How to set Curds ~ Making of Curds!

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Making of Curds or as its called setting of curds, must be quite an easy one if you are used to doing it or have seen it being done often. I have always seen Amma setting this late in the night. She has certain vessels, which she doesn’t use for anything else. I have tried following this principle to greater extent. At times, Amma ends up boiling a whole new pack for setting the curds. Then she will be seen cooling it under fan or over a bowl of water or at times seen blowing it. It used to be fun. In our climatic conditions, we need not really do much. It gets set automatically. Of course, provided you have the milk in the right lukewarm temperature.

To record, to find out if the temperature is correct, this is what Amma told me when I was in my teens. Wash your hands. Dip a finger into the bowl of milk. If you find the milk to be nicely warm, then its the right temperature for setting. And she also keeps the vessel near the stove. The warmth from the stove would be transferred to the vessel. What was so funny was, when we visited them in Calcutta, I found her setting the curds in a hot box. She said only then the curds was getting set. For her, it was the first time, she has ever lived away from our beautiful city. And that didn’t educate her enough on temperatures. A winter is as warm as in a late summer here. How fantastic! Whatever, we love our city.

Now coming to myths surrounding setting and borrowing curds, certain things take a cake. Like the myth, that curds shouldn’t be borrowed after sunset or on certain days. Well I have never really asked more than the basic question. I wanted to know why it should not be, but of course there was no valid reason. This reminds me of one funny incident. When I was in high school, we had a neighbour with whom we were very close. She used to be mostly at our place when her kids were at school. We indulged in many cooking experiments. It used to be real fun.

Once she got some guests from her native place. Two people in their 70’s and couldn’t really hear or see things properly. But they came visiting them and wanted to tour the city. They returned back home after touring and sat for lunch. Once it was over, they asked for buttermilk. On bringing out the curds vessel, they said they will make it themselves. Not knowing what to say, aunty gave them the vessel. That’s it, after few mins, they returned an empty vessel. She was lamenting that they didn’t even bother asking if they had to keep some for setting the next batch.It was ever more daunting because it happened on a day when she couldn’t ask others for culturing the curds! Heights of belief!

How to set the Curds:

Bring the milk to a boil and simmer for 2 mins.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. The temperature should be luke warm.

For 1/2 liter milk, you would need app 15 ml of curds to set. This is the regular teaspoon. You can always adjust based on the temperature and the curds.

Cover with lid and let it set for about 6-7 hrs in places where its over 35 degrees C. It normally takes about 5 hrs app in our temperature.

When you find its set, put it in fridge.

Few things to spoil the curds or turn it to sour, will be adding the culture when the milk is very hot and covering it.

When you find that its too hot, allow it cool down.

Adding more culture than needed.

When you find its not set properly, heat some extra milk and add to the curds. Cover again. It should get set within hours.

How to make Curd Rice or Perugu Annam, check here.

How to set Curds ~ Making of Curds!

Author Srivalli
Tried this recipe?Mention @cooking4all or tag #cooking4all!

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  1. srivalli, hi there! did you drop by my blog – I was trying to find your profile and saw it was not enabled for public viewing – anyways did a google and got here. I love homemade curd. and even though it is easy to buy curds these days, I always love to set mine at home – especially since my 1 year old eats a bowlful everyday.

  2. Wow that was a very beautiful post:) I never tried making curd , but I have seen my amma also making it:) Thanks for the step by step procedure and the tips and tricks:)

  3. Some beliefs will always stay inspite of all the progress we make on other fronts. There would have been a logical reason at that time probably, but times change!

    BTW, one more tip to add – setting curd in an unglazed ceramic or earthen vessel gives much thicker curd (without any water) because the porous material of the vessel absorbs the extra moisture. Glass is good too – better than stainless steel.


  4. this is something i have never done b4 .As i dont like curds i never knew how to make it and so we always get it from stores for hubby…i need to start making at home itself now…will give a try..thanks for the tips sri:)

  5. thanks so much for that informative post, valli! you should send this for siri’s yogurt event!
    mine never really sets properly – its much more watery than i like. thanks for the tip about adding the extra heated milk.

  6. Good post Srivalli. Lot of people say they buy yogurt from store. I have also posted yogurt making in my blog. This is one of the first few I have posted like making paneer, curds , rice, and roti. We find these basics, but at the same time they are very important part of our meal!

  7. My mom made everyday at home. I have a electric Yogurt maker which makes within 30 mins but it’s easier and cheaper to buy Yogurt here!:)

  8. I used to make my own for the longest time after coming here. I don’t even know when I suddenly stopped and started using the store-bought ones .:D

  9. Story about your neighbour aunty brings back memories too. In our place also it was same, never give curd after sunset.
    Here I have never made my own curd, but i hear from mu sisters they both still do it.
    This has nothing to do about the curd making, here Shyama used to cur her nails in the evening, so once i told her you know if it is in your grandmothers place and if she saw you cutting your nails in the evening she will give you a bear full.
    So she asked why? And I told her yeah it seem it brings bad luck and from that day onwards she has never trimmed her nails in the evening :-)))

  10. i set curd nearly every once a week. since its just the two of us, it lasts. i rem my aunt in chandigarh gave a tip to set curd, in places where it is very cold. once the culture has been mixed into the milk for setting, insert a green chilly and wrap it in kitchen towel and leave it to set overnight. the heat of the chilly sets the curd.

  11. come summer and curd setting is in full swing….i never have tried doing this, but whenever i plan to i run out of the starter…:)

  12. I too make curd the same way at home Valli.Never bothered about setting curds until my marriage.My MIL a lazy and not a great cook sets the curds in the same bowl everyday without cleaning the bowl( my hubby is not around me!!!)God..I entered and take away the kitchen from her after 3 months.Nice step by step instructions.Check out my blog for a surprise.

  13. nice post,..i use microwave,..i microwave for one minute and few secs then add half teaspoon ofcurd mix nf keep the bowl in the microwave…bymornin,..curd sets..nd is ready to eat,..i usually follow the procedure durin night,..

  14. For a long time here in the US I used to rely on store-bought yogurt. Then one day, the neighborhood grocery discontinued our regular brand, and replaced with another I did not like. So began my quest for the “indian curd”… Would like to share some tipe from my trials and errors (1)Start with a yogurt that has more than one active culture (Eg: Stonyfield Farm) – that helps.
    (2) Use a “casserole” to set te yogurt if you live in a cold place. I boil the milk in microwave, transfer to a stainless steel indian casserole and stick it inside the oven after keeping it on warm for 1-3 mins.
    (3) Initially I had to add a lot of the starter to get it set, but now that its summer and now that I use the caserole, I just use about 1/2 tbsp.

    Result – Yummy yogurt just as we get in India!

    Hope this helps someone!

  15. Very nice post Srivalli. Curd setting is regular at home in India but here in London, I have tried it a few times but never succeeded. Did everything I could and even left it for setting for 2 days once! I guess its the cold weather.
    We use store bought curd which is very good but nothing compares to the home made one!

  16. What a great post. I have just came across it, so have added it to my Tempting! post. I love the way that you love your city and the traditional ways.

  17. You know Valli, when the curds doesn’t set, I don’t even add extra milk when I reheat – I just reheat it for a few seconds (either on stovetop or the microwave), and it sets within an hour!

  18. Its good to eat home-made curd,
    I set curd daily so , whenevr I see the curd not set say after 5 hrs, I generally heat up a Kadai with water ,after that ,i let it(curd bowl) sit there for 5 mints-7 mints and the curd is set, another good method is setting them in Cello Hot Pots , while its really needed to cover the cello pots also ..
    I have tried setting curd in Kulhar also ,that has a nice earthen smell.
    Some beliefs remain the same , I guess no one can change them either ..
    Its a lovely post about curd
    hugs and smiles

  19. Hi! I stay in Bangalore and it is cool and pleasant here throughout the year. I have tried setting curd in a hot pot, steel/glass utensil and left it near the gas oven. However each time was a failure. Is is because of the dry weather? I really miss the homemade curds which my mom used to perfectly set in my native place, Kolkata.

  20. At last i have learn the correct way of doing curd or yogurt. As i always buy my from the store the ready made yogurt.

    I try once but it was watery and just left it after that. Now i enjoy making it.
    Your blog is very informative.


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