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One of the ingredients of a recipe is Greek yogurt. May I replace it with plain yogurt? If I do it, what is the difference that I would immediately note?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Greek yogurt has more fat than a "normal" yogurt, about 10%.

Further an original Greek yogurt is made from sheep's milk since there aren't many cows in Greece. This might taste a bit odd for people used to cow's milk though...

When buying Greek yogurt made from cow's milk I recommend you look out for the native brand ΦΑΓΕ.

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Most of the Greek-style yogurt one can buy in the US is actually fat-free. (That's part of the attraction: fat-free Greek yogurt tastes like whole milk non-Greek yogurt.) – Marti Oct 19 '11 at 14:23

Greek yogurt is thicker. You can turn not-so-greek yogurt into it by letting it strain. Put cheesecloth into a colander, dump yogurt in, and allow to sit. Not too long, or you'll accidentally achieve paneer instead.

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Actually, if you strain yogurt until it's dry, you obtain labneh. Paneer is typically made by heating milk to boiling (or near boiling) and acidifying it artificially to curdle it, while labneh is made through acidification from fermentation. Both of them are then strained and pressed, but the texture and flavors are often somewhat different. (I've never made labneh that got as firm as pressed paneer can, for example.) – Athanasius Nov 15 '14 at 9:12

Another difference is that Greek yoghurt has much more protein - the kind I purchase has double the protein of regular yoghurt.

If you need Greek yoghurt for the thickness more than for the protein (making, for example, tzatsiki sauce), then you can strain it as bmargulies indicated.

I strain yoghurt in a coffee filter, over a coffee mug. Believe it or not, the damp filter clings to the mug enough that it doesn't just fall into the mug.

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The higher protein content per unit of weight might be just because there is far less water per unit of weight :) Btw, the straining method works with soy yoghurts too if they aren't of the artificially stabilized kind... – rackandboneman yesterday

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