How to make Perfect Curd the Traditional Way

I have found that most women in Kerala are clueless about the correct method. They add 30 to 60 ml of curd or more to the milk with the assumption that this will speed up the process. It only leads to spoiling the taste of curd.

Always remember less than one table spoon of previous days’ curd or butter milk is all that is needed to curdle milk.

Previous day curd spread inside the vessel
Previous day curd spread inside the vessel

Process Guarantees Wonderful Thick Curd Every Time

  1. Milk: Heat the cows milk until it’s just hot enough to not burn you. Just good enough for you to insert your fingers in the milk.
  2. Vessel: Depending on the size use as little old curd as is required to spread it on the base and sides of the vessel.
  3. Stir: Now pour the milk in the vessel and slowly stir the milk in clockwise direction few times.
  4. Curing: Let the milk settle for minimum of 6 hours, after which milk would have completely curdled. Curd will begin turning sour after 12 to 15 hours.
Casein and whey separated after 6 hours
Casein and whey separated after 6 hours

If there is too much of water content in the milk then you should not expect thick curd. Next time try boiling the milk a little longer to condense it. Curdling of milk separates casein and whey; casein being the cream like substance also called clabber and the liquid is whey which is loaded with lactic acid.

Packet milk or any other pasteurized milk will turn rancid; raw milk sourced locally will curdle well.

If you don’t have culture, use few drop of lemon juice or a piece of tamarind for making culture out of milk. This process wouldn’t give you good curd, it should only be used for culture.

2 Replies to “How to make Perfect Curd the Traditional Way”

  1. What I found that, if we use clay pot, even if the milk is not that thick you will get thick curd. (Probably the water content get absorbed by the pot and gets evaporated easily).

    yeah true, pots absorb water. however cleaning is little difficult with small mouth.
    In-fact during olden days milk was also boiled in mud pots, with cow dung or rice husk. Modern day clay pots have so much of glassing it may not absorb water. Some pots even drip water profusely(I had to discard 2 pots). we only use mud pots for cooking curry nowadays, which was initially plastered with cow dung and burned completely. Hard to find good quality pots nowadays.
    No cows for good quality dung as of now.

  2. Yes the Butter Milk or curd poured in the warm Milk, the Bacteria will spread in avery speedy manner and curd will be ready in 3-4 Hours.

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