I can never imagine a meal without curd.Sometimes I can even use it as a side dish for breakfast/ dinner dishes if there is nothing else available.And as for the cooling raitas prepared with the curds, I can eat it as a meal. My love for curd is so much that I have a separate place for it in the recipe index - Yumm Yogurt .Do I need anymore points to prove my love for this delicious thing!!
The health benefits of yogurt are aplenty and mighty impressive!Here are a few that I found interesting...
To prepare yogurt at home just follow these simple steps.[This is what I do]
- Yogurt has a good amount of 'good' bacteria,ie live bacteria or Probiotics that are essential to maintain healthy intestinal flora.For this the yogurt must be prepared with live/active bacteria.It helps in conditions like constipation/ diarrhoea/colon cancer/Inflammatory bowel disease and H.pylori infection.
- Lactobacillus casei,a strain of bacteria helps in boosting the immunity.
- Calcium is one important mineral that is required to prevent osteoporosis and yogurt has loads of this vital nutrient.[Calcium is very important for women].Because of the presence of Calcium,it boosts the body's ability to build bones.
- Prevents and heals arthritis.
- Protects against ulcer.
- It prevents vaginal yeast infections.
- It is also a good source of phosphorus,protein and energy.
- Last but not the least,a study proved that consuming around 90 grams of yogurt/day reduces bad breath and the amount of bacteria coating the tongue,reduces dental plaques,cavities and risk of gingivitis.
- Warm the required quantity of milk.[It should just be 'lukewarm'.]
- Transfer it into a clean bowl.
- Add the 'starter' or a tablespoon of previous days yogurt.
- Mix gently,cover and let it rest in a warm place for a couple of hours.
- Once the yogurt is set store in the refrigerator.
- If you live in a warm place,then the yogurt sets very quickly ,maybe in a couple of hours.If you are living in a cooler [or colder] region then leave it overnight to set.
- When you need yogurt within a couple of hours,follow the method as mentioned above and place the vessel inside a hotbox. This simple process results in curd setting faster and is a secret that mom shared with me :).
- The curd sets and tastes best when set in earthen bowls. The curd is very creamy and delicious.
- Always use undiluted milk.If water is added to milk while boiling the resulting curd is watery and does not taste good.
- If the yogurt is left outside for a long time in summer [or when the climate is warmer] after it sets,it turns sour and hence best to keep it refrigerated.
- Before you finish off the bowl of yogurt made at home,don't forget to take out a couple of spoons and keep it separately in the fridge for we need it to prepare another bowl of healthy yogurt tomorrow.
Use the fresh yogurt to prepare Khadi , raitas, smoothies,lassi,flavored /fruit yogurt,avial etc and the sour curd can be used to marinate green chillies to prepare Sundried chillies
Check out Yumm Yogurt which has more than 40 curd/yogurt based recipes.
Selection of yogurt:
In case you are not able to make this at home, here are a few things that can be considered before buying it from the store...
- When buying the commercial brands,look for one that mentions 'active/live bacteria'.Some brands may pasteurise their products thereby killing the 'friendly' bacteria and with it all the benefits are lost.
- It is better to avoid buying yogurt with added sweeteners and flavourings.
- Don't forget to check the 'expiry date' when buying the product.
Labels: Ayur Amrit, Basic Recipes, How To......, Yumm Yoghurt