Yoghurt and curd are both dairy products that are used to make a variety of savoury, spicy, and sweet foods. They're both made by fermenting milk with yeast or bacteria. But how are they different? And what about vegan curd? We’ll get to all of this in this blog post.
Yoghurt is a dairy product, made by fermenting milk with yeast or bacteria. The fermentation process causes the lactose in milk to break down into lactic acid, which gives yoghurt its tart flavour.
Curd (or dahi) is a dairy product made by coagulating milk (the conversion of liquid milk into a solid using enzymes, acid, or heat) to create curdling.
The difference between yoghurt and curd is that curd is made by curdling milk with acidic substances like lemon juice or vinegar. Yoghurt is created by bacterial fermentation of milk using yoghurt culture.
There aren’t a lot of differences between curd and yoghurt. One of the biggest differences is how it’s used. Yoghurt is curd technically, but it’s made to be more palatable in ready-to-eat applications like smoothies, fresh fruit, granola, and so on. It can also come in many flavours, like banana, blueberry, mango, vanilla, strawberry, and so on.
Curd, unlike yoghurt, is used in Indian cuisine as an ingredient or aid in cooking to make dishes like dahi vada, lassi, raita, kadhi pakora, and so on.
Another difference is nutrition and freshness. Yoghurt and curd contain different vitamins and minerals, and yoghurt usually contains stabilisers due to its convenience applications.
And finally, curd and yoghurt have different tastes. Curd is more mild in flavour, while yoghurt is more sour.
Vegan curd is curd made without cow’s milk. Instead, it is made with vegan mylk made from ingredients like peanuts or soy. Like dairy curd, vegan curd is made by using live cultures on vegan milk, which then follows fermentation to create a similar look, taste, and feel to dairy curd.
Vegan milk can be fermented just like cow’s milk, and many of the same types of bacterial strains are used to make dairy. The most common vegan yoghurt cultures are:
All of these are beneficial to our health and support digestion, just like dairy cultures.
People who are vegan or vegetarian choose plant-based curd because it is healthier, less taxing on the environment, and does not harm any animals.
Yoghurt and curd are both made from cow’s milk. But cow’s milk is not cruelty-free because milk can only come from a cow or buffalo who has given birth to a calf.
If a calf is born male, he will either be sent for slaughter, abandoned, or used for work. Regardless of his destiny, he will eventually be slaughtered for meat.
If a calf is born female, she will be kept alive like her mother for a life of milk production. But once her milk production peaks, she will be either abandoned or slaughtered for meat.
Both the dairy and meat industries depend on each other, and profit off of using every single part of the animal.
Vegan curd as an alternative makes a lot of sense from an ethical perspective, and it tastes just as delicious in classic Indian dishes!
Vegan curd is made from vegan milk, water, and live & active cultures. Vegan curd can be made from any vegan milk that contains some fat and protein.
We found that peanuts work best because they produce a thicker milk to make curd with, and the result is just what you’d want from curd: it’s thick, mildly flavoured, and scoopable.
Yes, vegan curd is healthy. It contains zero cholesterol, no hormones, no lactose, no additives, no antibiotics, and it contains healthy bacteria to improve your immune system to fight colds and infections.
If you liked this blog post, check out some of our other blogs and vegan curd recipes: