Masala Chaas ( Indian Spiced Buttermilk) is a refreshing Indian drink that is mildly spicy and tangy and usually savored after meals to improve digestion.
The classic Chaas (Chaach/Mattha) also known as the Indian version of buttermilk is a refreshingly cooling summer drink made with creamy yogurt and seasonings. Called by various names across the country this spiced Indian buttermilk drink features lots of bold, delicious spices.
It is basically a spiced and healthy yogurt or curd-based drink that is typically served during the scorching summer heat to reduce the body temperature and to give a soothing effect.
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 is much easier to digest than regular curd. It is one of the best sources of calcium for those who are lactose intolerant.
This summer drink in known by various names all over India – mattha (Hindi), taak (Marathi), chaach (Hindi), majjige (Kannada), moru (Tamil & Malayalam), majjiga (Telugu)
The South Indian version has a few herbs and spices blended with the buttermilk and later mixed with a fried tempering mixture of mustard seeds, cumin, and curry leaves.
Ingredients for Masala Chaas
- 1 cup plain yogurt (dahi)
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 green chilli
- ½ inch ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
- 5 to 6 small ice cubes – optional
- 8-10 chopped mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
Instructions for Masala Chaas
- Firstly, in a blender take mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chilli, and ginger.
- also, add 1 cup of thick curd.
- Now add 1 teaspoon of roasted ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon of black pepper powder, and ½ teaspoon of black salt (or regular salt, as needed).
- also, add lemon juice. skip lemon if the curd is sour.
- For a colder spiced Indian buttermilk, add a few ice cubes.
- Blend for 2 to 3 minutes, until the ingredients are combined and the curd has been whisked well.
- You should see a nice frothy foamy layer on the top with a bit of butter fat separated from the blending.
- Pour into serving glasses, garnish with fresh cilantro or mint, and serve.
Is buttermilk the same as chaas?
Technically buttermilk is the by-product of making butter. But these days it comes from an industrial process more similar to yogurt-making than churning butter. In India, we use these two terms interchangeably, however, it is not correct technically.
Chaas vs lassi
Both these Indian drinks are made using yogurt but are very different from each other. Chaas is watery, whereas Lassi is thick in texture.
Chaas is a salted drink, whereas Lassi is mostly sweet and is flavored with saffron and cardamom powder.
Whichever chaas recipe you have made, pour the spiced Indian buttermilk into tall glasses. Garnish with mint leaves or coriander leaves and serve cold You can also store the buttermilk in the refrigerator and serve later. Just be sure to use it within one full day for the freshest taste.
You can store it in an earthen pot for a few hours to get that earthy flavor.
- First, adjust the amount of green chili if you do not like spiciness.
- If you don’t have ground-roasted cumin powder, make your own with cumin seeds. Toast the seeds for a few minutes in a hot pan until fragrant. Then grind it into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder.
- Fresh herbs are preferred but can be skipped if not available. If you have dried mint leaves, use them instead.
- also if using sour curd skip the addition of lemon juice.
- Make a large batch easily by doubling or tripling the chaas recipe.
- Instead of adding ice cubes in the blender, you can add ice cubes at the end to serve the spiced mattha.
- Feel free to add more water or ice cubes if you like a thinner chaas or mattha.
1. Fruit Infusion
For a sweet twist, blend in some ripe mango or strawberries to create a fruity Masala Chaas.
2. Chaas with Jeera
To intensify the cumin flavor, add a pinch of roasted cumin powder just before serving.
3. Spicy Chaas
For those who crave an extra kick, increase the quantity of green chilies or even add a dash of red chili powder.
1. What are the health benefits of Masala Chaas?
Masala Chaas offers several health benefits, including aiding digestion, cooling the body, providing probiotics for gut health, being nutrient-rich, and aiding in weight management.
2. Can I customize Masala Chaas?
Yes, you can customize Masala Chaas to suit your taste preferences. You can add fruits like mango or strawberries for a sweet twist, increase the cumin flavor, or make it spicier by adjusting the quantity of green chilies or adding red chili powder.
3. Is Masala Chaas suitable for all ages?
Masala Chaas is generally suitable for people of all ages, including children and the elderly. However, if you’re serving it to young children, you may want to adjust the spiciness to their liking.
4. When is the best time to enjoy Masala Chaas?
Masala Chaas is a versatile drink that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. It’s particularly refreshing during hot summer months and can be consumed as a snack or alongside a meal.
5. Are there any variations of Masala Chaas?
Yes, there are various ways to customize Masala Chaas. You can experiment with different spices, herbs, and fruits to create unique variations that suit your taste.