How to make curd or dahi at home with step by step photos. I really wonder why many people buy curd instead of making it at home. It’s just an easy to do task, which requires no experience. I have grown up enjoying farm fresh milk and yogurt while I was in India. When I relocated to Singapore and began to cook, dealing with commercial milks that were processed (homogenized) was a new experience for me. I have put down all my experiences as tips to get the curd right (thick and creamy). Iam posting this for a friend of mine living in Singapore, who has been constantly failing to make a good curd. This post is for those who have trouble making the yogurt. If you are one among those lucky people who do not have any hassles in making homemade curd, this post may not be for you.
UPDATE: Many readers have been asking on how to make curd without using curd / dahi ? or how to make yogurt without a culture?
There is a age old method of making curd without using curds followed by rural women in South India. These women used to make their own culture to use as a starter. I have tried making this to check if it really works and yes it does.
Bring milk to a boil. Let the temperature come down to warm. Then add 8 to 10 stalks or stems of red chilies for every 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the warm milk. Set this aside in a warm place until set. How long? it certainly depends on the climate. It took 5 hours for me to set the curd. But this may not be good to use directly, iam not sure if it is healthy to eat. So i did make fresh yogurt using the one I made earlier as starter(curd with chili stalks). I added 1 tbsp of the above set dahi to one cup milk and set aside for 8 hours. Then i got thick curd.
Read the tips & step by step photo instructions after the recipe card.
Find curd or dahi recipe below
- 1 liter full fat milk (whole milk)
- 1 tsp of curd/ dahi/ yogurt as starter (increase to ¾ to 1 tbsp. if it is gelatin based or you are making this in winters)
- 1 broken red chili (optional)
- Rinse a pot or handi well. Add milk and bring it to boil on a medium to low flame.
- To get thick curd, Simmer the milk for 15 mins on a very low flame. Keep stirring else the milk will get burnt and smell bad. This step is to get a very thick curd. You can skip this if you are ok to have a moderately thick yogurt.
- Allow the milk to cool down. If you are intending to use a curd culture that has come down to room temperature, then allow the boiled milk to come down to luke warm temp. but if you are using the culture directly from the fridge, then the temperature of the milk must be mildly warmer than the luke warm. Immerse your finger and check.
- Add a tsp of yogurt to the milk and stir well. Cover & move the bowl to a warm place. Allow it to set for 6 to 10 hrs depending on the climate.If you wish to set the curd well, you can break a red chili and drop it in the milk. it is optional and does not make the dahi spicy or hot
using sour starter will yield a sour dahi
If your milk does not set well, try again with fresh milk in different ways by increasing the culture, keeping it in a warmer place, adding your culture in warmer milk
Tips how to make curd or dahi:
1. Always use whole milk only, as diluted milk or low fat milk will not set your dahi well and makes it watery
2. Why does your curd become sticky?
• using starters like greek yogurt or any sticky one will yield a sticky curd. (I use Nestle Asli as the starter, the results are non-sticky).
• It depends on the milk too (depends on the feed of the cows), some milk yields a sticky curd. Just try with a different brand.
3. How much curd or dahi to use as starter purely depends on 3 basic factors
• The kind of milk you are using – homogenized or non homogenized. Homogenized milk require more starter, as the milk is processed and the particles are broken down to minute to keep them apart which helps in increasing their shelf life, the dahi does not set well if you use less starter for homogenized milk. On the other hand, non homogenized milk needs less starter as they tend to set well and faster, adding more will make your curd sour. So adjust the amount of starter accordingly. (I have mentioned the quantity in the ingredient list)
• The kind of starter curd, you are using –gelatine or non gelatin. If your starter has gelatin in it, you have to use more starter, if the starter is a non-gelatine one, you can use lesser (quantities mentioned in ingredients)
• The Season – if you are making yogurt in winters, need to use more starter. Adjust the quantity as per the season.
Places where curd or dahi can set well at home during winters.
* Place the bowl of milk in the casserole or a thermocol box.
* Wrap a warm cloth or woolen scarf to the bowl and keep inside the shelf.
* Can place inside a big rice storage container.
How to make curd or dahi at home with step by step photos
1. Bring milk to a boil on a low to medium flame.
2. To make thick curd, boil it for a little longer till a layer of cream forms on top. Cool down the milk to luke warm.
3. Add a tsp of curd.
4. Stir to mix the curd well with milk. cover and keep in a warm place for about 6 to 10 hours depending on your climate. Some folks use a broken red chili to set the yogurt well. If needed break a red chili and just put it in the milk. milk does not get spicy or hot.