What could be more satisfying than rice topped with a scoop of fresh yogurt served with an array of pickles on the side ??? This magical yogurt making process wonders many even though this is a routine in many households back home…in particular, all first timers, newly wed girls…. just pondering over Google for help, considering it to be a difficult task. But in reality, its just a few steps away. After a relaxing break, here comes the most healthy, all natural and nutritional white wonder from my kitchen.
Homemade Curd / Indian Dahi / Thayir / Thair / Perugu / Homemade Yogurt / Plain Yogurt / Fresh Yogurt / Curd / How to make yogurt at home? Indian Curd recipe / Homemade Yogurt recipe / Culture / Yogurt making tips
|3 cup||Milk (2 %)|
|3 teaspoons||Yogurt culture|
In order to get the best tasting yogurt, you need good active culture or starter yogurt with live cultures. These cultures are nothing but friendly bacteria that turns milk into magical yogurt.
How to obtain the best live yogurt cultures ???1. Friends and Desi Neighbors are your best bet. If you know a friend who sets curd at home, then borrow a few tsp from them.
2. Visiting relatives from India can help. Culture freezes well and frozen culture will be active or good for 36 hours. I have tried this method..it really works. They can freeze a small quantity completely sealed and wrapped in air-tight box. Guess there won’t be any problem to carry this in check-in luggage. As soon as they arrive, freeze or refrigerate or make a fresh batch.
3. Some Indian restaurants make fresh yogurt for their raitas and marinades. Make a polite request and the waiter might be courteous to spare some. Mostly it will be free but if its too intimidating for you then pay a few bucks or leave a good tip.
4. Most Hindu temples make fresh yogurt for making prashadams, check with the temple kitchen members, if they can share some.
5. Organic Stonyfileld Farms plain yogurt seems to yield good results. This is not 100 % reliable, but works to some extent when compared to Danon Plain. These store bought cultures are made to suit Yogurt Makers, so if you have one, try with it. Check the expiration date, make sure its fresh. Do not try from already opened boxes, those cultures wont be that active. Danon taste good but those active culture never work for home preparation, result…. yuck spoiled white stuff.
6. If none of the above works, then its OK to buy a container of Danon Plain.
Culture Conditioning ???
Once you have the culture, which you might have probably refrigerated, which is one option, other thing is freezing, which also works if you intend to save those active cultures for longer time or simply make fresh batch with cultures from previous batch.
1. Suggest to bring it to room temperature before you mix for setting.
2. If you have a thick yogurt culture (katti Thayir), then mix it with a spoon or gently beaten to make it like thick buttermilk.
Got Milk ??? Lets start !!
One great thing about whipping up your own fresh yogurt is you have absolute control over the variables and taste. You can achieve the best tasting yogurt, guaranteed fresh and overall the self-satisfaction from making it yourself. You’re the boss, choose the milk which suits your family. Want it thicker??? Make it with full fat milk . This whole process works from skimmed to full fat, Organic, pasteurized, unpasteurized and etc.. The consistency depends on the type used, more whey with less fat versions.
1. Always bring the milk to a full boil, this is a very important step to ensure best quality. Its advisable to boil milk over stove top rather than microwaving. With quantity of milk varies the microwave time for heating… which obviously is absurd unless you use a measuring cup every time.
2. Use stainless steel or stoneware bowls (corningware) with lid to set curd. Wash the container with hot water or run a cycle in your dish washer. Wipe clean and dry… to make sure we don’t feed in any dirty bacteria, which will spoil the whole process. Use a clean kitchen towel or paper napkin to wipe clean all the water. Some might set the curd in the same pan which they used to boil. But better to transfer the content to the prepared container or bowl.
3. Let stay for 30 to 40 minutes in order to bring this to lukewarm stage. What the heck is lukewarm stage??? means moderately or mildly warm, roughly 100 to 110F temperature. In reality, none of our kitchen will be sooo equipped unless you’re a professional chef. Here are some tips to know the stage. a. When you feel the container’s outer side, it should be warm and not hot.. something bearable like your body heat which you feel when someone touches you. Or warm enough like the milk which you feed infants.
4. In warmer climates like in India, a drop would suffice to set curd but living in colder conditions means… extra effort from additional culture friends is needed to set the perfect yogurt. So, 3 cups of milk takes 3 tsp of active live cultures to set. Mix it into the warm milk using a spoon ensuring its evenly distributed and close with a lid.
5. Seen friends adding a red chili on top to speed up the process, I’m personally not into this fully as yogurt made this way stays good for couple of days and gets sour after that. If you intend to finish soon then go for it or else ignore this step.
Where to set ???
Obviously Kitchen is the best place with full of energy and warmth. Counter tops, conventional oven, microwave or stove top frame.. all these incubation methods work. My personal choice is microwave, perfect curd guaranteed, rain or shine, warm or cold whatever be your room temperature. I normally prefer overnight rather than making it in the day time. During the day time, curiosity kills the cat!!! you will be tempted by curiosity to open and peek into the process. Disturbing, shaking the milk will yield yogurt but will not be tightly packed and obviously ruining the process. Whatever time you choose, it takes about 12 to 14 hours to set completely. Around 6 PM, boil the milk and let it stay over the counter, probably you might use your microwave for heating your dinner and that warmth should be enough to set. Lock up your container in the microwave before going to bed.
1. Place a kitchen towel or cloth dish holder on the microwave glass base. Place the yogurt container on top of it and place another towel or dish holder on the top.
2. Close and let it stay aloof for 12 hours undisturbed. If you’re making on a different time schedule then warm up the empty microwave for 1 minute(1000 watts) before placing the container.
Given this wonderful opportunity, all those Lactobacillus Acidophilus work hard, put in a beautiful team work, complete the outsourced job to perfection, naturally inflating the taste.
Refrigerated homemade yogurt stays fresh for 4 to 5 days. First two days the yogurt will look thick, after scooping.. you might see the large canyon craters separating a transparent liquid. This is called whey and its ok to have them or in general we call it light buttermilk. Low fat or partial fat milk will yield more whey when compared to full fat milk. Boiling milk little longer will yield thick yogurt and less whey
If your yogurt doesn’t set within 14 hours, then somethings wrong somewhere. So pls discard and start a new batch. This would never happen if followed hygienically.
In some homes yogurt when sparingly used, stays in the refrigerated for many days and will become sour. Do not use such sour yogurt as a starter as the yield will also be sour. Always make a batch every 3 to 4 days to keep the culture alive, if you miss, then its time to hunt for fresh culture. Better freeze some which will come in handy on those kind of days.
Most waited moment -Did you really make this? asks the hubby, Wife could not help blushing the truth. This puts up a smile on both of them, ” Priceless”, thank me then. Happy Yogurting !!