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Dairy Products

Dairy products are generally defined as foodstuffs produced from milk. They are usually high-energy-yielding food products. A production plant for such processing is called a dairy or a dairy factory. Raw milk for processing generally comes from cows, but occasionally from other mammals such as goats, sheep, water buffalo, yaks, or horses. Dairy products are commonly found in European, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine, whereas they are almost unknown in East Asian cuisine.

From burfi to kulfi, from kalakand to shrikhand, from gulabjamun to chumchum extends the delectable world of Indian milk delicacies.This article brings together information culled from diverse sources on age-old, milk-based specialties from different regions. Also included is information culled from diverse sources on the Indian milk-based sweets and other specialties from different regions of the country.

Since time immemorial, a significant proportion of milk has been used in India for preparing a wide variety of dairy delicacies — an unending array of sweets and other specialties from different regions of the country. In the process, the basic limitation of milk — its perishable nature — has been tastefully overcome. Its processing aims to extend the shelf-life of milk, while converting it into mouth-watering tit-bits. Thus, diverse methods to prepare as well as preserve milk products have been developed. An estimated 50 to 55 per cent of the milk produced in India is converted into a variety of traditional milk products, using processes such as coagulation (heat and/or acid), desiccation and fermentation. Over the millennia, these processes have largely remained unchanged, being in the hands of halwais, the traditional sweetmeat makers, who form the core of this cottage industry.


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