Buttermilk or Chaas as it is called in India, is different from what is termed as buttermilk in the west. While in India we consume the buttermilk as a beverage, abroad it is treated more as a baking ingredient. So what is the difference between the two and how to make buttermilk from scratch? If you know the right buttermilk recipe, there is no better drink like a glassful of it in summers. Yes! Buttermilk is cool, refreshing, and healthy for the digestive system and is also loaded with calcium and minerals.
Why is buttermilk better than curd?Buttermilk or Chaas is made with curd, water and spices. But it is considered to be better than curd because with all the benefits that curd offers, it is without the fat content of the latter which makes it even a better drink for weight watchers, diabetics and heart patients. It is a good source of Vitamin B complex, potassium and protein and much easier to digest than regular curd. It is one of the bet sources of calcium for those who are lactose intolerant.
How to make buttermilk at home
There are several ways of making buttermilk. One, which is widely popular in the west and is hugely employed in baking is where vinegar or lemon juice is added to milk, which is allowed to rest till it curdles and this is used in baking as it makes the baked goods lighter, besides giving them a creaminess.
In India the traditional recipe for making buttermilk is where the curd is churned till the butter separates and the remaining liquid sans the fat content is the buttermilk. This is how buttermilk is still prepared in villages. A tadka of spices is added to the buttermilk thus procured and the drink also called chaas or mattha is enjoyed with food.
But the most common way of preparing buttermilk is by adding water to curd and blending the two to make a thin, homogeneous mixture. The spices are then added to it, to get the buttermilk that we normally consume. In Bihar, black salt and roasted cumin is added to this diluted curd which is called jirwani. Here’s an easy buttermilk recipe that never fails:
2 cups curd
2 cups water
Black salt to taste
Roasted cumin powder-2 tsp
1 chopped green chili (optional)
2 tsp finely chopped fresh coriander and mint leaves
Take a deep pan vessel and add curd and water. Blend well with a hand blender so that curd and water make a homogeneous mixture. You can also use a manual wire whisker. But ensure that curd and water are well blended or the granules of curd will stand out, giving it an awful texture.
Now add rest of the spices and mix well. You can slip adding green chillies if you are looking at a drink to soothe your stomach. You may also add red chilli powder and give a tadka of mustard seeds and curry leaves.