How to make Chef Vilma’s famous yogurt (from scratch!)

How to make Chef Vilma’s famous yogurt (from scratch!)

If you head down to Granville World of Learning, you’re in for a treat. This early education centre is tucked away into a refurbished cottage that offers a modern learning environment in a beautifully homely setting.

Upon arrival, step through the stained-glass doors and into a community of diverse cultural backgrounds where everyone is welcome. There are playgrounds and cubby houses to explore, fun activities to enjoy and, best of all, meals and snacks prepared daily by Chef Vilma, the in-house chef.

How to make Chef Vilma’s famous yogurt (from scratch!)

Chef Vilma originally hails from Syria; in her 10 years at Granville, she has brought a range of Middle Eastern recipes to the centre with her, including her homemade yogurt. Traditionally strained just as it is in Syria, this recipe is made with lots of love and ready for both parents and children to sample as they arrive in the mornings.

Hoping to make your own version? Check out the below – the process is surprisingly simple and only requires two ingredients!

While it does take a bit of time, this recipe can also serve as a fun science project to do with children as they gain an understanding of exactly how plain milk turns into a delicious and nutritious breakfast food.

How to make Chef Vilma’s famous yogurt

Ingredients list:

  • 2L non-fat or low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup non-fat or low-fat plain, store-bought yogurt (just to start you off)

Special equipment:

  • Candy thermometer
  • Cheesecloth


  1. Heat your milk in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it is steaming, barely bubbling and registers 82°C on an instant-read or candy thermometer. (Do not leave unattended—it can boil over very quickly.)
  2. Carefully pour the milk into a clean, heat-safe container that holds 5 to 8 cups. Let stand, stirring frequently, until cooled to 44°C.
  3. Take out half a cup of the milk and combine with the yogurt in a small bowl; then stir the yogurt-and-milk mixture back into the original container of milk.
  4. Cover the container and wrap in a clean kitchen towel to help keep it warm. Leave in a very warm place and let stand, undisturbed, for least 8 hours and up to 12 hours. (By doing this, you’re essentially making an ‘incubator’ that allow the good bacteria in yogurt to ‘eat’ the sugars/lactose in the milk. This produces lactic acid, which makes the proteins in the milk curdle; as a result, milk becomes yogurt! The longer you leave your yogurt incubating, the tangier it will be, thanks to the lactic acid.)
  5. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. The yogurt will thicken a bit more in the refrigerator.
  6. Line a large fine-mesh sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Spoon the cooled yogurt into the cheesecloth, cover and refrigerate again for 8 to 24 hours, depending on how thick you would like your yogurt to be.
  7. To serve, why not drizzle honey on top, add muesli and berries, or include your new homemade yogurt in a smoothie?

Note: Use within one week. If you’d like to make it again, simply save ¼ cup of your yogurt for the next batch!

Not part of the Granville World of Learning family yet? If you’d like to hear more about the meals that children in centre get to enjoy, we’d love for you to come and experience it for yourself.   

Speak to our Family Support Specialists and book a World of Learning tour today by calling 1800 413 995.

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