Learn to make Hung Curd at home with this easy step by step guide. Hung curd is Indian yogurt (curd) from which all of the whey has been drained. In other words it is nothing but Greek yogurt also known as strained yogurt. Hung curd is an important ingredient used in the preparation of many Indian foods like tandoori dishes, Raitas, kababs and Sweets. It is the key ingredient added to the marinades for tikkas and kebabs. Hung curd is also used to make Shrikhand, Dahi Kababs and Cucumber Raita.
As the name suggests, hung curd also known as hung yogurt is made by hanging the curd in a muslin cloth so all of the liquid is drained in sometime. The resulting thick curd is smooth, creamy and delicious.
While it may be convenient to use store bought Greek yogurt in place of hung curd, the homemade version smells and tastes much better than the store bought. We have always found the store bought Greek yogurt to be tart for our liking and feel that really ruins the dishes.
Hung curd is a healthier substitute to mayonnaise. Spice it up the way you want and spread it over your rotis, tortilla or bread to make your Wraps, rolls & Curd Sandwiches. It also makes a better substitute to regular curd in your curries and gravies.
You can also make a quick dip with this thick curd, garlic, black pepper, salt and herbs. It goes so well with many kinds of snacks and breakfasts like parathas, sandwiches etc.
Plain homemade curd sometimes coagulates when added in curry preparations due to the high amount of whey. So substituting the regular curd with hung curd works well in such recipes.
Most Indians make Curd / Dahi at home as it is a common practice in India. So it is also a common thing for us to make hung curd at home and in a lot of places Greek yogurt is not available.
An easy substitute to this is toned milk yogurt. You just need to scoop out the thick curd from the bowl, leaving out any whey around & you don’t need to strain it at all.
Now you may be wondering why hung curd is important in certain recipes. It is simply because we don’t want too much moisture (whey) in the preparation process. Using yogurt with a lot of whey is going to make your marinade runny and it won’t stick to your meat or paneer or veggies.
In Sweet dishes like Shrikhand we use thick yogurt because we want the dessert to be thick and creamy and not runny as we are not making Sweet Lassi. Similarly in Cucumber raita, runny yogurt together with the juices from cucumber will end up with a runny raita.
Now since we know why this is an important ingredient let us make it.
3.Spread a thin muslin or cheese cloth over the filter and add 2 cups chilled yogurt to it. Make sure you use a thin cloth else the whey won’t drip to the bowl.
4. Bring together all the four edges and squeeze of the excess whey lightly. Make a knot and hang it above the kitchen sink (or to a ‘S’ Hook if you have one). The dripping whey can be collected and used for kneading roti dough. Leave it for about 30 to 45 minutes. Place it back on the strainer.
Strain yogurt in 3 ways
You can follow one of the 3 ways as mentioned below.
5. A. Cover with a plate and place a heavy object over that. For this I used a clay bowl, you can also use a mortar pestle or any other things. Transfer this entire set up to the refrigerator. Let it rest for 4 to 8 hours, depending on the fats and texture of yogurt used. If your yogurt is too runny, it will take long time.
B. The other alternate way is to roll this pack of yogurt in several layers of cloth and place a heavy object over it. The cloth absorbs all of the whey and you get hung curd faster.
C. Sometimes I also use a ‘S’ hook to hang this inside my refrigerator. Place a bowl beneath to collect the whey.
Transfer it to a air tight container and refrigerate until used. I prefer a glass container as I feel it keeps the hung curd fresh without becoming sour for many days.