Why is Curd an Important Part of the Diet in India?

Dahi, thaiyr, mosaru – curd has many names in India. But whatever they call it, most Indians have at least a bit of it every day, in some form or other.

Curd is a superfood. It is packed with vitamins and minerals. It has calcium, protein, phosphorus, zinc and Vitamin E. It also has a whole lot of digestive enzymes. That means it not only is very nutritious, it also helps your body absorb the nutrition from other things you eat.

Curd is a sort of comfort food for Indians. In Tamil Nadu, curd rice is considered one of the best ways to cool down on a blistering hot day. And in the north, it’s Lassi – either sweet or spicy.

Curd is also used as an ingredient in cooking. It thickens gravies and adds a touch of sourness to dishes. It forms a sauce for chats and dahi vadas. It is sweetened and flavoured with cardamom and steamed to make bhapa dhoi, the famous Bengali dessert.

Traditional Indian meals, irrespective of region or community, usually end with some form of curd. It could be just a spoonful mixed in rice, or a bowl of it with a spoon of sugar, or a thin buttermilk flavoured with crushed ginger and green chilies. Some communities mash a banana into curd and swirl some sugar syrup over it as a finale to a meal. In whatever form it is consumed, the aim is to aid digestion and temper the spiciness of the food that went before.

Curd helps build bones and teeth, it keeps cholesterol down and prevents belly fat from forming. It is a great energizer as well.

So next time you feeling a little tired, try some curd – as a smoothie, as a lassi or just plain!

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