Friday, August 23, 2013

How to make thick & proper homemade Curd ( தயிர் / Yogurt / Perugu / Dahi )

  Curd ( தயிர் / Yogurt / Perugu / Dahi ) a dairy product, known for its sweet-tart taste and semi solid consistency. It is used in various cuisines around the world, from condiments to snacks, desserts to dips, and much more. Also it has many health benefits, it keeps the body cool, aids in digestion and beauty aid for hair and skin.

Curd is an indispensable part in our house. I like to have it with everything (With Idli, Dosa, Paniyaram , Chapati, Poori, Rice, Paratha,) !! I have grown up enjoying farm fresh milk and yogurt. I started to prepare home made curd after coming to US. So after my few trial and error I began to set curd properly. 

 Homemade Curd is good , cheap and not very complicated to make. It feels good to make some fresh homemade yogurt without the artificial preservatives.  If you haven't started making your own curd then you should try it as it's fresh, healthy and of course economical. You will agree that homemade yogurt has a delicious flavor that is very different from store bought ones. It is very simple, you just need to make it with proper procedure.
 
Ingredients :-

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Milk - 4 cups ;
Culture / Starter Yogurt - 1/2 tsp ;

Method (Stove-top):-
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1). On a medium flame, bring the milk to boil(It should be 180 degrees Fahrenheit). Remove from heat and allow to cool. (Let it become lukewarm approx 115 degrees F).

2). When it is lukewarm (immerse your finger and check), transfer* the milk to the container with a tight fitting lid. Do not remove out the cream (malai/aadai) from the milk, if you want thick and creamy curd.

3). Smash 1/2 tsp of curd* gently and smear the curd in the milk by slowly mixing. Using whisk/spoon, mix thoroughly until combined(this is important for a uniform texture). The better they are mixed, the quicker and better the curd will set. 

4). Once mixed, cover with the lid, and keep it in a dry, warm and cozy place(where its over 35 degrees C). The curd will set within 5-6 hours under favorable conditions.


5). Refrigerate once the curd sets. It becomes firm after 2-3 hours of refrigeration. If you leave the curd outside for a long time, it will become sour. You can store this curd for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. 

Using Red Chilli / Without Starter Curd :-
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# To make curd without starter curd, try adding a couple of dry red chillies with stalk to just boiled milk. 

Using Oven :-
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# Preheat the oven at 180 degree C for 2 minutes and switch off the oven. Just leave the curd to set in your oven with the light turned on for warmth for 3 -4 hours.

Using Microwave (Works in all kinds of weather):-
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# Take any MW dish, heat up to 15 minutes. Switch off and  let it cool. Once it is lukewarm add curd and mix well. Keep it inside the microwave with the light on (do not let the door latch and the light will be on when it is not running) overnight. 

Notes :-
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# The type of milk you use for making curd impacts the outcome largely. The more the fat content, the thicker your yogurt. You can use Vitamin D milk, whole milk or 2%, cow or buffalo milk.  2% and above works best. I tried with 1 % and non-fat, the consistency was too watery. 
If you've already boiled the milk, then just warm it till you start seeing bubbles before it comes to boil.
# If the milk is too hot, it will not set into curd or your curd will be watery. 
# Homogenized milk require more starter, as the milk is processed and the particles are broken down to minute to keep them apart which helps in increasing their shelf life, the curd does not set well if you use less starter for homogenized milk. On the other hand, non homogenized milk needs less starter as they tend to set well and faster, adding more will make your curd sour. 
# Do not add starter yogurt into hot milk or yogurt bacteria will die and yogurt will not set.  
# If you are making yogurt in winters, need to use more starter. Adjust the quantity as per the season.
# Always use the fresh culture (little bit of curd) for making good curd.
# Starter curd* should be thick & not at all sour. Smash it gently beforehand so that it’s not a lump. 
# Using starters like greek yogurt or any sticky one will yield a sticky curd. 
# Try to use the starter curd at room temperature so it doesn't bring down the temperature of the milk too much. 
 # Do not set curd in the same vessel* you boil milk. Have a separate container for making curd.
# It is always advisable to make the curd in air tight container, it’s because the curd gets ready fast, thick and creamy in warm temperature.
#Leave the container undisturbed in a warm place for 5-6 hours. 
# If your curd is stringy and gooey, that means the temperature of the milk was not right - either it was too hot or too cold. 
# When you find its not set properly, heat some extra milk and add to the curds. Cover again. It should get set within hours. 
If the curd hasn't set even after 6-8 hours (or 10 hours!), it's possible you used too little starter curd amount, the milk was not warm enough or the temperature is not warm enough.  
# In summer it takes less time to make curd but in winters it takes more time, hence prefer to make it in the night-time to keep for more hours. 
# The longer you keep the curd outside, the more sour it becomes. 

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Related Posts :-
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Click here for more :- Curd/Yogurt Recipes  
Click here for more :- Basics Recipes
Click here for more :- Curd Tips 


   Cheers,





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