sour curds and other recipe questions

topic posted Fri, August 7, 2009 - 7:04 AM by 
I would like to try a recipe (Kara Bhath), and it calls for sour curds. Is that like cottage cheese? or is it like the making of paneer before it's strained? I have access to non-homogenized milk, so it should be easy to make, yes?

The recipe also calls for french beans...I'm assuming those are green beans, right?

Also, I would like to make a coconut chutney to go with it and the recipe calls for jeera. What is jeera? I don't think I'm going to be able to get down to the India Cash and Carry before this weekend....can some other spice be substituted?

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