Last couple of days the temperature has been a steady 41 degrees in Calcutta, with no sign of relief. The scorching heat just refuses to go. Though the weather app on my phone says it’ll rain tomorrow, but they are not known to be correct always. Therefore, I do not pin my hopes on these predictions too much. But rather than complaining about the weather all the time, I believe in doing something about it. Like, making all sorts of summer special, cooling and refreshing things.
The plain yogurt during such pathetic weather shall never fail you. Whether you have it just like that or make some chilled Lassi or Spiced Buttermilk out of it, you are sure to feel cool and revived.
Making yogurt at home is much easier and quicker than you think. You just need to be strict and careful with the quantity and time. Honestly, I used to be apprehensive (also lazy, yeah !) about trying my hand at making yogurt. But since I made it the first time and made it successfully, there hasn’t been once I have got home store bought. Here I could make great tasting yogurt at home and that was to make me a happy soul.
There are some important points that you need to remember while making yogurt. Not following these will result in your yogurt turing sour or maybe not being formed properly, that is, it might remain too watery.
– The starter curd that you use shouldn’t be either too much or too little. If it happens to be too less, then the yogurt will not taste as good or not ferment at all. If it’s too much then the yogurt will turn sour with bubbles on top and it won’t be good enough for direct consumption. However you can then use it to make other stuff like Kadhi, etc.
– Make sure the milk is lukewarm and not hot. Also, keep the yogurt to set in a warm place and not in a very hot place. This will result in your curd not setting properly and will have too much whey.
– The yogurt will also not set if you add the starter yogurt to either hot milk or cold milk instead of lukewarm milk.
– Once the yogurt is formed, do not leave it outside for a long period of time. If you do not put it in the refrigerator soon after, then yogurt will turn sour.
– Make sure the starter curd is at room temperature and not cold.
Apart from being very nutritious, yogurt is widely used in our Indian cuisine. It’s also used in face packs! The benefits are endless. I have noticed a distinct difference in the quality of any dish prepared with homemade yogurt. In summers I love eating steamed rice with lots of curd and sugar. With homemade yogurt, this tastes a lot better. So, if you do not set yogurt at home, I highly recommend you do. You won’t look back.
- Milk, 1 litre (Whole or full fat. I used Amul Gold)
- Yogurt/Curd - 3 to 4 tbsp. (Store bought or saved from last batch of homemade yogurt)
- Pour the milk into a pan and heat it till it is warm.
- Add the starter curd to the milk and mix well with a spoon or hand blender.
- Pour the milk and curd into bowl/container in which you want to set it.
- Cover and keep in a warm place without disturbing for 5-6 hours.
- After the yogurt is set, put the bowl/container in the refrigerator to make it thicker. Keep it refrigerated for approximately 2 hours or till it's completely chilled.
- Homemade yogurt is ready to serve.
During Indian summers the curd sets faster. So, it is a good idea to check after about 4 hours.
When setting yogurt during winters, cover the bowl/container with a warm blanket. It will take longer to set.