Raib Beldi - Traditional Moroccan "Yogurt" - Lait Caillé

raib-beldi-2534-x-1962.jpg
Raib Beldi. Photo © Christine Benlafquih
  • 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Ratings

Although raib beldi is often referred to as yogurt, it's actually the Moroccan equivalent of junket with a yogurt-like consistency. The traditional method of preparation is to coagulate fresh, raw cow's milk with enzymes released from the dried chokes of wild artichokes (. The resulting dessert may be sweetened and flavored with scented waters or vanilla, or eaten simply as unsweetened curds and whey.

Raib beldi is quite easy to make at home (see the tutorial How to Make Raib Beldi) providing you have raw cow's milk and the wild artichoke choke. You can purchase the latter from Moroccan spice and herb shops, where it's sold under the Arabic names of nyaq, hek and jbeniya, or under the French name of barbe d'artichaut. (If the nyaq is unavailable, two Caille-lait tablets per liter of milk may be used as a substitute.)

Once set and chilled, raib beldi may be eaten like yogurt with a spoon, or stirred to release the whey and thin the junket to beverage-like consistency.

Also see raib and Raib dyal Dar - Homemade Moroccan Yogurt.

What You'll Need

  • 2 heaped tablespoons dried choke from wild artichokes (Cynara humilis)
  • 1 liter (4 cups) fresh, raw milk
  • 4 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • Orange flower water or vanilla, to taste
  • Small piece of clean cheesecloth
  • Kitchen string or thick thread

How to Make It

  1. With a mortar and pestle, or with a rolling pin, crush the dried choke (nyaq) as much as possible.
  2. Tie up the nyaq in a piece of clean cheesecloth. Handle the dried choke carefully, as there may be some sharp thistles.
  3. Place the milk in a pot and add sugar and flavoring as desired.
  4. If using orange flower water, be aware that just a tiny bit will suffice, between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon.
  5. Add the wrapped nyaq to the pot and place the pot over low heat.
  1. Heat the milk just until warm, not hot.
  2. Remove the milk from the heat and retrieve the cheesecloth.
  3. Hold the cheesecloth over the milk and squeeze to release the nyaq’s brown liquid into the milk. (Be careful of thistles as you squeeze!)
  4. Submerge the cheesecloth in the milk again, lift it out, and squeeze to release more liquid.
  5. Repeat several times, until no more brown liquid can be extracted.
  6. Discard the nyaq and stir to combine the enzymes with the milk.
  7. Strain the milk into a single bowl or individual serving bowls and cover.
  8. Place in a warm space until the raib is set to yogurt-like or flan-like consistency; this can be as short as an hour as long as overnight.
  9. Chill before serving.

Note that a substantial amount of whey will be released once the raib's surface is broken with a spoon for serving. This is normal. If you like, the whey may be stirred into the curd to thin it to beverage consistency.