My very first attempt at making homemade soy milk was a major disaster! Not only did the milk have a very unpleasant smell, but it also made me sick within half an hour of consuming it. Does anyone relate?
My second attempt, several months later, thankfully yielded good results. Pheww! I learned the soaking technique from an acquaintance Daisy Pruthi, who owns a vegan takeaway/restaurant in Gurgaon.
This method is quite easy to make and yields around six measures of milk per measure of dried soybeans. The milk is really smooth, creamy, and tastes so good—not at all “beany!” It’s perfect for tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. I even drink it as it is! You can also make thick and creamy curd with it.
Homemade Soy Milk
Preparation time: 1 hour approx. + Soaking time
Yields 6 Cups
- 1 cup dried soybeans (preferably organic)
- 1/2 Lemon
- 1 Heaped teaspoon salt
- 10 cups water (for milk) + 6 cups (for soaking)
- Wash the soybeans well under running water. Put them into a deep-bottomed saucepan/kadhai with 6 cups of water. Add salt, juice from 1/2 lemon + the squeezed-out lemon peel and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 4-5 minutes on high heat, uncovered. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan. Keep aside for 4-5 hours*.
- Discard the lemon peel. Dip your hands into the soaking water, take handfuls of soybeans, and rub between the palms. This will help separate the skin/hulls from the beans. The hulls will float to the surface of the water; drain off the water from the top along with the hulls.
- Refill the pan with water and repeat the process until you have removed most of the hulls. Rinse and drain the hulled soybeans.
- Blend the soybeans with 2 cups of water to make a smooth paste. Transfer to a deep-bottomed pot and gradually add 8 cups of water, stirring well. If you have an immersion blender, use that to blend the mixture uniformly; otherwise, just mix with a spoon.
- Line a colander with a wet porous cotton cloth (or use double-filter) and strain the mixture through it. After straining for a couple of minutes, gather all the ends of the cloth together and twist until all the liquid is squeezed out. For better results, simply use a nut milk bag.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, stirring constantly. Keep a constant eye; otherwise, it may boil over and spill! Once it reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat and simmer on medium heat for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it foams during the cooking process, gently skim off the foam from the top with a spoon and discard it.
- This will yield around 6 cups of milk.
*Do this if you’re unable to use immediately after 4-5 hours: drain the soaking water and rinse well. Soak the beans in cool, fresh water and refrigerate until you’re ready to proceed further.
Note: Reserve the residual pulp, it’s called “okara” and can be fed to cows/donkeys.