Curd or Yogurt gives a cooling effect on our body. The ideal time to have the curd based dishes is summer. You can either have plain sour homemade Dahi or sweetened Curd. Using the homemade curd as the base dish, you can make various other dishes as well. The curd is available in store, but it is always recommended to eat fresh homemade curd. It is very easy to prepare Dahi at home. Also, the homemade Dahi tastes delicious. Check how to make curd at home with this simple recipe.
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It is a versatile ingredient which can be used to make refreshers, desserts, sweet or side accompaniments. For the food items of the Indian Cuisines, curd is considered very essential. This is the most basic dish found in every Indian kitchen. The homemade Dahi is a basic element of everyday diet for the majority of Indians. The curd is prepared almost every day. For the best curd, you just need to know some tips and tricks to set Curd.
It’s a point to wonder that why some folks prefer to buy Curd from outside when you can easily make it at home. Even the newbies in the cooking can try to set Curd at home without any experience. It’s a really simple and quick task. The homemade curd is easy to prepare without any efforts. For all those who have trouble in making curd at home, follow this recipe and make yogurt.
- To make the best curd, you must use a good quality milk.
- For the curd to set well, you must boil the milk before making the curd.
- Take care that the milk is not very hot.
- Take care that the milk is no very cold.
- Take care the milk you sue, is exactly warm.
- You can vary the proportion of milk to prepare the homemade curd.
- If you have taken 0.5 litres of milk, then take 1 tsp. of curd as a starter.
- For larger quantity of milk, you would need to increase the proportion of curd.
- If you are using curd as a starter, then it is very important to dissolve it uniformly in the milk.
- Once the curd is set, refrigerate the curd for a while.
The fresh and homemade Dahi is the base of various Raita dishes. All the Raita such as Boondi Raita, cucumber Raita, onion tomato Raita are primarily made from the whisked homemade curd. It is also a sweet accompaniment with spicy biryani, pulao or any rice dish.
Also, the yogurt made at home is used in making Indian refreshers like salted Lassi and buttermilk (chaas). Both the salted and sweet Lassi is made from the yogurt. These coolers are really good in summers. You can use the homemade curd to prepare any Kadhi.
- For the thick and luscious Dahi, use the full cream milk.
- The boiling of milk prevents its spoiling in the fermentation process.
- If you use the very hot milk, then it would solidify.
- You would get a grainy curd with the very hot milk.
- If the milk is cold, then curd will not settle.
- With the less hot milk, the consistency of the curd would be bit runny.
- The curd won’t settle if the milk is cold.
- You can whisk with the spoon or a whisker.
Methods to Make Curd at Home:
- Traditional Method – Curd made with starter or stale curd
- Old School Method – Curd made with hot red or green chillies
- Modern Method – Curd make in pre-heated microwave oven
How to set Curd with Green Chillies?
You can set the Curd with the crowns of the green chillies. This is a very old method which was used to make the Dahi at home. Firstly, warm the milk. Then add the green chili crowns. Cover this bowl of the milk with green chilli crowns. Keep this mixture in the warm place. Wait and let the Curd set.
This method is more time-consuming than the traditional method for homemade Curd. If you are unable to set the curd with green chillies, then add little curd as starter. You would need 5 green chilli crowns for 1 cup of warm milk. Add you will require ¼ tsp. of curd to use it as a curd starter.
How to make curd without using Curd / Dahi?
This is an old-age method of setting Dahi at home without the use of curd. It does not follow the curd culture for preparing fresh yogurt at home. Follow the below steps to try this method:
- Boil the milk.
- Warm the milk.
- Add 8 red chilies in this milk.
- Set this aside in a warm place.
- Wait for the Dahi to set.
You must keep the proportion of 8 to 10 red chillies for every 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the warm milk. The time for the curd to set certainly depends on the climate.
How can we make curd in microwave?
The curd can also be prepared in the microwave. You can use the microwave to heat milk. Keep the bowl of milk in the microwave and heat it to lukewarm temperature. Then in the same bowl add the starter curd to ferment yogurt. To prepare Dahi in the microwave, you would need milk, curd and the microwave safe bowl. Follow the below steps for preparing Yogurt in the microwave:
Heat the milk: Pour the milk into the bowl. Set the microwave to medium heat. Boil the milk. Stir the milk gently in between. Make sure the milk doesn’t over boil. Take the bowl out and warm the milk.
Cool the milk: Let the milk cool. Wait until it’s warm enough to touch. Stir the milk to prevent the formation of a layer on milk.
Whisk the Curd-Milk: Now, scoop out about a cup of warm milk. Add little curd or yogurt. Whisk milk and curd until smooth. Wait for the yogurt to dissolve in milk.
Transfer the Pot to the oven: Cover the bowl with the lid. Place the bowl of milk-curd in the oven. Turn on the oven light. Wait for the Curd to set. Let the yogurt set for at least 4 hours. It can also take as long as overnight.
Cool the Curd: Once the yogurt has set, remove the bowl from the oven. If there is whey on the surface of the yogurt, you must drain it or whisk it back.
How to set Curd in the Earthen Bowl?
You can also set the Curd in the earthen bowl. But, before you could use it to set the curd, you must soak it in water. Let the earthen bowl be soaked in water for few hours. After that, remove it from water and dry it. Apart from drying it with a kitchen cloth, also allow it to dry naturally in the sunlight.
Then pour the warm milk in the earthen bowl. Add little curd in the bowl. Le the curd-milk mixture stay in it. Cover the earthen bowl with the napkin and let it set the Curd.
Points of Precaution in summer for Homemade Curd:
For all the folk who live in a place with hot and humid climate, you must check your milk. In the hot temperature, the curd would set quickly. So constantly keep an eye over it.
Also, if you live in a hot place then add less curd for a starter. If you add more curd as a starter then your Dahi will become sour. So keep the proportion of starter curd very low as compared to the gauge of milk.
How to set Curd in Cold Place or During Winters?
For the people who stay in a cold place or have cold temperatures, here are some points to note:
- Cover the bowl of the curd mixture with a warm towel or warm blanket.
- Keep this bowl of curd mixture in a warm place in your kitchen.
- For the curd to set in the winter, add more curd as starter.
- Place the bowl of curd mixture in a wheat flour container and cover the jar.
Places where curd or Dahi can set well at home during winters:
- Place the bowl of milk in the casserole.
- Keep the bowl of milk in the thermocol box.
- Wrap a warm cloth or woolen scarf around the curd bowl.
- Keep the bowl of milk inside the shelf where it is hot.
- Place it within the big container for bulk storage.
How much time does curd take to set?
Depending on the place, climate and the temperature there would be a difference in the time. You must keep the milk-curd mixture in a warm place for about 7 to 8 hrs.
Why does your curd become sticky?
Your cud would become sticky if you are using sticky starter to make it. If you use greek yogurt or any sticky yogurt, then you will get a sticky curd.
The stickiness of the Curd can be due to the type and quality of milk as well. At times, certain brands of milk will give a sticky curd.
How much Curd or Dahi to use for starter?
How to much curd to use as a starter is dependent on 3 basic factors:
- The type of Milk. The milk used can be homogenized or non-homogenized. If you are using the Homogenized milk, then you would require more starter. But, for the non-homogenized milk, you would need less starter.
- The kind of Starter Curd: The curd used can gelatine or non-gelatin. If your curd has gelatin in it, you have to use more starter. If your curd does not have gelatine, then you can use less starter.
- The climate of Season – If you are making yogurt in winters, you would need to use more starter. But if you are making it in summer, then you would need less starter.
How to know Curd Is Not Formed Properly?
The proper formation of the Curd depends on the proportion of the starter curd. So there are basic two criteria to check if the curd has formed properly or not.
- If you have added less curd to the milk then:
- The curd will not taste nice
- The curd will not ferment quickly
- The curd will not ferment at all
- The curd will become sticky
- The curd will taste sour
- The curd will smell sour
- The curd will form bubbles
- The curd will not be edible
Why does Curd get Sour?
- The curd would get sour if it is kept to ferment for the longer time.
- The curd would get sour if it is kept at room temperature after its fermented.
How to use Sour Curd?
If your homemade curd or Dahi, gets sour, then you must not worry. There are so many other dishes which you can make using the sour yogurt. Mentioned below are the ways where you can use Sour Curd:
- With sour curd, you can prepare steamed khatta Gujarati dhokla.
- The Gujarati Handvo can also be made from sour curd.
- The sour Curd is used to make Coconut Kadhi.
How to avoid forming water in curd after breaking?
With the homemade yogurt, it happens that you cut some portion and use. With the rest of the remaining portion you keep it as it is. In this case, the water will start coming out the yogurt. To avoid forming of water in Curd after you break, follow these simple steps:
- When you break the Curd, level it properly.
- If you break and leave in unlevelled, the water will form.
In the levelled curd, the water will not form and the curd would remain same. But in the broken curd, there are chances that the water is formed. So, always level the curd after you break it. You must not leave the homemade Curd as it is or else it will form water.
Benefits of Homemade Yogurt:
Yogurt has a high portion of calcium. It is protein packed with Vitamin B in abundance. It helps is better digestion. The yogurt prepared at home can be used as a face pack and aids in enhancing beauty. It improves skin texture and increases hair growth. It makes your hair soft and silky.
The yogurt prepared at home contains no food preservatives. It is cheaper and economical than compared to store-bought. The fresh Curd is good and natural probiotic. Its consumption is very good for health as it gives cooling effect in scorching heat.