Curd is a staple of everyday diet in most Indian households, across the country. While some might prefer a sweet version of it, others are partial to the savoury flavours. Nonetheless, the versatility of curd makes it an inclusive part of most cuisines in India and large parts of Europe and the Middle East.
Rumored to be discovered as a result of milk turning sour in warm weather, the first mention of curd dates back to 500 BC. This ‘souring’ occurs as a result of bacterial fermentation – the main process involved in converting milk to curd. While this might not sound appetizing, the end product definitely is. Lactose, a naturally occurring sugar in milk, is converted to lactic acid by the work of micro-organisms called Lactobacillus. Because of the increased acidity, the milk proteins (Caseins) coagulate to form tasty and delicious curd.
While there is a science behind the process of setting curd, it is truly an art of achieve the right texture, consistency and taste. Below is a beginners’ guide to this ancient art that one can follow to set curd easily.
– Boil half a litre (about 2 cups) milk on a low or medium-to-low flame
– Stir the milk a few times to ensure it doesn’t burn at the bottom
– Once boiled, remove the milk from the flame and keep aside to cool almost till room temperature but slightly warmer
– Add 2 spoons of the curd culture (previously set curd) to the milk and mix well
– Pour the mixture into a container
– Cover with a lid and keep at room temperature for 4-5 hours or overnight. The time taken for the curd to set depends on environmental temperature. It can range from 4-5 hours in summer to 8-12 hours in a cooler climate.
– After it is set, you can consume with your favourite recipes or refrigerate to consume later. It lasts upto 3 days under refrigeration.
Just in case, it goes a bit sour, no worries! This curd can be added to a bevy of recipes such as instant dosa & idli batter, kadhi and more.
Once ready, the curd will have a thick yet wobbly texture and a tangy taste. It is ready to be consumed with meals, churned into fresh buttermilk, added to smoothies or used in recipes. Whichever way you choose to add this to your diet, it is a powerhouse of taste and essential nutrients. For an easy and convenient option, try the Akshayakalpa range of probiotic curds. Organic Akshayakalpa milk is the main ingredient used and it is prepared using traditional practices to yield a curd that is tasty, free from artificial additives and full of nutrition.