Simple Curd Rice Recipe from South India
I was recently sharing recipes with my South Indian friend and the topic of curd came up. He told me that it is a staple at his home and is often mixed with rice as this is a cultural comfort food as well as a great digestive aid.
Yogurt, Greek yogurt, and curd all have great probiotic health benefits. The major differences, however, lie in the methods of preparation and the beneficial bacterial strains that catalyze the fermentation process.
Long story short, I decided to make curd!
I began with a good quality organic milk. Then I needed a starter and chose yogurt. Yeah, I know, an easy route but I will experiment with other starters as I go forward. The most interesting one that I came across is ground chili peppers and my Indian friend confirmed this as their preferred method. Being that I am from Peru, South America, and LOVE the heat of peppers, I can’t wait to try that method next!
Okay, the first time I tried to make curd, I have to admit that I did not succeed. I don’t think I used enough “starter” yogurt and the temperature was incorrect. Then on my second attempt, I changed the temperature but kept the proportions (milk to starter yogurt) the same, and guess what? It still did not work. 🙁
However, the third time proved to be a charm! I was diligent about the temperature and added more yogurt and voilà, I had curd! YAY! 🙂
Here’s what I did.
Ingredients (use organic for best health benefits):
- 2 cups rice (I personally prefer jasmine rice)
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1 tablespoon of yogurt starter
First the rice:
- Cook the rice in either a rice cooker or in a pot and let cool. Salt as desired.
Second the curd:
- Heat milk to 180 degrees and maintain this temperature for 10-15 minutes so as to drive out oxygen and promote fermentation. I used medium heat in order to get to that temperature slowly.
- Allow the milk to slowly cool to 110 degrees. It takes about 15-30 minutes for the proteins to hydrate and bind as much water as possible to create a well-formed curd.
- Next, add the yogurt and mix well. Maintain this temperature for a few hours until the milk sets.
Here’s a handy trick I learned to help maintain temperature. Place the curd in a microwave with the door open. The light creates the heat needed to maintain the temperature. Also wrapping the container with a towel helps to retain proper temperature.
It will take about 5 hours for the curd to set.
Mix the curd with the rice!
After that, sit back, relax and enjoy your homemade delicious curd! YUM!