The Hush Post: Curd – love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it in in your daily diet. It is believed that curd is loaded with more nutritional values than milk. It strengthens the immune system, improves digestion, deals with osteoporosis, reduces the risk of high blood pressure and manages high level of cholesterol. It is also very good for heart and helps purify blood. Consumption of curd is beneficial for individuals suffering from dysentery and vaginal infection.
Due to its high potassium and calcium content it does wonders for teeth and bone. If you eat curd at night, you must brush your teeth because some of the acid and bacteria in curd can damage teeth.
With some foods like curd, certain rules must be followed while consuming curd for maximum benefits and least damage.
Do not eat curd at night, especially if you are prone to cough and cold. Ayurveda says that curd consumption at night leads to mucus development. But if you can’t do without it, opt for buttermilk (lassi).
If you are eating curd at night, add sugar or some black pepper. It will assist in digestion.
Adding salt to sugar is dissuaded because a concentration above 10%, salt can accelerate death rate of most bacterial species, including Lactobacillus, which will eliminate the probiotic health benefits of curd. A little amount of salt should be fine.Try to use raw salt crystals/chunks or rock salt rather than powdered salt.
Make sure you consume homemade curd within two days and set a fresh batch again.
If you are taking any antibiotic, take it along with curd, it decreases antibiotic-related diarrhoea.
People suffering from piles are advised to avoid curd.
Avoid eating flavoured yogurt/curd you get in the market as it is high in processed sugar and has more calories than fresh curd.
How to set thick curd
Let the milk boil on low flame for a while which will make the water it contains to evaporate which results in thick curd. Let the temperature of the milk lower down, should not be too hot or cold. After adding the culture (a tablespoon of curd earlier set), give it a vigorous mix. It helps to set the curd really well.
Adding 1-2 teaspoons of milk powder when the milk is boiling will result in thicker and creamier curd. The milk proteins become more concentrated and yield a solid curd.
You can add a little bit of hung curd as starter for setting curd or add 15-20 crystals of sugar and mix thoroughly in the milk, it will set thick curd.
Do not set the curd in the vessel that you boil the milk in. Use a separate container.
Setting curd in an earthen pot helps soak away the extra moisture.
During extreme cold weather, it takes a lot longer to for the curd to set. At these times, add the starter curd to slightly warmer milk, close the lid and wrap the container in a towel and leave it in a warm place, like the top of the refrigerator or switch on you microwave for a few minutes, then switch it off and leave the container inside. The warmth that you have created will set the curd. Also use a little more starter curd than usual.