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Buffalo curd (Sinhala: මී කිරි meekiri, Hindi dahi, Bengali দই doi) is a traditional type of yogurt prepared from buffalo milk. It is popular throughout south Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc. Buffalo milk is traditionally better than cow milk due to its higher fat content making a thicker yogurt mass. Mostly clay pots are used as packaging material for Buffalo curd. The naming curd is traditionally used in the Indian subcontinent to refer to yogurt, while another word, paneer, is used to denote curd in the British English word sense.
Buffalo curd is obtained by bacterial fermentation of buffalo milk. In this process lactose in buffalo milk is converted into lactic acid using several micro-organisms. The species involved in the fermentation include Lactococcus lactis, Streptococcus diacetylactis, Streptococcus cremoris, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.
Buffalo curd has a higher nutritional value of protein, fat, lactose, minerals and vitamins. It should have 7.5% of milk fat, 8.5% of milk solids and 4.5% of Milk acid (lactic acid). Quality of the curd totally depends on the starter culture. Fermentation also develops the characteristic flavor and colour of the product.
Buffalo curd can be made in both traditional and industrial forms. Traditionally buffalo milk is filtered and boiled, the scum is removed and it is cooled to room temperature. A few spoonfuls of a previous batch of curd are added and it is then mixed well and poured into clay pots. These are sealed by wrapping a piece of paper over the pot and allowing it to stand for 12 hours.
Bangladesh (Bhola Island)
Bhola Island is known for its Buffalo curd (doi) which is unique in Bangladesh, as most curds are made from cattle milk. Raw buffalo milk is used to make the curd. The process that has been used has remained unchanged. It is made in traditional clay pots and the process takes 18 hours. The common method of making curd in Bangladesh is using a sample of the old curd. Buffalo milk which has a higher fat content than cow milk congeals on its own. To help the process only raw milk is used. It is popular in the Island and is served in special occasions such as weddings, Pooja and other religious and cultural occasions.
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