Kitchen Tip: How To Avoid Curd Getting Sour During Summer

Curd or dahi, a staple in many households, is especially popular during the summer months for its cooling properties. Consuming curd in various forms like buttermilk, kadhi, raita, or plain curd can help beat the heat and soothe the stomach. However, the high temperatures of summer can cause curd to turn sour quickly after setting. This sourness is a common issue, but with a few careful measures, it can be avoided. Here are some effective tips on how to prevent curd from turning sour during the summer. 

 Why Curd Gets Sour 

Curd becomes sour when lactic acid bacteria multiply, which is a normal part of the fermentation process. The bacteria responsible for making curd transform the sugar lactose in milk into the sour lactic acid. The fermentation process speeds up in the summer because to the higher temperatures, resulting in sour curd much more quickly than in the cooler months. This quick deterioration is caused by several factors: 

High Temperature: The warm environment speeds up bacterial activity, causing milk to ferment more quickly. 

Improper Storage: Leaving curd in a warm place after it has set further accelerates souring. 

Excess Starter Culture: Using too much starter can increase the bacterial load, leading to faster fermentation and souring. 

Inconsistent Milk Temperature: If the milk is too hot or too cold when the starter is added, it can affect the fermentation process and quality of the curd. 

Understanding these factors helps in taking appropriate measures to ensure that curd stays fresh and flavourful for longer. 

Tips to Prevent Curd from Turning Sour 

Set Curd at Night 

One of the most effective ways to stop curd from going sour quickly is to set it overnight. Temperatures at night are usually lower than temperatures during the day. This makes the air cooler, which slows down the fermentation process. This helps make the curd smoother and less sour. 

Mix Sugar in Milk 

Adding a little sugar to the milk before the curd sets can help keep it from being too sour. Sugar keeps things stable and slows down the fermentation process. There is an old method that says to add some sugar to the milk while it is boiling. As soon as the milk gets slightly warm, add the starter. This method helps make curd that is slightly sweet and doesn't go bad quickly. 

Check Milk Temperature 

When adding the starter, the temperature of the milk is very important. Just right, not too hot or too cold. The milk should be warm. The ideal temperature is one that can be comfortably touched. The curd will set well without too much whey separating or quickly going soured if you boil the milk well and let it cool to the right temperature. 

Use Minimal Starter 

No recipe is complete without a little bit of fresh curd used as a starter. Increasing the bacterial concentration by adding too much starter might hasten the fermentation process and turn the curd sour. Setting a new batch of curd just requires a tiny, freshly spooned dollop. As a result, the fermentation process is kept mild and under control. 

Store in a Cool Place 

After the curd has set, it needs to be kept in a cool place so that it doesn't sour again. The best place to store curd is in the fridge. If you don't have a fridge, put the curd where it will be coolest in the house. By keeping it out of direct sunlight and heat sources, you can keep it fresh and stop it from going bad. 

Why Have Curd During Summer 

Curd is not just a delightful addition to summer meals; it also offers several health benefits, making it a preferred choice in the hot season: 

Cooling Effect: Curd has a natural cooling effect on the body, helping to regulate body temperature and prevent heat strokes. 

Hydration: The high water content in curd helps keep the body hydrated, which is essential during the sweltering summer months. 

Digestive Health: Curd is rich in probiotics, which promote a healthy gut by enhancing the growth of beneficial bacteria. This aids digestion and prevents stomach upsets common during summer. 

Nutrient-Rich: It is a good source of essential nutrients like calcium, protein, and vitamins, contributing to overall health and well-being. 

Versatility: Curd can be consumed in various forms, such as buttermilk, smoothies, raita, or as a side dish with meals, making it easy to incorporate into the daily diet.