Friday, July 26, 2013

Homemade curd ( dahi / yoghurt )

During my growing up years, my meals would never be complete without a glass of buttermilk and a small bowl of curd ( yes, both together ). I could finish off the whole family' share when it comes to curd. Naturally so, curd setting was a ritual mummy would follow religiously . Nothing can beat a perfectly set homemade curd.

There have been many interesting tips related to curd making floating around in the family and among friends . My father in law ( yes, he is an amazing cook and his Indo- Chinese dishes are to die for ) insists on mixing the starter curd with the milk and them pouring it into another bowl from a height and then back. Repeat this twice / thrice and this ensures that the starter curd is well incorporated into the milk and the bacteria is activated due to the warmth generated by the beating of the milk. He also advises on boiling the milk for a long time to get really thick curd ( which can be cut into pieces ) .During one visit to a friend of my husband's, I asked the wife , how she makes such perfect thick curd. She said the key lies in stirring the milk with a spoon 31 times ( or any odd number ) after adding the starter dahi. She said that it was suggested by her friend. The logic amused me then but the story stuck in my head and I found myself stirring the milk 31 times for quite sometime thereafter :) 

Well, it IS important to stir well ( not necessarily 31 times :) ) to incorporate the starter dahi with the rest of the milk. The started dahi provides the bacteria which then act to ferment the milk. The temperature and the setting time is equally important. Temperature isn't a deterrent in curd making here since Singapore is fairly warm and humid all throughout the year. But in regions where its not so warm, you can use the oven light technique to set the curd ( Just switch on the oven light and place the bowl to set in the oven. The oven light will provide the necessary warmth ). 

I am temporarily stay put in Norway and as you all know, the winters are harsh and chilling here. I usually switch on the radiator ( room heator ) and keep the curd to set near it. 

Also, the milk should be slightly warm, ( not hot, just warm enough to comfortably insert your finger in it ) before adding in the starter curd ( just to be doubly careful, ensure that the starter curd is at room temperature so as not to bring the temperature of the milk down ).

Without further ado, here's the recipe for this creamy white deliciousness, homemade dahi :)


Ingredients :

Full fat milk - 500 ml
Starter curd (dahi ) - 2 tsp

Method :

Boil milk. Cool till it is only slightly warm ( you must be able to comfortably insert your finger in it and stay like that for a few seconds ). DO NOT USE HOT MILK. Transfer the milk into the bowl in which you want to set the curd in and add the starter curd. Stir well. Close with a tight fitting lid and keep to set in a warm place for about 6 hrs or overnight. If the dahi is still stringy or runny, keep for some more time until it is perfectly set .  Use this as the starter yoghurt for the next batch.
Serve chilled or at room temperature. Have it on its own or use it in a plethora of dishes . Enjoy !!!

1.   Take care not to move / disturb the bowl of curd during the setting period.
2.   All the factors viz., milk brand and type , temperature of the room and the milk, the amount of starter curd and setting time affect the process of curd making. So, when you fail to get that perfect bowl of curd, don't let that discourage you. Change in any one or more of the above factors might do the trick and you will be rewarded :)

No comments :

Post a Comment