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The magic of curd

The magic of curd
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Curd – the cool, creamy and soothing semi-solid dairy product, is your perfect summer refresher. One bowl of dahi (curd) will freshen you in a jiffy....

Curd – the cool, creamy and soothing semi-solid dairy product, is your perfect summer refresher. One bowl of dahi (curd) will freshen you in a jiffy. It is undoubtedly a favourite across the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent. This delicious coolant is excellent for human health!

Accurately called “The Elixir of Life”, curd teems with a clan of bacteria called lactic bacteria. This bacteria work all kinds of nutritional and therapeutic magic. Most of the Indians love curd as it is the ultimate comfort food.

During the process of making curd, microorganisms convert milk into curd and predigest milk protein. These then inhibit the growth of hostile or illness causing bacteria inside the intestinal tract and promote beneficial bacteria needed for digestion. They are the most useful for your gut health as the good bacteria found in curd become active in the intestines allowing the curd to soothe the intestinal tract and boost immunity.

These friendly bacteria facilitate the absorption of minerals and aid in the synthesis in the vitamins of the B group. If you are on a course of antibiotics, you must include curd in the diet as antibiotics destroy the gut flora while curd replenishes it due to the B vitamins and probiotics present in it.

Curd has zero carbs, zero sugars and zero trans-fat thus making it a very good alternative for people who wish to avoid junk food. Unlike milk it contains that form of calcium which is easily digestible by the human body. It even contributes to 20 per cent of calcium requirements for growing bones.

Curd is very helpful for heart ailments as it increases good cholesterol and decreases bad cholesterol content in the body. Since it is low on the glycemic index small quantities will keep you fuller for a longer time. It is also a superb way to prevent and delay dehydration.

It is also good for the skin, imparts lustre and softness to the skin. Curd is great in summer as it is an enzyme that keeps you cool.

Curd is extremely versatile; I like to call it the chameleon of foods as it can take on any form. Add it as a low-fat dressing to salads; make it interesting with dill or any other herb of your choice. Curd rice in the summer is a go to food.

Use hung curd to make dips. Whip it to make a raita. Churn it during hot summers to make cooling buttermilk or cold soup or add it to your gravy and fold it in batter to make delicious instant rawa idlis and dosas.

Or, simply eat spoonfuls of plain curd and enjoy it the way it is! It has also become extremely popular in the Western known as yogurt and there are a wide variety of flavours. My personal favourite form of having curd is as it is or as buttermilk.

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