• Vanilla labne with sweet dukkah (Chris Middleton)Source: Chris Middleton

You will need to start this recipe the day before, as the yoghurt needs to strain overnight. Use your delicious homemade yoghurt for this recipe, or your favourite natural or Greek-style yoghurt.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (11 votes)

 If you do use store-bought, pot-set yoghurt will work best.


  • macadamia oil, for rolling 
  • 2 oranges, peeled and sliced 
  • ½ small watermelon, cut into wedges
  • orange blossom water, to taste
  • 5 fresh (medjool) dates, 
  • sliced lengthways pistachios, to serve 
  • edible flowers, to serve 



  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) Homemade yoghurt or natural or Greek-style yoghurt 
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste (omit for savoury recipes using this labneh) 


Sweet vanilla dukkah 

  • 40 g (1½ oz) sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp pistachios
  • 2 tbsp toasted hazelnuts
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean  powder or ½ tsp vanilla bean paste 
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt flakes 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Straining time: overnight

To make the labneh, line a sieve with a double thickness of clean muslin (cheesecloth) and place over a bowl. Place the yoghurt in the lined sieve then bring the cloth up and around the yoghurt to enclose it. Twist the cloth at the top or tie with string. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to strain for at least 6–8 hours or overnight (the longer you strain it for, the thicker it will become– you’ll lose about 50% of the volume if you strain overnight).

Tip the labneh from the strainer into a bowl and stir in the vanilla bean paste. Reserve the whey left over in the straining bowl for another use; it’s great in smoothie bowls and salad dressings, or your pets will love it for a treat. This recipe makes about 250 g (9 oz/1 cup). Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

To make the dukkah, toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan for 3–4 minutes or until fragrant. Lightly crush using a mortar and pestle, then add the pistachios and hazelnuts and pound until the nuts are just broken down (make sure you retain some texture). Stir in the remaining ingredients. This recipe makes about 100 g (3½ oz/2⁄3 cup). Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. 

Oil your hands very lightly with the oil and roll tablespoonfuls of the labneh into balls. Roll gently in the dukkah to coat entirely. Set aside. 

Arrange the orange and watermelon in wide shallow bowls and sprinkle with a little orange blossom water. Top with the labneh and scatter with the dates, pistachios and flowers. 


This recipe is from Breakfast Bowls (Smith Street Books). Photography by Chris Middleton.