Yoghurt with Indian Food

A Guide to Using Yoghurt with Indian Food

Ever wondered why Indian food has such a symphony of tastes and textures? One unsung hero in the world of Indian cuisine is none other than Yoghurt. That’s right—this versatile dairy delight goes beyond parfaits and smoothies. 

In the Indian kitchen, Yoghurt is a culinary rockstar that wears many hats. From tenderizing meat to acting as a souring agent and laying the creamy foundation for some of your favorite curries, Yoghurt plays a key role that often goes unnoticed.

But today, we’re giving Yoghurt the spotlight it deserves. In this guide, you’ll get the lowdown on why Yoghurt is so important in Indian cooking, which type to use, and how to incorporate it into your dishes without a hitch. 

Whether you’re an aspiring chef or a home cook looking to spice up your meal game, you’ll find that Yoghurt is more than just a sidekick in Indian cuisine—it’s a flavor enhancer, a texture magician, and a vital part of the culinary tradition. So, buckle up as we take a creamy, dreamy ride through the multifaceted world of using Yoghurt in Indian food. Let’s delve into this delicious universe, shall we?

What Yoghurt is Used in Indian Cooking?

In India, the term for Yoghurt is “Dahi,” It’s far more than just an ingredient for your morning parfait or an afternoon snack. Dahi has a thick, rich texture and a tangy flavor that sets it apart from the typical Western Yoghurts in the dairy aisle. This unique profile makes Dahi the perfect complementary sidekick—think of it the Robin to the Batman of aromatic spices that are the hallmark of Indian cooking.

But what makes Dahi truly special is its versatility. This culinary powerhouse can tenderize meats, a souring agent in various dishes, and the creamy base in luscious Indian curries. It’s the go-to dairy product that balances the intense flavors and spices, giving the dishes a rounded, full-bodied taste. So the next time you experiment with Indian recipes, don’t just settle for any Yoghurt—go for Dahi to get that authentic touch.

How to Make Dahi at Home?

Making Dahi is as easy as 1-2-3! Add a squirt of lemon juice or a splash of vinegar to a bowl of milk. Stir it well, then let it do its thing—sit around and thicken up. It’s almost like you’re a food wizard concocting potions! Once it’s reached that glorious, thick consistency, you’ve got some homemade Dahi ready to jazz up your meals, from curries to biryanis.

But wait, there’s more to this simple yet fulfilling process. While you let the milk and the acid sit, the magic of fermentation happens, enhancing the flavor profile and adding that quintessential tang that Dahi is famous for. This is also the time when you can play around a little. 

Want it thicker? Let it sit for a while longer. Prefer it creamier? Try using full-fat milk. The beauty of making Dahi at home is that you’re in full control—you get to be the artist and the scientist. So go ahead, don your apron, and create your perfect batch of Dahi!

The Yoghurt-Curry Love Affair

If Indian curries had a relationship status with Yoghurt, it would be “It’s Complicated.” But boy, do they make a great couple!

Why Add Yoghurt to Curry?

Yoghurt in Curry is like the plot twist you never saw coming, but it makes the story much better. It doesn’t just lighten the dish; it adds a creamy dreaminess that softens the edges of those spicy, bold flavors. 

Do you know how a good comedy has just the right touch of drama to make you laugh and cry? That’s what Yoghurt does to curry. It brings a harmony that balances out the spicy fireworks, making each bite a beautiful blend of complex flavors. Yoghurt is a cool, level-headed friend who can diffuse a heated argument, bringing peace and balance.

But the magic doesn’t stop there. Yoghurt also has a unique ability to absorb and amplify the spices and herbs in the Curry. When your dish simmers with Yoghurt, it soaks up all those flavors like a sponge, releasing them slowly as you savor each bite. 

So, not only does it temper the heat and intensity, but also acts like a flavor enhancer. It’s like upgrading from standard TV to high-definition—suddenly, everything is richer, more vibrant, and undeniably better. So the next time you find your Curry lacking that “oomph,” remember, a spoonful of Yoghurt might be the missing link.

Does Yoghurt Thicken Curry?

Nope! Contrary to popular belief, Yoghurt won’t thicken your Curry. Consider inviting coconut milk or flour to the party to thicken things up.

Greek Yoghurt: The Cool Cousin

Need help finding Dahi? Don’t sweat it! Greek Yoghurt can be your pinch-hitter. Just be cautious, as Greek Yoghurt is a bit more tart. You might have to throw in a pinch of sugar or an extra dash of spice to keep the balance.

How to Use Greek Yoghurt?

Add Greek Yoghurt like Dahi, but remember, moderation is key. Too much, and your Curry might start pulling sour faces at you.

The Yoghurt Etiquette in Curry

You’ve been warned: Yoghurt can be a drama queen if handled incorrectly.

How to Add Yoghurt Without Curdling?

Always add Yoghurt towards the end of your cooking and keep that heat low. Whisk it gently into the Curry, making sure it’s well blended. Remember, no boiling allowed unless you fancy curdled Curry (spoiler alert: you don’t).


Yoghurt, or as we lovingly call it, Dahi, is the Swiss Army knife of Indian cooking. It’s the multi-talented artist of the culinary world, capable of singing, dancing, and painting—all at once! Yoghurt is your go-to whether you want to tenderize meat, create velvety curries, or add a dash of creamy awesomeness. And let’s not forget, it’s also a fantastic base for delightful Indian desserts like Raita and Shrikhand. So the next time you find yourself cooking up an Indian storm, don’t forget to invite Yoghurt to the party. Trust me; it’s like inviting the life of the party who also helps clean up afterward. Your taste buds and your grateful guests will thank you!






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