1 quart milk
        1 Tbsp. laban starter
Laban (yoghurt) is essential to the Middle Eastern diet. It goes under many names but whatever it is called, it is ever present. Its acidity makes it a diet regulator. The laban culture is kept going in the Leb anese kitchen at all times. Family members who emigrate usually take a laban culture along with them to their new country. To preserve the culture they soak a clean handkerchief in fresh laban, let it dry carefully, wrap it in clean paper and put it in a safe pocket.

When preparing laban, temperature conditions must be exactly right and the culture must not be disturbed while it is working.

Scald milk and cool to almost lukewarm. Stir the starter, which has been saved from a previous batch, until smooth. Thin with several tablespoons of warm milk. Stir starter into rest of milk. Mix well. Cover bowl with a china plate and wrap in a heavy wool cloth or blanket. Leave undisturbed in a warm, but not hot, place. In summer laban usually clabbers in about three hours; in winter it requires an hour more. When completely clabbered place in refrigerator. Do not jar the laban and thereby disturb the curd. Serve cold. Many ways of serving laban are described in this book. It is equally good with meat, vegetables or fruit. It is never served with fish, however.

(From Food from the Arab World Marie Karam Khayat and Margaret Clark Keatinge, Khayat's, Beirut 1959)