The summers are always meant for fruits, candies, juices and other stuff that helps us to fight the scorching sun and maintain the temperature of our body. Instead of drinking the aerated soft drinks and the instant juices and ice creams, using curd and yogurt in the meals is a healthier option. The process of making curd at home is very easy and fast in summer due to the high temperatures. Due to this, curd can prove to be a very conventional way of facing the summer heat.
The most basic form in which one can consume curd is buttermilk. Buttermilk is nothing but the liquidated form of curd which is prepared by adding an appropriate amount of water and is blended with a hand blender until it starts forming bubbles. In the traditional recipe of buttermilk salt and cumin seed powder is added for flavor. Some people prefer a bit of sweetness in this cold, satisfying summer drink. In India, it is a tradition to drink a glass of buttermilk after heavy lunch to get a soothing effect.
This recipe is basically taken from the south Indian cuisine where cooked rice and curd are mixed. This mixture is then pestered with mustard, cumin seeds, red and green chilies and dry fruits. The curd rice is eaten after keeping it in the refrigerator and tastes the best with mango pickle and crisps (papad).
Making yoghurt from curd is a very simple process. Yoghurt can be cooked in various flavors like mango, raspberry, strawberry, banana, etc. and can be stored in the refrigerator. Yoghurts can come handy in the summers when one craves for something sweet, cold and fruity dessert.
The Medu Wadas that are from the south Indian cuisine are soaked in buttermilk or milk and are then added to a thick curd paste. This mixture is then topped with tamarind chutney, chat masala, chili powder and fresh coriander. The sweetness of the Dahi and the gingery taste of the Wadas are the best combination for the tongues.
5.Cucumber/Beetroot/ Carrot Raita
A simple salad of curd and finely chopped or grated cucumber is eaten as a side dish in lunches and dinners. Cucumber too is juicy and cold and goes perfectly with the sweet-salty curd. This Raita is also served with Biryani and spicy curries. Instead of grated cucumber, one can as use beetroots and carrots. This raita can even be garnished with pestered cumin seeds and crushed peanuts.
Just like Dahi Wada, the Idlis too are soaked in buttermilk or milk and are added to the perfectly blended curd with the toppings of tamarind, mint chutneys and freshly chopped coriander.
7.Flavored curd dips
A simple yet very useful dish for summer is flavored curd dips. Instead of eating curd only with salt and sugar, one can add various flavors. Mint paste, ginger paste, cumin powder, raw mango powder, tomato paste and other such flavors can be added with the curd to make it more interesting.
8.Curd dessert (Piyush)
This is a Gujarati dessert wherein, the thick curd is given the flavor of saffron, cardamom and is made sweet. The sweetness of the dessert and the cold temperature gives energy and soothes the body in the high temperatures.
Since ages, this dish has been a classic dish of the Punjabi cuisine. In this dish, the savory or spicy boondi (puffed chickpea balls) are added with cold curd. The smooth texture and the crispy balls make this raita perfect and hence, this dish is eaten like a side dish and popular across the country.
Lassi is a thick sweetened milk which is very rich in its flavor due to the high content of milk. This drink is originated in Punjab and is prepared sweet, salty or with various flavors like Mango, Rose, Pineapple, Kesar Pista, etc. The light whipped cream added to the top of the lassi makes it richer and more favorable to be consumed in summer.
11.Onion Tomato Raita
In this salad, finely chopped onions and tomatoes are added with curd. This raita is mainly sweet to balance the sharp spicy taste of the onion. Onion too is a cold ingredient which makes this dish more healthy and refreshing in the summer.
12.Curd chutney (Pachadi)
Vegetables like grated pumpkins, gourd, spring onions, etc. can be added with the curd and can simply be pestered with Mustard seeds, cumin seed, sesame seed, curry leaves and stuffed dry chilies. This flavourful and fresh combination of ingredients can spice up the boring summer lunch.
13.Curd fruit salad
Fruit salad is not only made using custard and milkmaid. Curd fruit salad is an easier recipe in which various fruits like apple, banana, chikoo, pineapple, grapes, etc. can be mixed in the thick curd. This curd desert is easy to prepare and full of exciting flavors.
14.Cold Curd soups
Curd soups are made by mixing the vegetable paste with the curd and is boiled. Curd soups can be made up of different flavors like mint, tomato, cucumber, carrot, beans, etc. and can be eaten hot or cold. Even though eaten hot, the characteristics of curd make this dish perfect for a summer supper.
For the people who cannot live without eating chaat, now have a good option to make chaats healthy in summer as well. One can add curd to the spicy, tangy chaats and make the dish refreshing and fuller of flavors. In Punjab, there is a famous dish called as the Dahi Bhalle in which the mixture of Shev, Farsan, Puris, etc. are topped with finely chopped tomatoes, onions, potatoes coriander and then it is covered with freshly whipped sweet and sour curd.
16.Curd Banana salad
This is a type of a Raita which is made by many women at home because the ingredients of this salad are easily available at home. The sweet banana and the sour curd make a perfect side dish for summer.
17.Dahi Pohe (Curd with flattened rice)
The flattened rice is soaked in buttermilk and are added into whipped creamy curd. This dish is eaten plain or by serving it with pestered mustard, cumin, chilies, and coriander. This dish is similar to the curd rice, but the taste of flattened rice gives this dish an extraordinary flavor and texture.
The usual veggies that we cooked can be cooked with the base of curd. Vegetables like spinach, fenugreek, beetroot, peas, etc. can be blended into a fine paste and boiled in curd with cinnamon, cardamom, clove, pepper, cassia bark, etc. These curries if made thin by adding water can also be of great soup dishes.
19.Curd and Gram flour curry
This is a Gujarati drink in which the curd is whipped with some gram flour in a thick paste, and then this mixture is poured on hot oil, cumin seeds, chilies, fenugreek seed, etc. This soup is eaten in hot as well as cold state. A sumptuous bowl of this soup can satisfy our stomachs very easily.
For the foodies out there who crave for hot steaming, oily, spicy pakodas in summer can now eat them in a new way. The hot, crispy pakodas which are soft in the inside are dipped in sweet curd and is topped with coriander, tamarind, and mint chutney. This mouth-watering, spicy, sweet, and tangy mixture is a great escape for the summer.