SIMPLY THE BEST: Natural, home-made curd or dairy yogurt is the best probiotic of them all — super-fermented food! Eat au naturel or turn into lassi, buttermilk, or raita
Eating is Fun / Eating is Yuck! – A variety food column
By Tara Narayan
THE heat is eating into my brains and I don’t feel like working! So I’m not going to chew anyone’s brains with long, long “foodacoholic” chatter. Instead I re-found amongst my pile of papers these interesting yummy recipes from the students of the Department of Biotechnology, Goa University, and I confess I’ve been sitting on them for some time! They were sent to me by the Dr Savita Kerkar (HOD) who takes a keen interest in promoting and encouraging better eating habits amongst the younger generation.
Her accompanying note added that they had a Yogurt Fiesta to highlight the benefits of eating yogurt or dahi. “The bacteria in live yogurt acts as probiotic which improves the body’s immunity against pathogens. Our small practical was part of fermentation technology and the idea of using some of the ingredients was to make yogurt eating attractive for children!”
The recipes are courtesy their 2015-1016 batch of MSc Biotechnology students, and namely Tara, Neha, Sagun, Janardhan, Pratik, Ashmi and Kalpita. The recipes they created are simple and exciting and needless to say summer time is a hot favorite season for yogurt-based recipes. Make the most of these delectable recipes!
YOU need: Yogurt, Oreo biscuits, mixer-grinder.
Method: Take a packet of Oreo biscuits. Make small pieces of the biscuits. Add the pieces as well as cream in the mixer-grinder and make a fine crunchy paste. Once the paste is ready, mix it well with the yogurt. It’s ready to serve!
YOU need: Kiwi fruit; yogurt.
Method: Remove the pulp of the kiwi fruit. Grind this pulp with yogurt and it’s ready to serve. Please note that this should be consumed within 45 minutes of preparation because after this time it may spoil.
CHEESE, CHILI & ONION YOGURT
YOU need: Mozzarella cheese, red chilies, onion paste, carrot, radish, yogurt.
Method: Make a fine paste of onion, cheese and chilies. Grind it well with yogurt. Serve this with carrot and radish batons a la crudités (finger food).
BEETROOT LEMONY GINGER YOGURT
YOU need: 1 inch piece ginger, scraped and grated; 3 tsp lemon juice; half cup beetroot; 1 tbs sugar powder; 200 ml yogurt; 1 tsp butter
Method: Heat butter in a pan, sauté grated beetroot in it until it becomes soft. Cool and grind with a tbs of yogurt. Grind and make a fine paste of ginger with a tbs of yogurt. In the remaining yogurt add in the beetroot paste and then add one tsp of ginger paste to it, more ginger paste as per ginger taste required…too much will make it bitter, cut any bitter notes with lemon juice. Add in powder sugar to for sweetness. Cool yogurt in refrigerator and serve as desired.
AND a few more yogurt recipes!
Half-a-cup of freshly made dahi or yogurt; a tbs of wild honey (not the pasteurized version, these days organic honey is also available); a pinch of cardamom powder
Method: Add a glass of water to the yogurt and whip up in a mixie, last stir in honey, whip little bit again. Stir in pinch cardamom powder and serve on ice cubes, sip and chill.
A cup of curd or plain yogurt (not too sour but sour enough for a tang). A glass of potable water. Juice of a lemon.
Method: Make your buttermilk with yogurt and water in a mixie or use a hand mixie, squeeze in lemon juice, pinch of rock salt, pinch of asafetida (hing). Serve on the rocks.
Note: For variety you may combine half cup cucumber juice or orange juice or pineapple juice or melon juice or mango juice, even tomato juice, only skip the hing. Mix and match and make your favourite buttermilk cooler! Some folk I know add make a fine paste of green coriander leaves/mint leaves/curry leaves, mild green chili and add a tsp of this in the final mixing of the buttermilk …it’s yummy depending on how judicious you are with the ingredients, don’t err on the side of thinking that more is better! In this case, less is better for a delicately flavoured pale thin green buttermilk. A friend of mine even adds a few pinches of chaat or jal jeera masala to her buttermilk. Serve on the rocks by all means but just remember that buttermilk should not be grossly thick but sublimely thin (not too thin either)!
A cup of freshly made creamy curd, a cucumber, a tsp of honey, dash of rock salt and black pepper/red chili powder.
Method: Wash, grate the cucumber (be sure to check for bitters) and stir into the curd, adding honey, salt and black pepper. Serve with any roti or eat as it is.
Note: Garnish with fresh green coriander leaves for a lovely touch. You may substitute cucumber with a carrot or steamed and cooled broccoli or a handful of steamed and cooled mixed veggies (diced carrot/potato/green peas/cauliflower)
CURD DRESSING FOR A SALAD
PUT two cups of curd in a muslin cloth and let the whey drain over an hour or two. Use up the whey in soups or in a drink. In the thickened curd you get stir in a tsp grated garlic, a tsp lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, chopped parsley or green coriander. Toss your salad in this and serve.
Or make the Greek tzatziki! Take about half a kg strained yogurt, 1 cucumber finely diced; 4 garlic cloves peeled and crushed fine, a tbs virgin cold-pressed olive oil, pinch of salt and black pepper.
To make tzatziki, blend curd, cucumber, and garlic until smooth. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper and e-blend. Chill in fridge and use as required – dip or spread in a sandwich or chapatti roll. Garlic is the life-giver in tzatziki but don’t overdo it or you’ll be in trouble with your tum!
Natural Curd, Superfood!
WHO doesn’t love natural curd or yogurt? Yes, the world over natural curd or yogurt is considered a healthy super-food. In India it’s been a household tradition to make fresh curd daily with a starter, especially in north Indian homes where a dairy culture is traditional.
Dairy curd is considered to be food for all, including for those who are lactose intolerant. Natural curd is a fermented super-food which aids digestion and makes for good bones/teeth, for it is calcium and phosphorus-rich. For vegetarians it’s got vitamin B-12. A 100g of natural curd will be 78 calories, 4.3g fat, 3.4g carbohydrate, 11g protein, 17mg cholesterol, 364mg sodium, 104g potassium; plus there’s vitamin A, D, B-12 and more.
Use a paste of curd and gram flour as a face mask to pep up your complexion. Curd is also a great dandruff remover and a fat-buster, alkalinising your PH values.
Curd is palatable, nutritional and therapeutic. Feel free to eat a bowl of curd daily!