18 November 2011

Setting dahi in Fossil stone: an experiment

I was stunned by claims that its possible to set dahi (curd) in a bowl made of Fossil stone from Jaisalmer without adding any starter culture. Ask any local guide or local vendors and they will vouch for this amazing property but it had instantly inspired doubt instead of awe!

Fossil stone a.k.a Habur limestone can be seen as part of the flooring in the Jain Temples @ the Golden Fort at Jaisalmer. Its a lovely reddish brown with interesting dark patterns on it. Apparently the only other site its found is @ Fatehpur Sikri.

Naturally I purchased a tiny glass (was left poorer by Rs 300 for it) just to test this fantastic property.. Some vendors sold small pieces of stone that they claimed when kept in plain milk would convert it to dahi...If dahi is not your forte then simply drink water stored in this glass as it is said to impart medicinal properties.

Once back home, the first thing I did was to pour a small quantity of milk in this glass. This was at about 3PM. It was pretty cool in Pune hence I did not observe any change for about 8 hours. I decided to wait overnight not really knowing what to expect. I gave it the usual treatment I administer to set dahi in winter (warm surroundings).

Come morning, I was absolutely stunned to see that the milk had thickened and there was a bit of what looked like whey on the sides. On dipping a spoon I could pick up firmly set milk which had the texture and colour of regular dahi. The taste however was neither sour nor sweet and had a peculiar 'earthy' flavour. On leaving it at room temperature for more time, the 'dahi' did not turn sour.


Have you tried to set dahi in a fossil stone (Habur limestone) container? What happened? Do tell us!

Our research showed that this is the Habur limestone. Here are some links to published research by Indian scientists on claims to its property of curdling milk.
http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:dTiE5qLTCvQJ:www.ias.ac.in/currsci/sep102005/729.pdf+jaisalmer+fossil+stone+curd&hl=en&gl=in&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjpXT6XwwLEtjqeKNSnhtq3jEEGRSVJUaPCKH4kvfGgOxGbBP822FllVCKd1JJ3Zs1KbUUUEV3hrk9hPvokSGW2t_LHB76t72VfkI-2Dwo8SMW0V3WJJmjMSAvd_GYy6KKDg1Lr&sig=AHIEtbQL7k14rvA7Daw7-Vg50P33qfxMrw


http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:17VQoyridn8J:www.ias.ac.in/currsci/nov252005/1647.pdf+jaisalmer+fossil+stone+curd&hl=en&gl=in&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjSP7UylYPAKlrbRAT5FlSopSuEhedoOvvkdQRS6OgD_7n9JpijoqeilBe4hjfmNYMBn-RZf969PRAfOvtTuFzrGgJkY8z5y5tSNGPfbxJl7qLXZ0z9rNE9-XBswZzgqZv52qBZ&sig=AHIEtbT9d-dgdjpsGMiCuldDqBmw7wlEcw


I am not a scientist so I cant say it these are million year old bacteria at work! However my experiment did yield part of the claimed result.
Amazing aint' it?
Cheers!

8 comments:

Vibha Jadwani said...

I had tried same with pyramid stone. But the curd was smelling very bad and was not eatable. So i had kept that stone in my home's Showcase.

Anonymous said...

same here. its selling tactics Jaisalmer locals are using to increase their income. Bowl lying in my showcase as its losing its color even after putting milk in it (Even after many wash).

Anonymous said...

I have used the stone to make curd. It is really true. It makes curd.

G Roy said...

Its not correct to blame the stone. I myself picked up one cone at a local shop in Jaisalmer in December, 2016, For the last 15 days the curd obtained is fanstastic in taste and shape. I does not smell at all, does not have water and tastes good. I plan to pick up some more through my friends who are also eager and plan to visit shortly.

Anonymous said...

WE BOUGHT A SANDSTONE BOWL TO SET THE YOGURT. WE WERE TOLD THAT WE HAVE TO USE A STARTER AND THAT THE DAHI WILL SET WITHOUT ANY WHEY. WELL THE DAHI DID SET, BUT WITH THE USUAL AMOUNT OF WHEY WHICH WE GET EVEN WHEN WE SET IT IN A REGULAR GLASS CONTAINER.

Archana said...

Thank you for your thoughts G Roy.

Archana said...

Thanks all! :)

Unknown said...

I just read this somewhere... So limestones have a lot of pores compared to other stones and since the place where this stone is found that is habur in jaisalmer was sparsely populated, they generally faced problems to make curd. So they used to store curd in the habur stone made vessels or dropped a chunk of the stone in curd and once the curd was stored in the pores of the limestone,a thin lining of curd making bacteria always remained in these pores even after the curd initially filled into the container was removed.So they either dipped the limestone in the milk the next day or stored milk in the container to make curd.The milk entering the tiny pores would react with the curd forming bacteria present from the previous introduction of curd thus forming curd. And hence the myth still prevails just to sell these carved limestones and make a living .😀