how to make curd | how to make dahi at home | thick yogurt recipe

How to make curd or dahi or yogurt at home with tips and step by step photos. a couple of requests on how to make curd/dahi at home and How to make paneer. And thus this post on Making curd at home.

Summers are the best time to have curd (yogurt) just plain or sweetened or in biryani, kadhi, lassi, shrikhand, paneer tikka, aloo tikka or a simple raita. Yogurt based dishes are cooling and ideal for summers.

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curd recipe, dahi recipe, yogurt recipe

I won’t be going into the food science of making curd and the fermentation process. Will just keep it simple with a few tips to keep in mind whilst making curd at home.

Tips to make thick curd or dahi at home

  • Use a good quality milk. Full cream milk yields a luscious and thick curd.
  • Always boil the milk before making the curd. This ensures that the milk does not spoil during the fermentation process.
  • The milk should not be hot. If its very hot the milk may coagulate and you might end up getting a grainy curd.
  • If its little hot then the curd does not become thick and is a bit runny with some whey in the curd.
  • If the milk is cold, then the curd won’t be set at all.
  • The milk must be warm. Just dip your little finger in the milk and you should feel warm not hot.
  • It is very important to dissolve the curd culture uniformly in the milk. Whisk very well with a spoon or a whisker.
  • If you stay in a cold place or have cold temperatures, then cover the bowl or pan in which the curd mixture is with a warm towel or warm blanket and keep it in a warm place in your kitchen.
  • Also you could place the bowl in a big large jar of wheat flour and then cover the jar. this is how my mom-in-law would make curd in the Delhi winters.
  • In summers the curd will set faster than in the winters. So remember this point.
  • You could use any quantity of milk you want to make the thick curd.
  • For half a litre milk, 1 to 2 teaspoons of curd culture works fine. Increase proportionally for larger quantities of milk.
  • Once the curd is set, refrigerate the curd.

homemade curd recipe

You can use curd to make simple raitas or use it in a variety of dishes or serve it plain with aloo paratha, plain paratha or other stuffed paratha varieties.

Stepwise process of making curd or dahi or yogurt at home

1:.first step is to take a thick bottomed pan and rinse it water.

how to make curd

2. Then add ½ litre of milk – about 2 cups milk. Keep the pan on the stove top and begin to heat milk on a low to medium-low flame.

how to make curd

3. When the milk is getting heated, stir once or twice, so that the milk does not get browned from the bottom.

how to make curd

4. Let the milk come to a boil. Milk will froth and bubble when it comes to boil.

how to make curd

5. You can even heat milk to a temperature between 85 to 96 degrees celsius.

how to make curd

6. Switch off the flame. Remove the pan and keep it aside on the kitchen counter for the milk to cool at room temperature. We just need to the temperature of milk to reduce till the milk becomes warm.

how to make curd

A few ways to check if the milk has become warm

7. You can check if the milk has become warm with your fingers (touch method) or with a thermometer. Dip your little finger in the milk and you should feel warm and not hot. Another way is to touch the pan. When you touch the pan, it should feel warm and not hot.

how to make curd

8. You can even use a food thermometer to check the temperature. The temperature of the warm milk should be between 39 to 44 degrees celsius.

how to make curd

9. Now take 1 to 2 teaspoons of the curd starter and add in the warm milk. In winters you can add 2 teaspoons. Whereas in summers 1 teaspoon works fine.

how to make curd

10. With a small wired whisk or a spoon mix very well. A small wired whisk makes the job of mixing the curd starter very well in the milk.

how to make curd

Setting curd

11. Then pour this mixture in a bowl or a pan.

how to make curd

12. You can use terracotta or clay bowls, steel bowls and even glass or ceramic bowls for the curd to set. For less washing work, you can set the curd in the same pan in which the milk was boiled.

how to make curd

13. Cover the pan or bowl with a lid. Then keep at room temperature for 4 to 5 hours or till the curd is set. You can also keep overnight also. I kept overnight. The time taken for the milk to get converted to curd largely depends on the temperature. In a warm, hot and humid climate, the time taken for the curd to set will be 4 to 7 hours. Whereas in a cool or cold climate, the time taken can be 8 to 12 hours.

how to make curd

14. Next day you will have a nice Well set homemade curd.

how to make curd

15. You can see in the picture its a properly set thick and creamy curd.

how to make curd

16. Curd or dahi can be had plain or sweetened or can be made into a dessert, drink or any dish of your choice.

how to make curd

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How to make Curd | Homemade Curd Recipe

4.89 from 17 votes
Simple & easy method to make curd or dahi at home from milk.
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:7 hrs
Cook Time:10 mins
Total Time:7 hrs 10 mins
Course:side dish
Servings (change the number to scale):1 medium size bowl of curd
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


  • ½ litre of milk or 500 ml milk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons curd (dahi or yogurt)


  • Boil the milk first.
  • Let the milk become warm.
  • In the same pan that you have boiled the milk, add 1 tsp of curd and mix well.
  • Cover and keep the pan for 5-6 hours or till the curd has set.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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103 comments/reviews

  1. Hi Dassana,

    Do you use non homogenized milk? My curd sets but there is so much whey in it. Your curd photo looks so thick and creamy without any whey. How to minimize whey in curd?

    • shubha, i use homogenised milk and do not have any problem with getting whey in curd. firstly in summers, do not keep the curd for a long hours as then the whey separates. secondly add less amount of the starter in summers. so for half a litre of milk, you can add 1 teaspoon of curd starter. too much of starter can also lead to the whey getting separated once the curd sets. do make sure that the milk is not hot. the milk has to be warm. you can even use cold milk and add the starter and keep for setting in these hot summers. the curd sets very well and is thick. no need to heat milk. if the milk is pasteurized or has been boiled earlier and refrigerated and then it can be used. hope this helps.

      • Hi Dassana,

        Thanks so much for getting back. I keep my curd in the Instant Pot so it is independent of outside temperatures. I will monitor the heat of milk better when I add it to the bowl containing a teaspoon of the culture and see if that helps. The milk is pasteurized so maybe I can try to keep it cold.Thanks for your tips.

        • Welcome Shubha

  2. Thank you u sharing me, i will try today ????

  3. Dear Dassana

    This is Arusha again….I have tried nearly 10 to 15 times but my milk does not set at al to turn into Dahi….I boiled milk in micro, on electric stove top and in different vessels also, like for micro I used pyrex bowl and for stove top I used steel vessel..but never I succeeded….In india my dahi sets in few hours but here, in the US it never happens..I have used full fat, 2 percent, whole milk…but did not get good dahi.can u give temperature in degrees, so I can try… do u think vessles make any difference in setting dahi??4 stars

    • arusha, i will update in a two days the temperature settings on this post. i just made dahi yesterday. i use steel pan for heating. i even use clay pot at times for heating milk. keep the bowl or pan in a warm place. also the outside temperature has to be warm or hot. in cold seasons setting dahi can be tricky. usually i cover the pan with a warm napkin or a towel and keep it in a warm corner of the kitchen. do not keep in a place where there is cold draft of air coming through. my mother in law keeps the pan in a large container (dabba) of atta. atta is warm and it helps in setting dahi easily.

  4. Can you please tell us what yogurt this is most like? I’m trying to buy some yogurt starter for a better batch. Also could you explain how you use the yogurt to make paneer? No one sells a kit like that but I feel it would Sell Well! Thank you5 stars

    • what is sold in the west as yogurt is different than what we make in india as curd. curd has a pleasant sour taste and is not very thick. of course one has to taste curd made with the right strain of bacteria. what is sold even in indian markets as curd has a different taste as compared to the ones made in homes.

      without a culture also you can make curd, but you need to have a nice warm climate. what i do is, i heat milk till its slightly hot. just a bit above being warm. then remove the crowns of green chilies, about 10 to 12 crowns. place the crowns on the milk. cover and keep. this method needs a warm room temperature and won’t work in a cool or cold climate. it takes 7 to 9 hours for the curd to set. you can also use dry red chili crowns. once the curd is set, then keep a few teaspoons of it in the fridge or freezer and then use this culture to make the second batch of curd with the method mentioned in this recipe post.

      for paneer, once the milk comes to a boil, add 3 to 4 tablespoons of curd. stir well and the milk will split. you may need to add more if the milk does not split.

  5. Hi Dassana,I have been making curd for quite some time now, but I follow a slightly different process. The glass bowl in which I intend to set the dahi, i smear the curd culture in that nicely like a coating, and then I pour the warm milk in it, and let it dry overnight in a corner of my kitchen. The curd comes out fine. I have never done it your way, but would try it and let you kNow. By the way, why is it that after repetitively using the curd culture from the same store bought curd cup, on the 4th or 5th time , the curd eventually doesn’t set as well as the 1st time?? Also have you ever prepared Greek yogurt??
    Thanks5 stars

    • chayanika, thanks a lot for sharing this suggestion. i have always stirred the curd culture in the milk. i liked your method. i also sometimes just add green chili or red chili crowns in warm milk and let the curd set. this i do, when i do not have curd culture.

      i have never faced this issue. in fact as time progresses, the curd sets very well. thats whats i have seen with the store brought curd.

      i do make hung yogurt. its basically greek yogurt only but with a different name. i have shared the detailed method for making hung yogurt on the blog.

  6. I used Amul milk to make curd.The curd does not set thick.There is a whey liquid on top.I am in Mumbai but even after 8 hours the curd had not even started setting it took 11 hours to set.
    Is it because of the milk?5 stars

    • thats too long. at times i also use amul milk to set curd and it turns perfectly fine. just warm the milk a little more. also add green or red chili crowns on the milk. for green chilies, just rinse the chilies first and then remove the crowns from them and add in milk. you will get thick and creamy curd. at times i only use the chili crowns for setting curd when there is no starter.

  7. Though the starter curd I used was Amul Dahi from the store, this is my third attempt and pretty much the same

  8. Hi,
    There is an issue that I am facing constantly(a newbie tp setting curd, though). We use buffalo milk here. However, even though the curd sets into a very thick, cream-ish(should it be creamy-ish??) consistency and tastes like curd, it is slightly sticky. Why? I use the above mentioned proportions. I stay in Mumbai. It is pretty humid here, as you might know. I set the curd overnight. I tried it in an earthern pot and even the one in which I boil milk. If Ieft outside it does start to turn sour-ish but not crazily though(like some homemade curds do). Also, my starter curd was Amul Dahi bought from the market. And ya, do I remive the malai/cream layer from milk before setting or not?(any which ways not a drastic improvement have i noticed). Do let me know where am i going wrong. The curd remains just too fresh for my liking(we like it a little bit sour). Help?

    • the stickiness is due to amul dahi being used as a starter. most readymade dahi brands add pectin to thicken the curd. so when you make curd with a store brought curd the curd will be slimy and stringy. if you keep on making curd with the reserved portion of the set curd every time, then the stickiness will go away eventually. for sourness, just keep for a few more hours. the creamish color will be due to the type and quality of milk.

      • Thanks.. It was all actually from the starter. I got one from the local halwai and the dahi/curd sets like a dream. ? Never going for store bought curd as starter.
        Also, just out of curiousity_ sometimes there will be some whey liquid floating on top when I check my curd in the morning. Is it because it has been kept out that long, say 7-8 hrs and its d monsoon time here? And sometimes grainy/gritty(but not too much to worry about). Just wanted to know why??

        • i agree. the halwai folks have fresh curd without the addition of pectin or preservatives. the whey is seen if the curd is kept too long or the milk is slightly more hot and not warm. the graininess is due to the slight curdling that happens when curd is added to milk. this happens when the milk is hot. if the milk is warm, then no curdling will happen.

      • And, there a different way to set curd in an earthen or mitti ka bartan?

        • there is no different way. before using the earthen bowl you need to soak the it for some hours with water. then let it dry naturally or you can dry in sunlight too. then pour the warm milk+curd mixture in it. cover and let it set.

  9. Hi..I wish to know the recipe for setting curds with lemon juice? Coz lemon juice is more readily available than a teaspoon of home-set curd, and ready made curd just doesn’t help ..So if u could pls give the ingredients as well as the recipe for setting curds with lemon juice(measuring cup etc also will be useful information..)..thanx a lot
    Nyati Singh

    • i have not read or know any method where curd can be set with lemon juice. you do need a starter to set the curd. one way is to use green chilies crowns to set curd. warm milk. add green chili crowns. keep in a warm place. cover and let the curd set. this will take more time than setting the curd with a starter. try first with 1 cup of milk. then you can use the curd starter for setting curd later. for 1 cups of milk, you can add 4 to 5 green chili crowns.

  10. Hey,

    I use Amul cow’s milk and whenever I try to set the curd it becomes very sticky. What can be the reason, it looks really ugly.

    • which curd starter you use. do you use readymade curd starter like amul or any britannia. with readymade curd starters, the curd when set becomes stringy and sticky. over a period of time, if you keep on taking the curd starter from the previous batch of curd you have made, then the stringiness and stickiness goes away. but this means that you have need to have many batches of curd with the same starter.

      • Yes, i have tried 3-4 times with Nestle’s curd and everytime it gets sticky i stop using it thinking that milk has some issue. But thanks for your suggestion I will follow it till i get the desired curd.

        And yes, yesterday’s hakka noodles were good but were a little dry, i used 4-5 spoons of oil, not sure why the dryness.

        • fine neha. if you have a generous neighbor, then you can use the curd starter from them 🙂

          its not due to the milk. its the ready curd starter as they add pectin and thats why the stringy slimy consistency is there once the curd is set. thanks for the feedback on hakka noodles. dryness could be due to less sauce or the veggies must have got sauteed to much.