There are numerous varieties of plant-based curds for us to enjoy! While the most common variants of dairy-free curds call for soy, peanuts, or cashews, it is very much possible to make a soy-free, nut-free, peanut-free and yet absolutely delicious vegan curd!
It was my friend Preeti Kapasi who first introduced me to the idea of melon seed & rice curd. Check out her original recipe here on her blog Vegan Foodsteps—one that has both the vegans and the non-vegans going gaga! It’s truly versatile and can be used in a number of sweet and savory dishes. A certified crowd-pleaser!
This is my version which I am publishing with her consent 🙂
Melon Seed & Rice Curd
Preparation time: 15 minutes + soaking time + setting time
Yields around 750ml curd
- 1 cup melon seeds (maghaz), soaked for 4-5 hours & drained
- 1 cup rice (any kind), soaked for 4-5 hours & drained
- 6 cups water (900 ml)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, but recommended)
- 2-3 tablespoons starter curd/starter liquid
- Grind the soaked melon seeds with one cup water on the mixer’s highest setting until smooth and creamy. Add two more cups of water and blend well. Keep aside.
- Grind the soaked rice with one cup water on the mixer’s highest setting for a couple of minutes. Add two more cups of water and grind again. Strain this mixture through a wet porous cloth to get raw rice milk.
- Combine the melon seed milk + rice milk in a deep-bottomed kadhai/saucepan. Add sugar, if using. Cook on low-medium heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently until the mixture becomes thick and bubbly (like custard of pouring consistency).
- Let the mixture cool down for several minutes. Once it is just slightly warm—you should be able to dip a finger comfortably—mix in the starter curd/ starter liquid and stir well.
- Keep aside to culture for as long as you would for dairy curd according to the climatic conditions in your region. Setting time would vary from 5-7 hours in summer to 10-12 hours in winter.
The prepared curd will look like well-beaten dairy curd and will have a mildly sweetish taste with a hint of tang. Yumm!