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Photography By : Katie Wilson
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Labneh balls

Dishes Created By

I first discovered these Labneh balls in Damascus. I loved how the Syrians roll them in different herbs, seeds and nuts, visually they look jewel-like. There are so many ways to use them, they taste amazing spread on freshly buttered toast for breakfast, or instead of sour cream or crème fraîche in a soup. We serve them as a canapé for drinks receptions, and even package them up for one of our Middle Eastern royal families, who give them away as gifts to their friends and clients. They’re so easy to make and versatile, having these prepared ahead of time sitting in the fridge and dusted with herbs just before a dinner party will impress anyone.

  • The Hampstead Kitchen
  • Serves Four


Labneh Balls

  • 2 large 500g tubs of organic greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes

Can be dusted with

  • dried mint
  • dried oregano
  • red za'atar
  • nigella seeds (baraka seeds)
  • sesame seeds
  • smoked paprika
  • pistachio slivers
  • smoked almonds, crushed
  • rose dust and flowers

Cooking Instructions

  1. Stir the salt thoroughly into the yoghurt.
  2. Put all the yoghurt into a muslin cloth or even a clean, fresh jay cloth, collect the corners and tie into a bag.
  3. I dangle mine over my kitchen tap and leave a bowl underneath it at room temperature to let the whey strain away. Ideally leave it for at least 12 hours if you can.
  4. Once all the whey has been strained away, you should be left with a think and creamy mixture.
  5. Spoon into an airtight container and pour over a thin layer of olive oil, this will protect it from mould. It should keep for about 2 weeks.
  6. When you are ready, mould it into little balls and roll in a topping of your choice.

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