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Made by fermenting milk for a few hours or overnight and activating the microbial bacteria in it, curd, or yoghurt as we call it, is your perfect dose to get rich calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, potassium, and magnesium. So, next time, remember that it is not a side dish, accompanying your food, or flavouring your kebabs and meats, but rather a superfood, which is what I fondly refer to as a bowl of “sheer white goodness.” Presenting 10 healthy curd recipes to fight the summer heat.
So, with the more difficult part of the summer months upon us, it is evident that we stay hydrated as well as avoid the sun as much as possible. I mean, I agree that avoiding the sun is usually an option that is difficult to fulfil, but at least we can ensure that we consume foods that are good for our gut and help us keep the heat at bay. Yes, you heard it right-with the mercury rising to such extreme points, it is essential that one keep their gut health in check.
Often, the sizzling heat outside has this uncanny way of heating up our digestive system too, ending up making it crampy, overheated, and generally in discomfort of sorts. That is because as our body perspires and fights the heat, in a bid to do the same, the necessary vital nutrients, salts, and sugars, as well as the good bacteria from our stomach, get depleted, resulting in these symptoms. It thus becomes essential to not only keep the heat at bay but also keep our gut health in check.
Curd, as a food staple, is one of those “blessings” we have that has a super presence, especially in Indian cuisine. Curd is basically a milk product prepared through a fermentation process where, after a few hours or left overnight, the bacteria in milk multiply, turning it into curd.
In any state of India, the curd is consumed and used in one form or another to beat the heat. Along with beating the heat, curd also has several other health benefits:
- It is also very good for the heart.
- It aids in strengthening teeth as well as bone health.
- It is a very good immunity booster.
- It is also an ideal supplement for weight loss.
- It is important to consume it for good skin and hair.
- Helps in lowering blood sugar levels.
- A great stress buster.
- Controls high blood pressure.
- Helps restore microbial balance in the gut.
One curd and so many benefits. So today, I thought of sharing with you guys 10 healthy curd recipes to fight the summer heat:
Punjabi di “Shaan”, refers to the thick version of curd, which is super rich in flavour as well as nutrients and has a smoothie-like consistency. In the north, the curd is often blended either with water or milk along with sugar/and or flavours, salt, spices, herbs, etc. to create one of the most delectable beverages. Perfect to combat the hot afternoons, the light whipped cream usually added at the top of multiple flavour variants of this one (pineapple, kesar pista, rose, and mango) makes it super creamy and rich too.
Again, a staple from the north, this one is a combination of puffed chickpea (besan) balls, cold curd, and some water. Add some red chilli powder, salt, and chaat masala, and voila, you have the perfect cooling raita ready to pair not only with your rotis but also beat the heat. Many people enjoy the raita with the addition of some chutneys on top too, such as the date tamarind sweet chutney and the green mint one.
Ok, I am going, to be honest. This one is indulgence plus pure love. I mean, just imagine-the hot crispy chickpea balls, aka pakoras, which are super crisp on the outside but so soft inside, dipped in a sweet curd-based gravy complete with kokum/tamarind and mint chutney sometimes on top, are literally summer’s ultimate escape. Pair it with rice and enjoy this sweet, spicy, and tangy variant of curd.
Fruit Curd Salad
Ok, my health-conscious lovelies, this is for you guys. Throw in your favourite healthy fruits such as apples, bananas, chickoos, and grapes (even a bit of pineapple-kids love it!) in a bowl of thick curd, and presto-a healthy, nutritious, mouth-watering bowl of snack is ready. Flavorful, this one packs a punch, doesn’t it? A word of advice, though-remember to ensure you do not pair it too adventurously with over-experimental fruits and also ensure that you consume this one in the former half of the day, preferably in the morning.
Ok, I know I promised healthy, but hey, when did I say a bit of indulgence was not allowed? The wadas, which are made of urad dal and a mix of other dals along with chillies and ginger, are soaked in water after being fried and then added to a thinner version of curd, aka buttermilk. Then finished with sweet chutney, green chutney, chaat masala, chilli powder, coriander, and sev-the sweetness of the curd and the gingery goodness of the soft wadas are food for the soul! a dish fit for a king, if truth be told.
Ok, antithesis time! After exploring Dahi Wada in the past, it’s time for a bowl of super comfort. This gem taken from South India comprises cooked rice mixed with curd and tempered with mustard, cumin seeds, green chillies, and red chillies, along with curry leaves, coriander, and dry fruits (optional). Tasting the ultimate best with papad/crisps and pickles, this humble bowl is the best bowl because it provides the ultimate nutrition, packs a tonne of flavour, and is a staple in the majority of India. Whether you go to a multimillionaire’s house or a pauper’s small hutment, this is one constant that remains the same.
This one is a simple salad thrown together with curd and is the perfect side to your lunches and dinners. Cucumber, a juicy veggie, is, coincidentally, a great coolant and an anti-oxidant and it pairs brilliantly with curd (sweet/salty) to give that ultimate kick. Served alongside pulavs and biryanis too, one can also opt for adding some fresh beetroots to this along with crushed peanuts for a good crunch effect. If you ask me, it’s the best possible substitute for the usual heavier, greasy sides that accompany our lunches!
Ok, important clarification first-this is essentially different from kadi pakoda since this recipe uses veggies instead. One can add fenugreek, spinach, peas, even beetroot, etc. after blending it into a fine paste and boiling it in curd along with cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, clove, and cassia bark (optional). The best part? You can thin out its consistency by adding water and turn this into a great, healthy soup too! Adding veggies adds to the flavour, and curd has the quality of being able to bring out the best of them.
One of the simplest and most important dishes served at any feast in Kerala, it is usually made with veggies like cucumber or lady finger, ground coconut paste and yoghurt. You can also make this one without veggies. A great dip as well as a side dish, one can easily pair this with their usual sambar rice or even as a dip for their snacks. Psst, try adding beetroot to curd along with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, curry leaves, and stuffed dry chillies for a fresh, flavorful, explosive combo that will spice up your lunch and day too!
The good ol’ buttermilk, aka chhaas in the end, because this is the absolute best! The liquidated form of curd is prepared by adding an appropriate amount of water and blending to the point of bubbling. Traditionally, cumin powder is added to it for flavour and also since cumin is a coolant for the stomach and digestive system. Many people, though, prefer adding a bit of sweetness to their chhaas for a more satisfying after-palate feel.
So, these are 10 healthy curd recipes to fight the summer heat. Let me know your favourite in the comments below. Stay tuned with us right here at Booxoul for the best in the fields of entertainment, lifestyle, food, fun, finance, fashion, education, tech, and gadgets, as well as all things bookish.