Rarely will you find an Indian household that does not prepare homemade buttermilk. There's too much history there to leave it be. Buttermilk is not how it sounds. It has nothing to do with butter. Not the processed one anyway. This butter is the residual kind―white in color, that comes about after the yogurt is churned. What remains in the water form is buttermilk. Buttermilk is a really refreshing, really healthy drink, that if prepared well, could just be one of the best drinks in the world. It is much healthier in fact when compared to other beverages.
The best thing about this buttermilk is that it can be molded to suit your palette and tastes. Have it plain or any other way. It can be had in the sweetened, salted, or spicy way, and what's more―all these varieties can be made at home.
If you want to do this right from scratch, you'll need to know how to make yogurt. It's quite simple. Boil the amount of milk that you want to convert into yogurt. After the milk has boiled, cool it till it is almost cold but still a fraction warm (this is the best time to add the yogurt for a thick consistency). Then according to the time of the year, add yogurt to it. If it is summer, add about 1-1½ tsp. of yogurt and if winter then ¼ - ½ tsp. is enough. Now, stir the yogurt into the milk and let it set for about 8 - 10 hours. Depending on the time of the year, the yogurt will either set fast (summer, 4-5 hours) or will take a little time (winter 8-10 hours). Severe winters might make yogurt setting next to impossible, so maybe simply purchasing it would be better. Another important thing to remember is that the yogurt will set only at room temperature, so do not place the vessel in the fridge.
- Take a jar of plain yogurt and using a spoon, scoop put some into a long vessel.
- Next, add some water to it according to the consistency you prefer (some people like it thick, others more watery).
- Now, use a processor and run it through the yogurt and water (like the one you would use to squash tomatoes).
- Or you could go to an Indian store and ask them for the stick which is used to make homemade buttermilk. This stick is made of wood or steel. It has circular spikes in the end and a long handle that has to be kept between your palms and turned from side to side―like you would to rub your palms to generate some heat.
- Continue doing this till you see that the yogurt and water have become one whole.
- Follow the instructions from the above recipe to make plain buttermilk.
- Next, add a spoonful of sugar to it You can add more if you are inclined to having it sweeter..
- Some people call this Lassi which is another popular by-product of this buttermilk.
- Prepare plain buttermilk and add salt to it.
- Now, add crushed cumin seeds, a pinch of asafoetida, and finely cut coriander leaves (optional).
- Take it through a food processor to mix well and serve.