Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dahi ,a wonder food.

Curds also called dahi in Hindi is a super food .It is easily digestible .It lends itself to many uses.It can be given to kids,old & the young & also the sick.It is full of calcium & friendly lactobacilli.

Many people may be allergic to milk but can take curds without any problem.Dahi contains bacteria which reinstates our digestion after illnesses.So ,dahi is simply excellent ! Whenever, anyone has a stomach upset ,eating curd rice is the best solution .It is also like soul food for many south Indians.Partaking of dahi rice is a signal, that the feast has ended in south India.

It need not be consumed as curd itslef.It can be diluted & made into lassi or chaas.Many falvoured lassis are available now like Mango lassi & the like. Watered curd  is also called as butter milk.Butter milk can be falvoured with jeera,pepper,fresh coriander,etal.It can be added to a variety of dishes.Even recipes can be prepared from dahi as a base.

Can anyone imagine tasty snacks dahi batata puri,dahi wadas,dahi bhalles without curds ? I ,for one, would love to survive only by eating these chat items lifelong !

Dahi, when it has turned sour can be transformed into tangy kadhi ! Some people do prefer their kadhi made with normal curds without any sour taste. Dahi can aslo be added to a variety of veggies to make many  raitas ! Raitas are really very healthy as they have dahi,& veggies in good measure.Some raitas use raw vegetables while still others use veggies which are cooked.The simple tomatar,pyaaz & cucumber raita uses raw vegetables whereas a potato ,red pumpkin,carrot raita uses cooked vegetables.Even bhindi raita boasts of bhindi fried to which dahi has been added ! Obviously ,in all the raitas where in, cooked vegetables are used,curds are added after the cooked vegetables have been cooled to room temperature.My aunt makes a raita with dahi & pomegranate seeds ! I love the pineapple raita served at restaurants.Boondi raita is a hit, with the old & the young alike ! 

Dahi is the base to making shrikhand,a sweet dish highly popular in Gujarat & Maharashtra.Nowadays,it is more innovative, with fruit shrikhand & even dry fruit shrikhand.My mother has always been using dahi as a base for making fruit salad.And believe me ,it is thicker & tastier, compared to the watery fruit salad made with milk ! 

Avial is a dish from God's own country,Kerela.Dahi  is added to an assortment of cooked veggies & a coconut green chilli mixture.My late neighbour used to make a very delicious  vegetable called " Rishi chi bhaji " on the occasion of Rishi Panchami.She would cook a mixture of different vegetables including some green leafy ones & then add a helping of curds, to it, after the mixture was cooled.I still miss, that divine taste !

I myself have fallen for this simple fermented milk product off late ! I use it in almost all dishes ! I add dahi to the dough, while I make parathas of methi  & palak .I make use of diluted dahi by adding it to upma.It gives it a fresh tanginess ! I also add dahi to pulavs & biryanis ! Dahi  gives all my rice preparations a rich & creamy texture.It comes in handy, especially ,when the food has become too spicy.Curds lessen the spiciness ! 

I tasted fruit yoghurt on my trip abroad & fell for it -hook ,line & sinker ! Nowadays,whenever I spot flavoured yoghurt in any shop,I just buy them in bulk & consume them on a daily basis !

Of late,even probiotic dahi has come into the market.I am averse to milk but take chaas regularly for maintaining my calcium levels ! I am eagerly  awaiting  a new flavoured variety of curds which is opening its shop near my home ,very soon !

1 comment:

medha said...

Dunno about its existence in India but YOGODAY parlours for frozen yoghurt is very popular with health concious people who want a lighter dessert. You can choose your combination of flavours and topping of nuts or any other sprinkles!! Just oozes out like softie icecreams from dispensers !!

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