Friday, May 16, 2014

The price of Dahi

Yogurt or `Dahi’ is something every Indian eats. All 4 corners of India have Dahi though I am not sure if Dahi features in North East Indian cuisines. Dahi is so good that it is fed to the Gods.

Back in the day, at home Dahi was always made never bought. It was considered foolish or extravagant or it was a bad mother who did not make Dahi at home. Of course, if someone died then no Dahi was made either, but those are extenuating circumstances. Over time, with nuclear homes, with changing food habits and with both husband and wife working, many people do not eat nor make Dahi at home every day. When the need arises, you buy Dahi from the store. Dahi has become easily accessible, it is hygienically sold, it does have reduced fat and is altogether a perfectly acceptable solution/alternate to homemade Dahi.

I too do not either eat Dahi every day not do we have it in the fridge at all times. A few days ago I needed some Dahi so off I went to Modern Stores our very friendly neighbourhood grocer and I asked Bharatbhai for some Dahi.  He asked me if I wanted Nestle or Amul. I did not really care; both are to my mind indistinguishable, so I said either would do. Then Bharatbhai told me that Amul Dahi costs Rs 38/- and Nestle costs a staggering Rs. 65/-. Yes folks the difference in price between two indistinguishable products for the same quantity 400 grams is Rs. 27/-. Bharatbhai then said that Nestle had increased its price to Rs 55/- and then a week later in one fell swoop straight up to Rs. 65/-. I was truly amazed.

Nestle Dahi - Price is Rs 65/- the first number

Amul Dahi. Price is Rs 38/- the last number

And no, please do not get into the Nestle is a filthy Multinational while Amul is all milk and honey argument. Nestle Dahi is made by a company allegedly owned by Sharad Pawar and the Balwas Group – Dynamix Dairy.

Bottom line check, the price of everything before you buy.  


  1. I felt compelled to do some more research. My neighbourhood dudhwala sells dahi for Rs. 90/- a kilo at retail and transports it in the boot of a taxi with the containers having no lids. Anyway Mahananda sells for Rs. 42/- for 400 gms. There is another catch. What kind of milk is used to make the dahi. The Nestle brand you have shown is made from toned milk. Toned milk is made by adding skimmed milk powder and water to whole milk to reduce the fat content. The Mahananda one is made from standardized homogenized milk. So with dahi from toned milk, you are paying a lot of money for a lot of water.

  2. Hi Anand,

    On the whole I agree with you.

    There is a point to be made about the health aspects of Dahi. Unhealthy could mean loads of calories, fat etc so to that extent Doodhwallas dahi is out. Similarly, as you point out, transportation, uncovered, with dilution with bad water etc are also unhealthy. Imagine feeding that doodhwalla dahi to a child. I am not as worried about the fat cholestrol etc as I am with lack of hygene in whatever form that is.

    I also agree that the Amul/Nestle dahi is made with toned milk so you are paying for a lot of expensive water. I am well aware of that.

    My points are:

    1. Check prices nonetheless.

    2. Choose your hygene. I have no problem with doodhwallas dahi if I have to cook it say in a Kadhi or in Mughalai food, but I would never ever eat it raw.

    3. I would by the same token only eat Amul/Nestle etc [packaged dahi] raw and never cook with it as it has just too much water are in artificially thickened.

    4. Have you ever thought about expensive water? Think buying chicken and mutton. It is a lot of very expensive water.