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Old 12th June 2014, 13:32   #1321
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Thanks, Der Alte, for the lucid explanation.
I do make soda bread and traditional Irish stew every so often but use only the four basic ingredients for the soda bread. Of course it is never 'fluffy' but I wouldn't want it to be, else it will not be 'traditional' anymore. The key is to get it into the preheated oven in under five minutes from the start of mixing the ingredients! I get a good rise specially after cutting a deep 'holy cross' on the dough before putting it in the oven. It 'flowers' beautifully!
Vinegar has never been part of that recipe but I do understand that it has benefits in bread making.
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Old 12th June 2014, 17:24   #1322
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... Vinegar has never been part of that recipe ...
Correct, it is not, and vinegar is not used in bread making either.

It was to adapt to the (bad) quality of ingredients, in this case soda bicarb (adulterated) and / or buttermilk (not sour enough), in the recipe. The addition of a bit of vinegar was borrowed from the recipe for Red Velvet Cake - to improve the texture and mouth-feel. 'Fluffy' as in normal bread (not dense as in Ciabatta), which Irish Soda Bread closely emulates.

Funnily, Irish Soda Bread is not an Irish invention at all, actually. They adapted to it during the famine in mid 1800's, as leavening by soda bicarb made it possible to make decent bread using low quality wheat flower.
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Old 13th June 2014, 07:14   #1323
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Correct, it is not, and vinegar is not used in bread making either.
....
Not correct! Vinegar is used in many artisan breads. It yields better texture of the crumb. Try it.
Bonus is that vinegar helps keep the bread longer without developing mold. Home made breads go bad just so much faster than store bought ones.
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Old 13th June 2014, 14:19   #1324
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... Vinegar is used in many artisan breads. It yields better texture of the crumb. Try it. ...
Thanks, Mathur-sab, not reached there yet. Will try it.
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Old 23rd June 2014, 12:49   #1325
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Does anyone make Curd at home here?

Here in Bangalore, the weather does not seem to be too helpful for making curd at home.

If anyone has ideas - could suggest?

I am interested in making curd from

1) Commercial curd (say Nandini Curd)
or
2) Cow Milk (Nandini dairy)

Any suggestions?
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Old 23rd June 2014, 14:48   #1326
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Does anyone make Curd at home here?

Here in Bangalore, the weather does not seem to be too helpful for making curd at home. ...
Most traditional families make curd at home in Bangalore. I think you must be meaning 'thick' or 'set' curd at home.

1. Use an unglazed earthenware pot (not a metal pot)

2. Heat the milk (or boil and cool) till it is lukewarm - about 45C - and pour it in the pot

3. Add about a tsp of curd starter from existing curds (or from Nandini packet) and stir through. Just make sure the starter is at room temperature, not cold

4. Put a lid on the pot and cover it with a thick cloth or blanket and leave it in a warm place overnight

5. Take the cover off the next morning, and keep it in an airy place
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Old 23rd June 2014, 15:03   #1327
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Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Most traditional families make curd at home in Bangalore. I think you must be meaning 'thick' or 'set' curd at home.

1. Use an unglazed earthenware pot (not a metal pot)

2. Heat the milk (or boil and cool) till it is lukewarm - about 45C - and pour it in the pot

3. Add about a tsp of curd starter from existing curds (or from Nandini packet) and stir through. Just make sure the starter is at room temperature, not cold

4. Put a lid on the pot and cover it with a thick cloth or blanket and leave it in a warm place overnight

5. Take the cover off the next morning, and keep it in an airy place
Thanks DerAlte,

That sounds very simple. Only thing is the earthen pot, will get this asap.

BTW, is lemon juice not required?
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Old 23rd June 2014, 15:08   #1328
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Does anyone make Curd at home here?

Here in Bangalore, the weather does not seem to be too helpful for making curd at home.
We do it. Have been doing it since last 8 years. 99% success rate!
If you are starting with Nandini curd (or any other packet curd), the first 2 batches will not turn out good. Gradually the quality of culture will improve and you will be able to get decent curd.

Set curd and Goodlife milk will result in complete failure. Use regular blue packet of nandini milk.

Important thing is to mix the culture well in milk. We heat the milk to just luke warm. Say 45 deg in summer and little more hot during winter (arnd 50 deg). Take about half teaspoon of culture for approx 600ml of milk. Put the culture in a glass and pour heated milk into it. Pour the milk back to the original vessel and repeat 8-10 times. Idea is to make sure that the micro particles of the culture are equally distributed all across the milk.

Keep the vessel untouched and unmoved for about 8 hrs. Use shallow and not deep vessel to set curd.

My mom prefers to use a casserole. My wife uses a steel bowl and keeps it in microwave (to control the temperature. do not switch on the microwave with steel bowl in it!!)

If you follow the tips ( vessel depth, milk, and the process of mixing culture with warm milk, 1/2 teaspoon culture for 600ml milk), there is only 1 variable. And that is temperature. If its taking more than 8 hrs to set or if the curd is too wattery, next time heat the milk for little longer. If the end result is sour curd, you are heating it too much.

Always use the previous nights culture for next batch.

PS: If your health permits, use full fat milk. Result will be really smooth sweet curd.

Regards,
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Old 23rd June 2014, 15:16   #1329
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... BTW, is lemon juice not required?
Nooooo ... With lemon juice you will get Paneer eventually!
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Old 23rd June 2014, 15:55   #1330
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@amohit: Opposite experience to yours. Set Curd and GoodLife milk work excellent together.

We usually get a couple of boxes of set curd every week (Nestle, Milky Mist or Nilgiris based on availability), then use a spoonful of that to make curd with Good Life tetrapak milk. Works like a treat, excellent texture and creamy taste.

The regular milk packets just lead to a watery mess I find difficult to refer to as curd.

Tip for cold areas or winters: Wrap a small blanket around the container containing the curd/milk mix. Lovely set curd even in Delhi winters. First-hand experience!

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 23rd June 2014 at 15:56.
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Old 23rd June 2014, 17:44   #1331
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^ is it. We tried using Goodlife long ago and the curd would ust not set. So switched to nandini blue packet. May be something might have changed in last 8 yrs.

Regards,
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Old 23rd June 2014, 18:53   #1332
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^ is it. We tried using Goodlife long ago and the curd would ust not set. So switched to nandini blue packet. May be something might have changed in last 8 yrs.

Regards,
Yeah. The regular packet milk has deteriorated significantly over the years. Wasn't there a report published last year that said 2/3 samples of milk tested in KMF were found contaminated? I don't remember exact stats but they were quite horrific.

Health concerns apart, the lack of quality is glaringly obvious. Give tetrapak milk another try for setting curd. Costs nearly the same as the curd packet (+/- 2 INR), but feels and tastes much better.
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Old 23rd June 2014, 20:39   #1333
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All that curd requires is a starter (one spoon of curd) and warm temperature, should be less than 65 degrees (yes one of my school mates had a project on curd making, and found the limit). Cold weather will take longer.

If the curd does not set firmly then
- Weather is too cold, give it more time
- Milk is watered down - it has very little solids. There is a difference with skimmed milk where the fat is taken out and watered milk where both the fat and the solids are diluted.

The more the percentage of solids and fat the thicker is the curd. To verify this, try reducing the water content by boiling the milk to say 75% of its original volume, then cool it and add starter. You will get thick and creamy curd. We do this regularly to make sweet curd - a Bengali delicacy.
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Old 23rd June 2014, 22:55   #1334
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this is how my wife makes it:
1. add starter curd (use 2-3 spoons from nandini 250ml sachet to begin with) to lukewarm toned milk in SS vessel. tried fatty milk also, but toned milk worked better.
2. keep it overnight in a hotpack/casserole.
3. next day, vessel out in direct sunlight till noon.

excellent set curd for lunch. kids finish it off in no time!

Last edited by WindRide : 23rd June 2014 at 22:57.
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Old 24th June 2014, 18:55   #1335
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... vessel out in direct sunlight till noon. ...
That reminds me of my first experiences of "curd rice" way back in the early 80's. We had a lot of colleagues coming from Indira Nagar and other far off areas to Mysore Road. Since the start timing was 0745, they would leave their homes at 0700. Sometime before that, their wives would have put the curd starter to a box of rice with warm milk in it - perfect for delicious curd rice at 1230.

However, in summer months it was not all hunky dory with the process. Imagine a stainless steel sealed container with the contents at 35C or more for 6 hours (there was no AC). At lunch time, people would sit around tables - some with lunch from home, and some with the canteen thali.

The climax used to be the curd rice boxed being opened. And what a scene that would be. Everyone else holding their breath in anticipation of the box being opened. Imagine most of the table holding their breath till the volatile elements of the curd rice would dissipate in the wind. Breathe, and dhishoom - you are knocked out!

Last edited by DerAlte : 24th June 2014 at 18:57.
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