Homemade Yogurt (Curd)
The (not so) secret to simple homemade yogurt… Also called as curd / dahi / thayir / yogurt / doi / mosaru / perugu …
In the never ending battle of homemade vs store bought ingredients, yogurt is often ruled in favor of the latter. I don’t know whether it is because of the misconception that making yogurt a home is “difficult” or because store bought yogurt comes in a variety of flavors.
But for as long as I’ve known, Indians make their Yogurt at home. We don’t call it “yogurt”. We call it “Curd”. And we eat it every single day. Besides coming with a long list of “good-for-health” properties, it is just simply tasty!
You can also make your own fruit yogurt with this as a base. Not only is it so much cheaper to make at home, it also comes without the preservatives and hence – so much better for you!
Homemade Yogurt Recipe | How to make Curd from Milk at Home
Boil the milk, switch off and let it cool
Add the started yogurt to the milk
Close loosely and let it rest at room temperature till the curd forms
Enjoy fresh curd / yogurt! If not using right away, refrigerate. Stays well up to 3-7 days
- 1 liter / 4 cups / 33 oz Raw Milk (*Note 1)
- 4 Tablespoons / 1/4 cup plain Yogurt (Cud) (*Note 2)
- If you don’t get raw, unpasteurized milk where you live, then you can use pasteurized milk as well. Please ensure you buy full fat version of the milk though. The quality of milk you get largely impacts the texture, quality and taste of the Yogurt.
- Plain Yogurt or Curd is used as a starter in this recipe. Make sure to get plain, unsweetened yogurt free with live cultures. If you’re not sure, you can maybe drop by an Indian store and buy for the starter or ask your Indian friend to lend you some Curd. Or else, look for a Yogurt Starter (freeze dried powder) and use it as per the instructions in the packet.
- Usually the amount of starter varies depending on the climate of the region. Back in India (esp. in the South), a wee little amount is only needed for a large batch of milk to make yogurt (which would set in like 5-6 hours before turning sour if you don’t refrigerate it soon owing to humidity). If you are in colder regions with little or barely any humidity, you would require more starter. Ideally you would require around 1 tbsp starter to 1 cup raw milk.
- Boil the milk till it starts to rise. Switch off and let it cool to 110F. If you don’t own a candy thermometer, test by dipping your little finger into the milk. It should be warm.
- Add the yogurt to the milk. Mix well to make sure the yogurt is well distributed.
- Close with a lid loosely. Let it sit in a warm 100-115 F temperature to let it incubate. Find a warm spot and let it sit there for 3-4 hours or until it has set completely.
- You can serve fresh curd (yogurt) as is! If not using right away, store in refrigerator.
- Raw Milk Yogurt will be of thinner consistency when compared to Yogurt made using Pasteurized milk. This is because pasteurization damages the proteins in the milk and the by-product of it leads to thicker yogurt.
- If you want thicker yogurt, I would recommend straining the yogurt using a cheesecloth to drain out some of the liquid (called whey)
- The time it takes for the yogurt to set depends upon the temperature in your kitchen. In humid / hot places, it usually sets within 3-4 hours. In cold places, it might take 6-8 hours too. If you want to aid the process, preheat oven to100 C. Switch off the oven. Place the curd bowl in the oven and leave it there till it sets.
- Once the curd sets, refrigerate it if you’re not using right away. Else, the curd can turn very sour.
- f your curd is stringy and gooey, that means the temperature of the milk was not right – either it was too hot or too cold. You will have to experiment a bit with this to get it right for the place you live in.
- If the curd hasn’t set even after 6-8 hours (or 10 hours!), it’s possible you used too little starter curd amount, the milk was not warm enough or the temperature is not warm enough.
- I am told stainless steel vessel works out the best for making curd. But have found out that it doesn’t matter that much. I use pyrex glass bowls and love the convenience. Having an airtight lid to close it once the milk has cooled down helps the setting process for curd
- To make curd without curd as a starter, try adding a couple of dry red chillies (with stalk if possible) into the heated milk. I have never tried this method but I am told it works
- You can use this for all sorts of baking recipes too
You can use this plain yogurt in so many baked goodies!