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November 2008

How to make Yogurt- Dahi

Set yogurt Some one recently went to Bulgaria and asked what I wanted. This was my chance! I have always wanted a spoonful of "jamai" i.e.yogurt starter. Not ordinary "jamai" but a Bacillus Bulgaricus one.
It has been identified as the reason for Bulgarian longetivity. You dont get to be 135  without having a solid reason. It seems to be the yogurt that does it. And since Bulgarians drink it in one form or another the whole day long, as ayran, a buttermilk like drink, or just plain, I figured we could do with a bit of it ourselves.
Sadly, I was told I was crazy. They did not want to be arrested at customs for a little bacteria and anyhow...this being something I had to accept... bacillus bulgaricus flourishes only in Bulgarian farm yards! Away from the land of its birth the bacteria dies.
So back I went to my own "jamai", a teaspoonful of which keeps the dahi fresh, sweet and going day after day.

You need to buy fresh yogurt from a dairy as a starter not store bought, packed yogurt.In case this is not possible curdle some boiled and cooled milk with a few drops of lime juice and leave overnight in a warm place.The next day use a teaspoon of this a starter.

Set dahi Photo 7 1. Take a clean ceramic bowl. Put a spoonful of yogurt on the base.

Set dahi Photo 6 2. Heat previously boiled milk to luke warm.The way to test that it has reached the right temperature is to dip your little finger in the milk and count ot ten. if you can make that figure just comfortably the milk is just right. If it is too hot wait till it cools down to luke warm.

Set5 dahi Photo 8 3. Now pour it into the ceramic bowl over  the spoonful of yogurt.

Set dahi Photo 9 4.Stir gently to mix.

Set dahi Photo 10 5 Cover tightly with a lid and a tea cosy. Keep out of any draft.The fresh yogurt should be set in 4 hours in a warm climate and in 12 hours in a cold climate.

6. Set a bit everyday to keep the culture fresh.It lasts for months.

7. If the yogurt gets too sour, which can happen if the milk is too hot, or if it has been kept out too long,  begin the process again.

How to make healthy fresh juices

Papaya smoothie

1. Always choose good quality fruit and vegetables for juicing. Discard anything that looks even slightly old or rotten .
 2. If you still find some fruit or vegetables that have discoloured or mouldy areas just cut them out of the whole with a generous margin.
3. It is preferable to use the skin of the fruit or vegetable. However, much produce available today, especially if it is out of season, is likely to have been treated with some chemical to either ripen it or to retard the growth of pests. It is best to wash the produce thoroughly and if there is still any suspicion of chemical residue, skin the fruit or vegetable to be used.
4.Clean your juicer thoroughly in hot water before and after use.
5. Slice the fruit into lengths or cubes as appropriate.
6. Remove all piths and seeds before juicing.
5. Always drink juice fresh. Vitamins and other nourishing and healing qualities deteriorate on keeping.

Links to juice recipes.

Ajmud, Radhuni, Celery Seed ???


" P.S Can you believe it? !! India is the largest producer and exporter of celery seeds in the WORLD and we cant get a stick of decent celery nor can we get the oil, seeds or salt readily in the shops. I have been going around asking for Ajmud NOT Ajwain luck."

That was from my post on Green Pea soup .

Update on search for celery seed At last I have found a good substitute for celery seed in Radhuni at a grocery shop here. Nobody here knows it by the Hindi name Ajmud. It has a taste that is closest to celery and you need just a very tiny pinch as it has a strong flavour.

  Radhuni is actually the dried fruit of Trachyspermum roxburgianum. Synonyms :Apium involucratum, Carum roxburghianum, Carum involucratum, Trachyspermum involucratum and is known in French as  L'ajmud des Indiens, in Filipino as malungkoi or kanuikui, and in Thai as phakchi-lom.

Ref: The World  Spice Plants, Seidemann Johannes