#CelebrateSummer: Make the Magic of Yoghurt Work For You!

by | March 24, 2021, 8:12 IST

yoghurt main

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Yoghurt works especially well to cool us down in summer, and, happily, there are so many delicious ways to tap into its magic

The #CelebrateSummer series is part of our virtual food-and-drink festival, Indulge Fest. Join us on the microsite now

Yoghurt, colloquially known as dahi, has been part of Indian cooking down the centuries, and remains an integral part of our food traditions till date. If one actually sits down to think about it, the average Indian probably ends up eating yoghurt at least once in a week. Yoghurt is consumed in the form of lassi, in chaats, with  parathas for breakfast, and in so many other ways.

Clearly, we Indians love our yoghurt, but yoghurt actually doesn’t belong to our culture. There is a lot of mystery regarding its origins. Some people believe it is an ancient invention from Mesopotamia. A lot of evidence has also been discovered in an attempt to understand yoghurt’s history.  In ancient Indian records, yoghurt and honey are called “the food of the gods”.  Something like dahi cheeni, a very common dessert in our homes, has such a regal connotation to it! Persian traditions hold that “Abraham owed his fecundity and longevity to the regular ingestion of yoghurt”.

Preparing yoghurt can arguably be the easiest thing and the toughest thing to do at the same time. A particular bacterial culture is the focus of the entire process. All you need is some milk and a bacterial culture, also known as jaman. You need to boil the milk, then add the bacterial culture to the boiled milk, and allow the mixture to ferment at 45°C for four to 12 hours. 


sm Yoghurt lassi

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And yoghurt has the added benefit of being a great source of protein. Greek yoghurt, which is essentially hung yoghurt, is an ideal healthy snack to have, with 20 grams of protein in a 224 gram serving. This is also a good snack option for vegetarians.

Of course, yoghurt is not popular just in India. Different cultures around the world love it too! It’s time to experiment with the use of yoghurt in global cuisines… 

Yoghurt Parfait

Yoghurt parfait

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A parfait is a French dessert prepared by boiling cream, egg, sugar and syrup to create a custard-like puree. However, this French dessert is probably more popular as its American variation! Parfaits are usually served in tall clear glasses, but they can also be presented in short and stubby glass tumblers. The American yoghurt parfait is made by layering yoghurt with granola, nuts and/or fresh fruits. It has become a trend on social media and is a great breakfast option.


3 cups vanilla yoghurt

1 cup fresh or defrosted frozen strawberries 

500 ml fresh blueberries

1 cup granola


  1. Layer one-third cup vanilla yoghurt at the bottom of four tall glasses. 
  2. Combine the strawberries with fresh blueberries. 
  3. Alternate layers of fruit and granola with yoghurt until the glasses are filled to the top.
  4. Serve the parfaits immediately to ensure the granola stays crunchy.

Ash-e Doogh

Yoghurt Ash-e Doogh

Image: Shutterstock

Ash-e doogh is a Persian delicacy. This soup is prepared with yoghurt, herbs, vegetables, egg and several spices.  It is a common dish found in West Asian countries like Iran, Azerbaijan and Turkey. It is aromatic and full of spices, very similar to the flavours Indians love! 


1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, grated

2 tbsp grated fennel bulb 

½ cup brown basmati rice

½ cup yellow lentils 

4½ cups vegetable broth

1 large egg

4 cups full fat-plain yoghurt 

1 tbsp cornstarch

1½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp freshly-ground pepper

¾ cup chopped green onions (divided usage)

½ cup chopped parsley or cilantro

¼ cup chopped fennel fronds

2 cups cooked chickpeas

4 tbsp unsalted butter

3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped mint


  1. Heat the oil over a medium-high flame, and add the onion and fennel. Sauté until fragrant and softened, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and lentils, and continue to cook, stirring, for five minutes.
  2. Lower the flame to low-medium, and stir in the broth. Whisk the egg and stir it in, along with the yoghurt, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. The soup should be only lukewarm; slowly bring it to just less than the simmering point, at least 15 minutes. It should thicken a bit at this point. Cook the rice and lentils on this very low flame for about 30 minutes until done.
  3. Add half cup of the green onions, the parsley, fennel fronds and chickpeas, and stir until the chickpeas are thoroughly heated.
  4. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium flame. Add the garlic, the remaining green onions, and mint, and sauté until the garlic begins to toast a bit, about two minutes. Stir into the soup.
  5. Serve the soup with crusty bread.

Also see: Classic Summer Cocktails To Try

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