Curd: Facts, Benefits, Uses

Introduction:-

Curd is basically a fragmented milk product which is most popular in India. It’s origin is from Indian Subcontinent and is widely used all over the world. Usually, curd is prepared from cow or buffalo’s milk. Curd is a kind of homemade yogurt. It is also known as Dahi, Doi, Perugu, Thayir, Mee Kiri etc. in the different regions of India.
Curd is most popular in the southern Region of India like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Telangana and also in Maharashtra. In these regions Curd is widely used with rice also known as ‘Dahi Bhat’. There are many dairy companies which produce curd and sell it all over the India and sometimes out of country also. They produce pasteurized curd in packets. Some of the most popular and branded companies are Amul (produces Amul Premium Dahi), Nestle (produces Nestle A+ Dahi), Patanjali (produces Patanjali Dahi), Mother Dairy (produces Mother Dairy Ultimate Dahi), Britannia (produces Britannia Daily Fresh Dahi), Paras (produces Paras Dahi), and so on. The most curd producing state in India is Uttar Pradesh. It is so because Uttar Pradesh is the leading producer of milk in India and curd is a biproduct Or fragmented product of milk.
It contains a bacteria known as lactobacillus, which regulates the work of our digestive system and keep it healthy. This bacteria helps various organs to work properly, thus, keep our body healthy in various aspects. It also boosts our energy and improves our immune system.
Preparation:-
Curd is prepared by the bacterial fermentation of milk. In this process, lactose present in the milk is converted into lactic acid by the action of several probiotic microorganisms. The species involved may include Lactococcus lactis, Streptococcus diacetylactis, Streptococcus cremoris, Lactobacillus delbrueckei subsp bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. The general process for the preparation of curd take almost 11-12 hours. First, take cow’s milk and boil it. Then remove the extra unwanted scum over it. Allow it to get cooled at normal room temperature. Then add some previous well prepared curd and mix it well. Now cover it with other utensils or wrap it with the help of a paper and then let it stand for about 11-12 hours. Now serve the healthy and delicious curd in your diet.
 
Buffalo Curd:- 
Buffalo curd is the type of curd which is being prepared from Water Buffalo Milk. It is popular throughout the Indian subcontinent. Buffalo milk is generally considered better than cow’s milk because it has higher content of fats, which makes a thicker yogurt mass. It is also prepared in the same way as cow’s milk yogurt is being prepared i.e. by bacterial fermentation of Buffalo milk. In this process, the lactose present in Buffalo milk is converted into lactic acid using several microorganisms. Buffalo milk has higher amount of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and other such essential components than that of cow’s milk. Traditionally, Buffalo curd is prepared by filtering and boiling the Buffalo milk and removing the scum over it, then allowing it to cool to normal room temperature. Then add some previous well prepared curd, mix it well and pour it into a clay pot. These pots are then sealed by wrapping with a paper and let it stand for about 12 hours.
Yogurt and Curd:- 
Many of us mismatch yogurt and curd together. But very few know that there is a slight difference between yogurt and curd.
Curd is made by curdling the milk with any sort of acidic compound like lemon or vinegar. On the other hand, Yogurt is prepared by the milk fermentation or we can say, yogurt is prepared by using yogurt culture i.e. bacteria that causes milk fermentation like Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
Curd is one of the most popular part of Indian diet, which is rich in Calcium, Magnesium, vitamins and minerals etc and is important for lactose intolerant people. Fresh curd comes in mild and tangy in taste. Whereas, Yogurt, being a fragmented product, has tangy, acidic and little bit of sour taste.
Curd has wide range of usage in our day to day life. We cannot limit the use of curd. It is used as the main ingredient in many dishes and at the same time it can be used as a side dish. And again at the same time, it can also be used as a beauty product. Let’s have a look over the various uses and benefits of Curd.
 
Benefits of Curd:-
Curd contains various Vitamins, minerals and other essential components that are helpful for the proper functioning of internal organs and moreover, for the overall functioning of our body. It is rich in Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin B-2, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, Lactic Acid etc. Let’s have a look over some of the major points.
1. Improves the work of Diegstive System-
Curd is probiotic and contains a bacteria known as Lactobacillus which is helpful in proper functioning of our digestive system. Lactobacillus clear the digestive system, improves our gut activity and also prevents us from the problems of acidity.
2. Improves Immunity-
The presence of bacteria in curd i.e. lactobacillus, helps in boosting our overall health and create a strong immunity in our body to fight against several diseases in our day to day life.
3. Makes our bone and teeth strong-
Curd is rich in calcium, phosphorus and various other vitamins and minerals which are needed by our body, bones and teeth to stay strong. Thus, it makes our bones and teeth strong.
4. Help losing weight-
 Curd stops cortisol to get accumulated in our body which is one of the main reason for the obesity and hypertension.
5. Makes skin healthy and radient-
Curd is a rich source of vitamin C, vinegar and some other sorts of acidic compound that acts as antifungal and antibacterial which prevents our skin and fight against various skin related problems, thus, keeps our skin shiny, moisturized, glowing and healthy.
6. Removes dark spots-
Curd can be used as an agent for removing dark spots on our face. It contains vitamin C and various other such nutrients which are required our skin to make it plump and removes our dead skin cells and dark cells, thus, helps removing dark spots.
7. Removes Dandruff-
Curd sometimes act as antifungal and antibacterial. Thus, being antifungal, curd can be used to clear out the stubborn dandruffs.
Curd With Sugar Benefits:-
According to Ayurveda, curd with sugar is the great remedy which enhances the glucose level in our body and regulates the supply of glucose to the brain. It boosts our energy and keeps one hydrated throughout the day. Curd also plays an important role in keeping our stomach calm and cool. During the Urinary Tract Infections or UTI, it calms down the burning sensation in women, thus, provide relief to the patient.
 
Curd-Rice Benefits:-
Curd with rice has wide range of benefits. Let’s have a look over some of the benefits:
Helps dealing with stress:- It deals with stress and prevents us from stress related issues. Good fats, probiotic and antioxidants in curd helps dealing with stress.
Helps in losing weight:- It also helps in losing weight. Having a bowl of Curd rice fills our stomach completely and we keep away from unwanted snacks. Also, it does not have much calories as compared to any other dish of rice like pulao, fried rice etc.
Restore microbial Balance:- Curd rice is rich in antioxidant and probiotic content that helps in improving the microbial balance and aids in digestion.
Curd with Honey:- 
Curd in itself has wide range of usage and benefits. So do honey. Combining both of them together leads to various benefits for us including health benefits, beauty benefits and so on. Let’s have a look over the various benefits of mixing curd with honey.
1. Rich source of carbohydrate, protein and other essential components-
Curd with honey is a rich source of carbohydrate which is required by our body for the proper functioning of several organs of our body. Curd has high content of protein and honey is a rich source of glucose which is a type of carbohydrate. It also helps in boosting our energy level.
2. Beneficial for skin-
Curd contains Vitamin C and other acidic components like lemon and vinegar which act as antifungal and antibacterial that prevents our skin. Moreover, honey keeps our skin moisturized, hydrated and healthy. Thus, combining them together leads to a glowing, plumpy and healthy skin.
3. Helps removing Acne-
Curd is a rich source of Zinc and other minerals that helps fighting against acne. Moreover, honey is antiseptic and Antibacterial which kills various harmful skin germs. Thus, helps in removing acne and keep our skin healthy.
4. Curd-honey face mixture-
Curd with honey is a great remedy that keeps our skin glowing. It’s simple to apply curd with honey on our face.
Take plain yogurt and honey just half of the yogurt. Mix them well and do apply on you face and other body parts where you need to apply. Let it be dried and leave it for about 10-15 minutes. After this, rinse the mixture with warm water and pat dry with the towel.
5. Proper functioning of digestive system-
Curd with honey is a rich source of probiotic content which is basically a bacteria, known as lactobacillus in curd and lactobacillus kunkeei in honey, they are also called ‘good bacteria’ that helps our digestive system to work properly and improves our gut health. Curd is quite sour in taste. So having only curd is not a good option. Adding some sorts of sweetness of honey in curd makes it tasty and easy for us to have it in our diet.
 
Curd and onion hair mask:-
Curd is also beneficial for keeping our hairs healthy. Moreover, onion in itself is considered as one of the best remedy for keeping our hairs strong, shiny, black and healthy. Thus, mixing both of them together and applying it in the scalp and tips of our hair is the best way for keeping our hairs healthy. Curd prevents hairfall, works best on frizzy and damaged hairs.
Take onions and peel it off. Grind the onions and filter it’s juice. Now add a thick yogurt to the juice according to the length of the hair. Do apply it on the scalp and leave it for about half an hour. Now wash it with shampoo and conditioner. Do apply this mixture once a week for best results.
Curd in Kidney Stone:- 
Curd is a rich source of Calcium. If a person is suffering from kidney stone, then having curd in regular diet in a fixed proportion can help in preventing him from kidney stone. Calcium in milk or curd deacreases the chance of the formation of stone in kidney and if stone is already formed, then also it reduces the chances of growth of the stone. Calcium binds the oxalate before it get into the kidney which is one of the main reason for the formation of kidney, thus, reduces the chance of the formation of stone in the kidney.
Curd Dishes:- 
Curd has wide range of usage in our day to day life. It can be used as main ingredient in dishes like Dahi Vada as well as side dish in dishes like Dosa etc. Let’s have a look over the dishes made of curd.
Dahi Vada-
Dahi vada is an Indian Dish prepared by curd, pulse (basically Urad Dal) and many more ingredients. Dahi vada can be used as desert after the lunch or dinner. In dahi vada, Vada made of Pulse is completely dipped in Dahi with garninshing of red chilly powder, chutney, black salt and powdered jeera over it. It tastes delicious.
Ingredients-
•Dahi (fresh thick curd)
•Urad Dal
•Moong dal (for flavor)
•Cumin
•Salt
•Ginger
•Green Chilly
•Hing
•Oil
•Green Chutney
•Sweet and Sour Chutney
Take all the ingredients according to the need in a fixed proportion.
Steps for making Dahi Vada-
– Take Urad Dal according to the need. Here I’m taking half cup of Urad dal. Add about 2 tablespoon of Moong dal for better flavors.
– Mix them and wash the mixture well. Then allow it to soak water for about 6 hours.
– Once soaked completely, filter out the pulse from water and add 1/2 tablespoon of Cumin, 1/4 tablespoon of salt, ginger (according to taste and need), 1 green chilly (if you want spicy, you can add more chilly), A pinch of hing.
– Mix them well and blend it until you get a smooth batter. Make sure that the batter should be thick, not floating like texture. If by chance, it becomes thin, you can add some sort of rice flour to make it thick.
– Now transfer to the batter in a bowl and stir it continuously in one direction to let it absord some air from the surrounding. Make sure not to change the direction of stirring. This is one the most important step to make the balls fluffy, soft and spongy.
– Now deep fry the balls made of the batter by dropping a little amount of batter in hot enough oil and fry until golden brown.
– Now take normal water, add a pinch of salt in the water and soak the fried balls in the water.
– Let them rest in water for about 15-20 minutes.
– Now take Dahi, add powdered sugar and salt according to the taste blend it until you get a smooth texture.
– Take the Vadas out of the water.
– Now take a bowl, Vadas and spread dahi over it completely. Add Green, sweet and sour chutney, a pinch of black salt and powdered jeera over it.
-Enjoy the delicious Dahi Vada.
Raita-
Curd is also used for making Raita, a side dish for biryani and also used with normal lunch and dinner. There are many types of raita being prepared in India. Here we are going to make Cucumber Raita, one of the most commonly known raita in India.
Ingredients-
• Dahi
• Cucumber
• Salt
• Cumin Powder
• Chopped Green Chillies
• Chopped Coriander
Steps for making Cucumber Raita-
– Take 3 cucumbers and grate them well. Leave it for 10 minutes.
– Squeeze it’s water. You can use this water with curd to make it thin (if you are using a thick curd).
– Now mix the grated cucumber with plain yogurt and add Salt, cumin powder, chopped green chillies according to taste.
– Now garnish it with chopped coriander.
– Have a bite of the delicious Raita.
Lassi-
Lassi is a common Indian drink most common in Punjab. It is sweet in taste and tastes delicious. Lassi is basically a drink made of curd mixed with water and some sorts of sweetener in it.
Ingredients-
• Plain fresh Curd
• Water
• Sugar
• Saffron
• Rose Water
• Cardomom Powder
• Nuts or other dry fruits (optional, for garnishing)
Steps for making Lassi-
– Take fresh curd and whisk it well with a blender or any mixing rod or whisk.
– Add sugar according to taste, 1 pinch of saffron or 1 teaspoon of rose water (these are optional just for better flavors. You can skip them if not available).
– Add 1/2 teaspoon of cardomom powder.
– Whisk all these mixtures until you get a smooth creamy texture and sugar completely dissolves in it.
– Add chilled water according to the thickness you want to have of lassi.
– Again blend it well until you get a smooth, frothy texture.
– Take out the Lassi in a glass and add nuts, cashew, almond or any dry fruit over it for garnishing. This step is optional, you can skip this.
Enjoy the delicious sweet lassi in summers and keep your body cool from inside and hydrated during hot sunny days.
There are many more such dishes prepared by curd. As said above, curd has wide range of uses. One cannot limit or define the uses of curd at one go.
Curd is used in many other dishes like Curd Curry, Curd Rice, Coconut Chutney, Thepla, Chaas, Chat, Aloo Tikki, Mishti Doi and so on.
Frequently Asked Questions-
 
1. Which State is the leading producer of curd? 
Ans- Uttar Pradesh
 
2. What is Probiotic Curd? 
Ans- A probiotic curd is the yogurt prepared at home with the bacterial fermentation of milk. 
 
3. What are the vitamins and minerals found in curd? 
Ans- Curd is a rich source of Vitamin B, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, Calcium, Potasium, Magnesium, Lactobacillus and so on. 
 
4. What are the uses of curd? 
Ans- Curd has various uses from an ingredients in various dishes, and ingredient for making side dishes, to beauty product, a component for beauty remedy, facial mask, hair mask, for making our skin glowing, hair healthy, for preventing hair falls, for regulating the work of our digestive system, for losing weight and so on. 
 
5. How to eat curd for weight loss? 
Ans- One can eat curd with rice for weight loss. One might be thinking that rice causes fat, so having curd with rice might increase weight, but it’s not like that. Having a bowl of curd with rice completely fills our stomach and also has low calorie and fat content. If stomach is full, one is less likely to have snacks that causes fat. Also, curd prevents cortisol to get accumulated in stomach which is one of the main reason for obesity. 
 

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