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Curd: Why you shouldn’t avoid it this winter

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Curd is considered to have numerous benefits for health. (Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

There are a lot of questions around curd, especially if it should be consumed during the winter season. Even though it is considered immensely beneficial for health, a lot of people tend to avoid it. Here is why curd, which contains lactobacillus, a probiotic and a source of good bacteria, shouldn’t be entirely off your plate during winter. But if you already have respiratory ailments like common cold, it is best to limit its intake. Rather than having curd at night, which might lead to mucous development, its best to have it at lunch time.

Curd has vitamins and protein

Curd is a storehouse of vitamins, potassium, magnesium and protein. Lactobacillus helps keep away the harmful bacteria and infections from the body. As a fermented food, curd is loaded with vitamin C, which is excellent for treatment of cold and cough. However, it is best to consume curd as soon as it sets and not refrigerate it for later.

Aids digestion

Curd helps to maintain the pH balance in the body which prevents acidity, and better digestion.

Strengthens bones

The cold weather can lead to bone issues in many people. A daily dose of calcium not only helps in maintaining bone density but also strengthen them. Curd is low in fat and calories and thus, may also help in keeping your weight in check.

Helps maintain healthy skin

Curd has a moisturising effect on one’s skin and it heals dry skin naturally. A lot of people suffer from acne due to certain gastrointestinal problems. Curd helps in maintaining a happy and active gut which leads to healthy skin. It is an excellent beauty ingredient for face packs too as it contains lactic acid that acts as an exfoliator and clears dead cells and blemishes.

If you don’t like to eat plain curd, here are some ways to consume it and derive its various benefits

Curd rice or dahi chawal

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Curd rice is considered to cool down the body and aid in digestion. (Source: File Photo)

Take a bowl of cooked rice, mix it with curd, a bit of pepper and salt and then have it. You could also garnish it with some pomegranate seeds.

Say yes to yoghurt, even during a cold!

Curd with sugar

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Shrikhand made with strained curd, nuts and saffron is a must-have. (Photo: Vadani Kaval Gheta)

If you have a sweet tooth, you can mix a teaspoon of sugar to curd and have it. Or make shrikhand.

Raita

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You can enjoy a variety of raita which is made using curd. (Source: File Photo)

Mix vegetables like onions and tomatoes and add them to curd. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper to enhance the taste. You can also make other types of raita including boondi raita. Mint and jeera raita aid digestion. You could also add fenugreek to calm the stomach in case of any indigestion.

Kadhi

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One can have kadhi and enjoy the benefits of curd. (Source: File Photo)

This sour and slightly spicy delicacy with a think consistency is made from a mixture of curd and besan. Usually enjoyed with steamed or jeera rice, it can also be served with some freshly made parathas or rotis. It is one of the easy ways to include curd in one’s diet.

Here’s how to make kadhi

Ingredients

2 cup – Curd
1 cup – Besan
5 no- Curry leaves
1 pinch – Asafoetida
1tsp – Mustard seeds
salt as required
1/2tbsp – Refined oil
1/4tbsp – Turmeric
1tsp – Cumin seeds
1tbsp – Red chilli
1 inch – Ginger
2 no – Green chilli
1/2tsp – Sugar

Method

*Put yoghurt, besan or gram flour, turmeric and red chilli powder in a bowl. Mix well. Then add the required amount of water and mix it all together.

*Place a kadhai over medium flame and pour the besan mixture to it. Stir it for a while and let it boil. Once it starts boiling, add green chilli, and salt. Boil it for 20 minutes.

*Meanwhile for tempering, heat oil in a non-stick pan and add cumin seeds, curry leaves, green chilli, asafoetida, ginger, dry red chilli, mustard seeds and saute till they splutter.

*Finally, pour the tempering over kadhai. Transfer it to a serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.



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