Tips to Make Yoghurt at Home
Ever since I was a child, I watched my mother setting curds in the kitchen. In a tropical country like India, not only are the weather conditions ideal for curd setting or yoghurt making, but for its consumption as well, whether in the form of buttermilk, lassi, raita, curd-rice, dahi- wadas or kadhi. While in western countries, the cold climates may require you to use a thermometer, a heating pad, a water bath, etc; in India the procedure isn’t as complicated. Moreover, my mother had perfected her recipe to get it right every time!
1. Heat the milk till it is luke-warm. If you are using a thermometer it should be about 110 degree Fahrenheit. But my mom simply tested by dipping her finger. It should be comfortably warm for the health friendly bacteria. Transfer into a plastic or earthen bowl.
2. Mash 1 tablespoon of curd till it is homogenous. This would ensure that the yoghurt you get is as smooth and homogenous rather than stringy or watery.
3. Stir in the mashed curd into the warmed milk till it blends well.
4. Cover the bowl with a plastic lid and place it in a casserole and cover it. This would allow the milk to remain at the optimum temperature conducive to the curd making bacteria for a longer time, allowing them to grow well.
5. Check after about 7 hours. You’ll find the yoghurt set.
6. Refrigerate; if you want it less tarty, but if you want it sourer for kadhi, you may let it remain outside for a longer time.
Making yoghurt at home is not only economical, but good for health too. It has no preservatives, chemicals or sugar and tastes much better! Every health aspect yoghurt has is courtesy of the probiotics (alive good bacteria) present in it. Studies have now and again proven benefits of yoghurt for certain gastrointestinal conditions, like lactose intolerance, constipation, diarrheal diseases etc.
Speaking in stiff biological terms, yoghurt has probiotics like Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Lactis and Streptococcus Thermophilus. Their main function is to soothe the stomach, which helps to reduce upset stomach and lactose intolerance.
Diarrhea, which is caused by presence of bad bacteria in digestive tract, can also be treated with yoghurt. It replenishes the healthy bacteria. Moreover, consumption of antibiotics kill both types of bacteria and following it with yoghurt, reintroduces the healthy organisms thereby restoring the stomach to its happy state.
Adding to its superpowers, yoghurt can claim to help with Osteoporosis and bone disorders. Bone is 60% bone mineral, of which calcium is the major component. Yoghurt, being a rich source of calcium, restores this deficiency.
Yoghurt is even unlikely to stick to the insides of blood vessels, being low in fat – reducing the risk of high blood pressure. Moreover, bacteria in gut produce fatty acids, which attach to protein Gp14, which is said to lower blood pressure. Since yoghurt contains both bacteria and fatty acids, it fights high blood pressure too.
So for introducing me to this simple yet so powerful food, thank you Mom!