Also Known as
In our Indian food culture, curd or yogurt has carved a special place for itself. No Indian meal is complete without a cup of curd and riceIt clings to the spo on and melts into your mouth giving a refreshing taste. Curd or Yoghurt is lactic fermentation of milk. It is esteemed for its smoothness, its pleasant and refreshing taste. It is highly versatile and one of the most therapeutic food.
Yoghurt can be made from any variety of mammal milk, but is most often made from cow, buffalo or goat milk. The best and purest milk should always be used for preparing the curd. Before it is curdled, milk should be boiled for about 10 minutes and the temperature should be brought down to lukewarm state. Freshly cultured starter should be then added to it and mixed thoroughly with the milk. 1 teaspoon of starter is sufficient enough for 55 ml of milk. The quality of the curd depends to a great extent on the starter used. In hot season the milk curdles easily in about 6 to 8 hours but in cold season it6 could take 10 to 12 hours, hence ensure that it is kept in a warm place.
Sour curds also known as "Khatta Dahi" can be made by adding more culture to the warm milk and keeping it out for a long time after it is set. Also, left over curd can be turned sour by keeping it out of refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours. Once the curd becomes sour, store it in refrigerator as keeping outside will make it sourer and hence becomes undesirable.
Whisking curds in a cooking utensil with a mixing tool is used in food preparation to blend ingredients smooth, or to incorporate air into a mixture to add volume or bring fluffiness in any recipe. Spoon out the required amount of curd in a vessel. Beat the curds well with a beater or churner to a smooth mixture. Add water to attain desired consistency.
Curd is an inevitable item in our daily food and firm curd is everyone's choice. To attain thick curds whole fat milk (buffalo's milk) should be preferred whereas cow's milk would give a jelly like curd. Thick curds when set and chilled can be relished on its own or can be used for making raitas or lassi.
Beat the curds thoroughly using a beater or churner till smooth texture is attained. Add powdered sugar or sugar granules and stir till the sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate the same and use it as desired.
How to Select
Always check the date stamp on the carton when purchasing yogurt. The date is usually a sell-by date, which means the yogurt is still safe to eat several days beyond that date. Containers should be refrigerated and tightly sealed. Best sold brand is - Amul Mast Dahi.
" A bowl of fresh curd and fruits is a great way to kick starts your day.
" A simple dressing of curds, salt, pepper and coriander goes with any fresh greens salad. For salad dressings and dips, sour cream and plain yogurt can be used interchangeably. During summer 'Raita' of cucumber keeps one cool. A raita is a simple preparation made by adding fruits, vegetables or any other thing to beaten curds.
" Use yogurt instead of fresh cream to thicken gravies in a healthier way.
" Mix curds into healthier grains like broken wheat (lapsi), oats and brown rice to get a high-fibre, healthier version of 'curd-rice'.
" Make fluffy pancakes for breakfast by mixing flour into buttermilk and adding a fruit of your choice.
" Mix a generous spoonful of curd into the atta while binding dough for chapattis or Parathas. This not only adds nutrition but also makes the chapattis softer and fluffier.
" Chhach or Lassi - is consumed as a refreshing beverage. Buttermilk spiced with ginger, green chillies and pepper is a healthy alternative to colas.
" Curd can be relished both with salt and sugar as it goes well with almost everything; can be used in a variety of recipes, from sweet deserts to spicy side dishes.
" As far as various dishes prepared with curd, the list is endless. Raitas, pachadis, kadhi, dahiwada etc. Be it east or west, north or south every region has its own specialty in preparation using curd.
" As incredible as curd is, it is a dessert in itself.
" Because of the acid content of yogurt, it makes a fabulous marinade. Yogurt tenderizes baked goods and helps keep them moist, particularly in breads using dried fruits
" Kadhi - whether Gujarati or Sindhi tastes best when sour curd is used. You may add moong sprouts, vegetables or pakodis (lentil croquettes) or few piece of papad (raw to boil with kadhi) or spinach and fenugreek leaves, to enhance the taste.
" Sour curds can be added to vegetables curries in place of tomatoes to make rich and delicious gravy.
" One of the best palette can be made with the addition of stir-fried moong sprouts, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil in sour curd.
" Rawa Idlis, Dhoklas, kneading Methi thepla or Paratha dough made out of sour curd taste yummy and soft.
" Salads, Fruit smoothies taste tangy with sour curds.
How to Store
Store in fridge. It can be stored at low temperatures (less than 5 degrees C) for several weeks. Do not attempt to freeze. You can usually store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks but it becomes much stronger at the end of that period. When using partial amounts from the container, remove what you need, then immediately cover and return the container to the refrigerator. Like sour cream, yogurt tends to separate a cloudy watery liquid near the end of its life.
Purchased and homemade yogurt can be frozen up to six weeks in an airtight upright container. Depending on the brand or additives, it might thin down and become runny but still be useful for some applications. You'll just have to experiment with brands, flavors, and fruit additives available in your area if you have the need to freeze it for preservation. Frozen yogurt dessert is a different matter and is designed to be frozen, so no worries about thawing. However, commercial frozen yogurt dessert should also be consumed within six weeks.
" Curd is a very nourishing food. It is a valuable source of protein, calcium and minerals. Curd has zero carbs, zero sugars and zero trans fats, with calcium for growing bones.
" It is a mild laxative but, in case of diarrhoea and dysentery, it is a boon, if used with rice.
" It boosts Immune response.
" Yoghurt helps prevent muscle cramps and Osteoporosis as it boosts the Body's ability to builds strong bones.
" Curd sweetened with honey is beneficial, in jaundice.
" It is also one of the best aids to natural good looks as it nourishes the nerves and the skin. Best used as a Natural Hair Conditioner.
" Curd is very helpful for heart ailments, for senile state in preventing and delaying degeneration of body, purifies blood, keeps digestive system healthy, and has more Vitamin B Complex than milk.
" Curd serves as a very good medicine, it has an enzyme that keeps the body cool, and it is also a good healer. Milk is not suitable for all people especially people with asthma or allergies should refrain from milk, but they can take curd to get their calcium etc.
" Cures loose-motion, pitt, thrust, impurity of blood, burning sensation.