Make Hampstead Kitchen's labneh yoghurt cheese balls

Smoked salmon blinis and pigs in blankets are so done. This Christmas, treat your guests to these easy but impressive Syrian-inspired canapés – or as Hampstead Kitchen likes to call them: mezzapes

Make Hampstead Kitchen's labneh balls; Photography by Charlotte Hu

Serves 4

Preparation time 5 mins

Cooking time 5 mins

Hampstead Kitchen's #CookForSyria spice-dusted yoghurt balls are the perfect canapé for when you want to prep ahead and save yourself some time on the big day. The yoghurt mixture will keep in an air-tight container for about 2 weeks.


  • 2 x 500g tubs of organic greek yoghurt
  • 2tsp sea salt flakes
  • Dried mint
  • Dried oregano
  • Red za'atar
  • Nigella seeds (baraka seeds)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Smoked paprika
  • Pistachio slivers
  • Smoked almonds, crushed
  • Rose dust and flowers
  • Pita bread, to serve


  1. Stir the salt into the yoghurt.
  2. Put all the yoghurt into a muslin cloth or even a clean, fresh jay cloth, collect the corners and tie into a bag.
  3. Dangle the bag from the kitchen tap and leave a bowl underneath it at room temperature to let the whey strain away. Leave it for at least 12 hours, if you can.
  4. Once all the whey has been strained away, you should be left with a think and creamy mixture.
  5. Spoon into an airtight container and pour over a thin layer of olive oil, this will protect it from mould. It should keep for about 2 weeks.
  6. When you are ready, mould it into little balls and roll in a topping of your choice.
  7. You can serve these with pitta bread. Cut the breads into triangles and put them in a baking dish with a glug of olive oil, cumin and smoked salt.
  8. Bake for about 5-7 minutes. Leave to cool and smear the Labneh balls onto the crisp pita bread.