One daily chore which I do without fail before winding up my kitchen is making the curd for the next day. In most of the households in northern India this tradition has been handed down from one generation to the next and religiously followed till today. It’s a simple task which hardly takes a few minutes and the immense benefits attributed to it make it a worthy one. Moreover we Indians have a fad for consuming home cooked food which is fresh and free of any preservative.
FOR My friends across the globe Ihave listed the method in simple steps.
Method- To start with you need small helping of curd which you can borrow from your neighbor 😉 or you can also buy it from a quality dairy or supermarket. Boil a liter of milk and cool it to lukewarm. Mix one teaspoon of curd in this and stir it well. You can use a blender (10sec) to get a frothy mix. Leave it undisturbed overnight. The curd will be well set by morning. Refrigerate it so that it doesn’t leave water or turn sour. The optimum temperature for setting a good yummy curd is 30-40degrees C. You can make your own innovations to perfect this technique. For example my mom uses thick earthen pots which she bought particularly for this purpose. Another aunt takes the vessel of milk to her air conditioned bedroom so that the lactobacillus doesn’t become overactive in hot weather. Someone told me a sure shot tip for making a perfect curd is to add few stems of red chillies 🌶. If you some more , do share with me.
Our curd (dahi) is different from the western yoghurt in the method of preparation and type of fermenting agent used. But the nutritional profile and benefits are at par with it. A bowl of curd contains essential nutrients like vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, potassium, zinc, riboflavin, calcium and phosphorus in addition to daily supply of proteins and fats. It’s a complete food, with just the right balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Just one serving can provide over 25 percent of the daily value of protein and nearly 50 percent of the of calcium.
Yogurt is a good source of probiotics means it contains some microorganisms, bacteria, which stimulate healthy digestive function and help produce vitamin B12 and K within the body. It’s also a good source of omega-3s, particularly if milk is obtained from grass- fed cows. Those having farms and dairies please make a note!!!!! You can add skimmed milk powder to yoghurt milk before fermentation to boost the protein content in yoghurt.
Yoghurt helps in strengthening immune system of the body. It helps in releasing good chemicals , the cytokines which egg on process of healing in the body. Yoghurt replenishes the normal flora in the intestine which may be lost due to chemotherapy.
In our patients , particularly those on chemotherapy, each and every organ of the body is frayed, each cell writhing under stress of constant torment. Patients have lost their appetite and sense of taste, constipation is often a problem and superimposed infections to make it worse. To make your feed more palatable and nutritious you can flavor it with various add-ons. You can add a tadka of mustard seeds and curry leaves, dash of ginger, garlic, roasted cumin seed powder, rock salt or pepper. Freshly chopped tomatoes, cucumber, coriander or mint leaves have a very soothing effect on your inflamed mucosa of mouth, stomach and intestine. To enrich the fibre content add grated and steamed bottle gourd, beet, carrots etc.
In India, yogurt and honey are known as “the food of the Gods” and are a part of festivals and offerings. Do include this in your meals too. My recommendations is a bowl full at least three times a day.