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Most people use the words curd and yogurt interchangeably.

Both are made by fermenting milk.

Is there a difference between the two, or are they the same?

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    Where do you get the idea that most people use curd and yoghurt interchangeably? May 11, 2012 at 9:24
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    Curd vs youghurt. This seems general reference. May 11, 2012 at 9:48
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    I don't know if this is true for other parts of India, but in Goa I happened to buy what to my taste was youghurt but it was labelled as "curd". Perhaps Serious had a similar experience.
    – Paola
    May 11, 2012 at 10:33
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    "Most people" means "me and my two friends". "Few people" means "everyone else".
    – GEdgar
    May 11, 2012 at 13:35
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    Living here in the US, the only "curd" I know is a nursery rhyme about "curds and whey" ... but that has to be explained to curious children constantly, since they have never heard these words elsewhere.
    – GEdgar
    May 11, 2012 at 13:37

10 Answers 10

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In India, curd is marketed as "yoghurt."

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curd

Curd and Yoghurt are indeed used interchangeably in many parts of (mostly urban) India and the region in general, though probably not in the UK, the US and some other parts of the world. (Thanks to @Peter Shor for the guidelines).

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  • 7
    Is this an answer? This doesn't look like an answer. It looks like a comment. May 11, 2012 at 12:13
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    This is an authentic answer from first-hand experience. :-)
    – Kris
    May 11, 2012 at 12:16
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    OK. I'm telling you it doesn't answer the question. May 11, 2012 at 12:17
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    This is an answer, it shouldn't be downvoted (although maybe it should be rewritten so it sounds like an answer). The answer is: they mean the same thing in India (or at least parts of India), but not in most of the world. May 11, 2012 at 12:53
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    "In India, the word curd always means plain yogurt ..." [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curd]
    – Kris
    May 11, 2012 at 14:18
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This answer seems to do a good job of explaining the difference. Yogurt and curd are similar in that bacteria are used to produce lactic acid to thicken the milk. They're different in that yogurt is made with pure culture for consistency.

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    +1 Quite a canonical answer. And a great reference. (Actually, the references cited in your reference).
    – Kris
    May 11, 2012 at 13:30
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They are totally different things. I am a Turk and both products are highly consumed in Türkiye. We call curd lor in Turkish, and it is very similar to cheese:

Turkish curd

On the other hand, yoghurt is a different product.

Turkish yoghurt

Both are made of milk.

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    Just wanted to add that curds can be soft (as depicted above) or hard.
    – J.R.
    May 11, 2012 at 10:25
  • This post was accidentally closed. We each may have to vote to reopen it. Please do. Thanks.
    – Kris
    May 14, 2012 at 19:10
  • Done. Now 1 more vote is needed... May 14, 2012 at 22:30
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Coming to the rescue of all those confused Indians. In India, yoghurt is 'dahi' . Most Indians are confused because in India,the commercial name of yoghurt is 'curd' at most places. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogurt.

'Meetha dahi' is flavoured(sweetened) yoghurt.

Outside India, what is recognised as curd is the preprocessed form of 'paneer',i.e., paneer after the excess water(or whey,as the rest of the world recognises it)is drained out and before the paneer hardens. This is called curd outside India.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curd - curd

For all those non-Indians, 'paneer' is a form of cottage cheese made in India. For the a detailed difference between yoghurt and curd, follow the links provided.

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In American English,

yoghurt (or yogurt)

is a milk-based food that is cultured with yoghurt-specific bacteria, is a soft and smooth, ranging from jello-like to almost pourable consistency served in a tub, usually eaten at breakfast time. It is usually mixed or served with fruit. There are hundred's of commercially available varieties.

curd

all by itself is rare in AmE except in technical circumstances. For the food 'cottage cheese', where milk has formed into 'curds', small lumps of congealed milk solids, by chemical processes (not bacterial ones). Cottage cheese is often labeled 'large curd' or 'small curd' (depending on the size of the gobbets of coagulated milk).

One would never mistake 'yoghurt' for 'curd' because yoghurt creamy smooth and sweet/sour, and 'curd' is a technical descriptor for a congealed bit of milk solids an sounds weird as singular. 'Curds' are what you might describe cottage cheese, and are lumpy bits, tasting cheesy.

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  • Nitpick: I believe the curds in cottage cheese are composed largely of protein (casein), not just fat. Note, for instance, that they have a very different texture from butter (which is mainly fat). May 23, 2013 at 13:05
  • @NateEldredge Good point. I edited and waffled.
    – Mitch
    May 23, 2013 at 13:30
  • There are two different kinds of protein - the slow acting casein in the curd and the fast acting in the whey (liquid) of cottage cheese. Sep 11, 2015 at 14:46
  • @Mitch So what is called "poutine" (cheese curds and gravy on fries) in Canada is actually what we would call "cottage cheese and gravy" in the U.S.? Oct 18, 2018 at 19:23
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    @squidlydeux I've only had poutine twice and what was the cheese thing in them was not cottage cheese (as I know it in the US). It may have been similar to cottage cheese, but only possibly because I really did not understand how to process it (cognitively). I processed it just fine as food. That said, I still don't know what poutine is. Chile-cheese fries? Mozzarella balls and brown sauce? I still don't know? Words fail the experience.
    – Mitch
    Oct 18, 2018 at 19:42
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Curd is a more generic word than yoghurt - and curd is not always made from milk. For example, you can also get lemon curd and bean curd. Curd can simply mean a liquid that has "curdled". Yoghurt on the other hand is more specific in definition.

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The question starts with two statements:

Most people use the words curd and yogurt interchangeably.

Both are made by fermenting milk.

Neither of these are necessarily true. The first answer refers to a wikipedia article which states the same thing and has a reference link back to this page. Which means the statement has no real reference (just an echo).

But onto the question:

Is there a difference between the two, or are they the same?

Yogurt/Yoghurt is indeed fermented with a specific pair of bacteria, but curd is not, rather it is coagulated/curdled milk. Many things can cause curdling (including adding citric acid) but yogurt fermentation is the action of very specific bacteria that transform lactose into lactase.

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In India curd and yogurt are the same: "curd" is called plain yogurt and if we add something to it, like fruit, it becomes fruit yogurt.

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In India, curd is often used when it is prepared domestically. When produced on a large scale and packed, it is termed yoghurt.

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Both Curd and Yoghurt are made from milk by fermentation. If it is plain it is curd and if more sugar added it is called yoghurt.

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