Cooking with yoghurt*

Last week I took part in a cooking event at L’atelier des Chefs organised by Onken, the yoghurt company. Given that yoghurt is in my blog name and I eat it every day on my granola, I don’t think I write about it nearly enough. At least twice I’ve prepared a post on how to actually “knit” (make) your own yoghurt, but the pictures turned out terribly and I abandoned the attempt. I promise to give it another go.

At any rate Onken, together with Celebrity MasterChef winner Lisa Faulkner and nutritionist and journalist Angela Dowden, have some great suggestions for how to use their yoghurt. Lisa showed us how to make three different recipes – banana bran muffins, French onion dip, and Chicken Tikka kebabs.


The banana muffins and French onion dip both took me right back to my childhood. Mum used to put her bran muffins in our lunchboxes, usually with apple in them but she would never tell us if they did – so we had to eat them to find out! And onion dip is a New Zealand staple, although there it is made with packet soup mix. Lisa glammed it up by using caramelised onions – yum! Lisa said we must have had very similar upbringings, which makes me want to check out the book she wrote, inspired by her mother’s cooking.

The recipes aren’t up on their website yet so I’ve typed up the banana muffin and dip recipes below.

Banana muffins

Makes 6 large muffins (actually I think this makes 12 – we had mixture left over)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes

– 1 pot of Onken Natural Yoghurt
– 100g Bakers bran
– 260g wholewheat flour
– 4 teaspoons baking powder
– 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
– pinch of salt
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 100g soft brown sugar
– 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 2/3 ripe bananas mashed

1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
2. Mix together all of the dry ingredients except for the sugar.
3. Add yoghurt, eggs, sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla extract, then add the banana and mix together, taking care not to over-mix.
4. Pour into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes at 200 C. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

I love the finishing touch of a slice of banana on top, sprinkled with a bit of demerara sugar. I put one pointy side up so I knew which muffins were mine!


Just like Mum’s! I sent this picture to her and she stuck it on the fridge.

French Onion dip

Serves: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

– 1/2 pot Onken Fat Free Natural Yoghurt
– 1/2 tbsp olive oil
– 25g unsalted butter
– 2-3 large onions, peeled and finely sliced
– 1 clove garlic
– 1 tsp celery salt
– Black pepper
– 2 sprigs of thyme
– 150g cream cheese

1. In a large heavy based saucepan heat the oil and butter together over a medium heat.
2. Add the onions and cook for around 20 minutes until caramelised, keep stirring so they don’t stick.
3. Add garlic, celery salt, a good grind of pepper, the Worcestershire sauce and thyme sprigs.
4. Meanwhile mix together the yoghurt and cream cheese in a bowl until smooth.
5. When the onions are browned and cooked, discard the thyme sprigs and mix the onions into the yoghurt.
6. Adjust seasoning and serve with crackers or crisps (I highly recommend crudités)


I took the leftovers of both the muffins and dip to work, where they went down very well.

Onken recipe cards

* how do you spell it? I’ve always spelled it yoghurt, Onken spell it yogurt. According to this article, “yoghurt” is used in NZ where I grew up, but in the UK “yoghurt” and “yogurt” are used interchangeably.