with some dishes such as Bathenjan Maqli, E’jjeh, Zaher Maqli, but it is not used for cooking.

Important notes about Laban A’rabi and Laban Baqari:

Laban Baqari is sweeter and less in fat than Laban A’rabi.

Laban A’rabi is used in cooking, but Laban Baqari is not used in cooking.

Laban A’rabi and Laban Baqari are both used to make Labneh, but Labneh prepared from Laban Baqari is sweeter.

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Above: Labneh

Labneh is known as yogurt cheese, it is prepared from yogurt. To make Labneh we use either Laban A’rabi or Laban Baqari, but you can use the yogurt you have. Labneh is eaten for breakfast, for snack, or anytime, served plain, or with fresh mint, cucumber, green olives and Arabic flat bread.

Let’s make Labneh:

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1. Bring a deep bowl.

2. Stand a colander over the bowl.

3. Line the bowl with muslin, the bottom of the colander should not be in contact with the liquid released from the yogurt.

4. Mix yogurt with salt, then pour the mixture into the cloth.

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5. Close the cloth over the yogurt.

6. Keep in the refrigerator and allow to drain for 2 days, removing the liquid every once in a while.

7. After two days, bring a plate and line it with paper towels.

8. Add the drained yogurt to this paper towels, and keep in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days, changing the towels every once in a while, each time you notice that the paper towels become wet change them until you feel after 2 – 3 days that the paper towels are no more wet, so yogurt is ready to be shaped into balls.

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9, 10, 11. Roll yogurt into balls.

12. Line a plate with paper towels, and add Labneh balls to it, and keep in the refrigerator for 1 day, changing the paper towels every once in a while.

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13. After 1 day, place labneh ball in airtight jar.

14. Cover with olive oil, and store at room temperature for two days, then store in the refrigerator.

15. The olive oil may solidify in the refrigerator so allow to return to room temperature before serving.

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Labneh

From: Family Recipe / Servings:
PDF Text Only / Print With Images

Plain yogurt

Salt

Olive oil

Bring a deep bowl.

Stand a colander over the bowl.

Line the bowl with muslin, the bottom of the colander should not be in contact with the liquid released from the yogurt.

Mix yogurt with salt, then pour the mixture into the cloth.

Close the cloth over the yogurt.

Keep in the refrigerator and allow to drain for 2 days, removing the liquid every once in a while.

After two days, bring a plate and line it with paper towels.

Add the drained yogurt to this paper towels, and keep in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days, changing the towels every once in a while, each time you notice that the paper towels become wet change them until you feel after 2 – 3 days that the paper towels are no more wet, so yogurt is ready to be shaped into balls.

Roll yogurt into balls.

Line a plate with paper towels, and add Labneh balls to it, and keep in the refrigerator for 1 day, changing the paper towels every once in a while.

After 1 day, place labneh ball in airtight jar.

Cover with olive oil, and store at room temperature for two days, then store in the refrigerator.

The olive oil may solidify in the refrigerator so allow to return to room temperature before serving.

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Labneh Wrap Sandwich

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1. Bring Arabic flat bread, I used small size bread.

2. Add Labneh balls to the bread.

3. Spread Labneh Balls, drizzle with olive oil (olive oil from the jar of the Labneh). You can add fresh mint.

4. Roll up, and serve with hot cup of tea.

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Labneh Wrap Sandwich

From: / Servings: 1 Person
PDF Text Only / Print With Images

Arabic flat bread

Labneh balls

Olive oil

Fresh mint – optional

Olive oil

Bring Arabic flat bread, I used small size bread.

Add Labneh balls to the bread.

Spread Labneh Balls, drizzle with olive oil (olive oil from the jar of the Labneh). You can add fresh mint.

Roll up, and serve with hot cup of tea.

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Labneh and Cucumber Wrap Sandwich

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1. Bring Arabic flat bread, I used small size bread.

2. Add Labneh Balls to the bread.

3. Spread Labneh Balls.

4. Add slice of cucumber and drizzle of olive oil (olive oil from the jar of the Labneh). You can add fresh mint and scallions

5. Roll up.

6. Serve.

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Labneh and Cucumber Wrap Sandwich

From: / Servings: 1 Person
PDF Text Only / Print With Images

Arabic flat bread

Labneh Balls

Cucumber

Olive oil

Fresh Mint – optional

Scallions – optional

Bring Arabic flat bread, I used small size bread.

Add Labneh Balls to the bread.

Spread Labneh Balls.

Add slice of cucumber and drizzle of olive oil (olive oil from the jar of the Labneh). You can add fresh mint and scallions

Roll up.

Serve.

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Labneh and Green Olives Wrap Sandwich

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1. Bring Arabic flat bread, I used small size bread.

2. Add Labneh Balls to the bread.

3. Spread Labneh Balls.

4. Add green olives and drizzle of olive oil (olive oil from the jar of the Labneh).

5. Roll up.

6. Serve.

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Labneh and Green Olives Wrap Sandwich

From: / Servings: 1 Person
PDF Text Only / Print With Images

Arabic flat bread

Labneh Balls

Green Olives

Olive oil


Bring Arabic flat bread, I used small size bread.

Add Labneh Balls to the bread.

Spread Labneh Balls.

Add Labneh Balls to the bread.

Spread Labneh Balls.

Add green olives and drizzle of olive oil (olive oil from the jar of the Labneh).

Roll up.

Serve.

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4 Responses to “Laban and Labneh”

  1. Aliye says:

    Dima,

    Ramadan karim. I’ve recently stumbled across your website. I must say it is a Godsend, I LOVE learning homemade, passed down recipes from your mums and grandmothers. I’ve always been fortunate in that my Nan, Mother and Aunt always spoiled me with their food. I’m now trying to learn all their recipes, and other of my favourite dishes from the levant. I love your Labneh post….It is hard for me to find all my Arabic groceries where I live. So, your website is a true gem, teaching us to make Labneh from scratch, bloody awesome! yeslamu!!! Do you have the Syrian recipe for fattet el Hums please?? xxx

  2. Dimah says:

    Aliye: Thank you so much for the lovely comment! you are so sweet!
    I’m really glad to know you enjoyed the website and the posts. You made my day :)
    I’ll inshallah try to post Fattet Hummus.
    Thanks for coming by my blog, and I hope to see you around again soon.

  3. Nichole says:

    Assalaamu alaikum Dimah. May Allah reward you for sharing these recipes. After converting to Islam, I met my husband and I really wanted to cook the food that he loves (he is from Al Ordun). I have found your website to be amazingly helpful. Allah jazeeke bil khair.

    ~Nichole

    PS. Could you share a recipe for spinach pastries inshallah?

  4. Dimah says:

    Nichole: wa alikum assalm.
    Thank you so much for stopping by and for the lovely comment!
    I’ll try to write a post about “fatayer sabanekh – spinach pastries” inshallah :)

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