There is no denying that I am a lover of curd/yogurt. Not just curd rice, it is a second favorite, but curd in its entire wholesomeness appeals to me like no other food in the world! It is for the same reason, I culture my own, which is way yummier and heartier than the ones you can buy at the supermarket. Having spoken to a lot of people, they express great distress to the entire yogurt-making ordeal and settle to buy the boxes from the stores. So here are my two cents on culturing milk to give creamy-white yogurt. Before I plunge into the two-line recipe-per-se… here are the advantages of curd and curd making at home to bear in mind —
- Yogurt is a healthier form and substitute for milk. You can have it with your cereal, beat it to a drink like lassi or simply have a few spoons after any meal.
- Making yogurt at home, prevents the plastic litter in the world; all you do is reuse the vessels or matke
- Did you know yogurt is a significant contributor to prevent bad breath? Try it after a meal that has lots of garlic or onions. you will notice the difference.
- Curd is the healthy substitute for marination, gravies and even healthy sweets like shrikhand.
- It can never go bad and stay in the fridge for a long time ( For isnt it milk gone bad already?? ). In the event it does turn sour – make morukozhambu, kadi, masala moru or the kerala-favorite kaalan out of it. It can still be used! 🙂
- Making curd at home is a cheaper option, since you get at least 3 boxes of curd with 1 gallon of milk. and a regular box of yogurt and 1 gallon of milk cost the same, at least in Mass!
- Of course.. It is the sole ingredient which makes curd-rice a universal favorite! 🙂
So you are just few steps away from the spoon of white-creamy bliss —
- To start your culture from scratch buy whole milk yogurt, preferably stony field brand. They are cream-topped and totally awesome. It’s not a mandate. you may use any yogurt except the fat-free ones.
- You may prepare yogurt with 2%, 1% or whole milk. 1% milk itself gives a very thick consistency.
- In a steel heavy bottom vessel, let the milk boil on a medium flame. Making yogurt in the vessel you boil the milk itself is the best way to curdle.
- As the milk boils and starts to raise, take it off the burner.
- Let the hot milk sit until it cools down such that touching the surface of the vessel with the palm, feels hot enough to tolerate, but not warm enough to hold the vessel with comfort. This is the only step that I may term painstaking, if you hate checking on things regularly.
- Now that the best temperature is reached, take a generous spoon of curd and plop it into the hot milk and stir it well.
- Leave it overnight to curdle. If living in a cold place, leaving it atop the refrigerator, or inside the baking oven with the light turned on, or on top of the heater.
- Finally, leave a spoonful to curdle for next time. So you can keep using it like the tailing linklist forever and ever!
Things that can go wrong —
- It is possible to cool down the milk in a jiffy by placing the vessel into a bowl of cold water. This may cause some vessels to get a hard dark stain at the bottom which upon completion of the curd will be a terror to clean.
- Not letting the milk boil and rise, will also not give the perfect thick curd. You have to go through the full process.
- Ensure the vessel is a heavy bottom and you don’t boil milk on high flame. thin vessels may give a smoky flavor to the curd. If thin vessels is all you got, make sure you stir the milk continuously.
- Curdling the milk before it reaches the best heat can render the end product to have a consistency of mucus.. Pardon my comparison, couldn’t think of a better one or worse! 🙂
- Sometimes… Now this is a very rare scenario, it may depend on the hand that curdles. There used to be a time, when however I tried the curd wouldn’t turn out good. And I could simply fix the problem by asking N to curdle instead. I don’t have an explanation for the weird trick. But you can try it too if your hand doesn’t result in the best curd.
So… Are you ready to curdle that milk sitting in your fridge??