When we think of desserts, we likely think of sweet treats that are normally made using dairy products.
Indeed, things such as chocolate, cakes, ice cream, yogurt and cheese are all dairy products that are traditionally eaten after a main, savory meal.
Curd is a fermented dairy product that is usually used as, or as part of a dessert dish. There are lots of similarities with curd and yogurt, which we will discuss later in this guide.
But, there will be much more to examine than just this. Join us as we explore everything you need to know about curd.
So What Is Curd?
Curd is a very popular fermented milk product. It originated in India and is used in many Indian food recipes but it is also very easy to find in many other countries. It can either be eaten on its own, or used in other foods.
Much like yogurt, it is a healthy bacterial fermentation process and milk is boiled and then cooled. However, the bacteria is added after with an already set curd and then multiplies vastly to create a much thicker curd.
Due to its Indian origins, it is perhaps unsurprising that many of its uses revolve around Indian dishes. These include:
- Bhapa doi
Indians may also use curd instead of eggs during baking, or as a way to thicken gravy and enhance its flavors. Additionally though, some of the non-vegetarian parts of India may use curd as a way to marinate meats.
Aside from India though, curd is often a dessert choice. Most common perhaps is fruit or lemon curd which is then spread across things like pies or cheesecakes.
Is Curd Good For You?
There are in fact some health benefits by eating curd. However, it’s important to note that this is normally when you enjoy curd in its natural form and not when added to sugary desserts.
So, while there are some health benefits – do not expect these benefits to be as prominent when you’re using curd on dessert choices like cheesecakes or cakes.
Here’s some of the most well known benefits of curd when enjoyed naturally:
- Can help to improve digestion through healthy bacteria
- Is a very rich source of protein and calcium which can help improve bone strength
- Can be great for your skin and allow for a natural skin glow
- Can help with your hair’s health
What’s The Difference Between Curd And Yogurt?
While there are plenty of similarities between the two foods, there are some differences which are important to note.
Yogurt is also a fermented milk product but it is generally less thick than curd and is naturally sweeter, even without anything added to it.
Yogurt has been known to aid in digestion, weight loss and bone density. While curd can help with two of these, there has been no evidence that curd has any relation to weight loss.
However, if you enjoy curd with a healthy and balanced diet, it is quite possible you can still lose weight – but it is not as a direct result of curd.
Yogurt has two strains of bacteria active in it whereas curd only has one. This is likely why there are slightly more benefits to yogurt than curd.
Curd is generally unflavored too, and as a result – many people will use it as part of a recipe, rather than a firm, unchanged choice. This can mean that lots of sugary extras are used which can of course, lead to weight gain.
Finally, yogurt is a very popular breakfast choice. Curd is usually seen as a dessert choice when it is made with other ingredients, however, as mentioned earlier, Indian cuisine and cooking may use curd in the cooking process.
One of the most popular choices for the use of curd is lemon curd. This is a very sweet dessert choice and is enjoyed in many countries.
You create lemon curd using sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and two beaten eggs. It normally takes around 10 minutes to make and is extremely tasty!
This dessert choice comes from England and dates back to the early nineteenth century and while the recipe has somewhat changed over the years, it still remains a popular dessert choice.
Where You Can Use Lemon Curd
There are various ways you can use lemon curd. You may decide to use it as a topping like on things such as waffles, ice creams, cookies or cheesecakes.
However, you may decide to use lemon curd as a filling for cakes, crepes or pies. Either way you decide to use lemon curd, you will certainly enjoy the taste.
Remember though, if you’re not a fan of lemon, you can make any fruit curd just by substituting the lemon for whatever fruit you prefer.
Is Curd The Same As Jam?
No, jam is made differently and the consistency is completely different. However, it is understandable that some people may think of the two being similar due to their uses on things like toast or inside cakes.
Common Questions About Curd
There are of course some extra questions when it comes to curd that people may ask. Here’s some of the most common.
Milk Is Not Getting Curd – Why?
If you are finding it difficult to thicken your curd when you’re making it, this is likely down to the temperature you’re making it at. Consider cooking it on a much lower heat and watch it thicken!
Is Curd Expensive?
It depends where you shop for curd, but generally curd is quite affordable. If you find genuine, authentic Indian curd though – the prices may be higher.
The Bottom Line
Curd is a very popular choice when creating desserts, and while it can be enjoyed on its own, typically it’s used to make things like lemon or fruit curd.
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