buttermilk, chaas

What is Chaas, Buttermilk ? Glossary | Uses, Benefits, Recipes Viewed 36855 times

Also Known As
Chaas, Moru, Chaanch, Taak, Tak

What is buttermilk, chaas?


Buttermilk is a cold and refreshing beverage on a hot Indian summer's day. It cools the body, nourishes the soul and drives away the heat. Thin, pale and more acidic than conventional milk, what makes this drink a cherished family favourite, is buttermilk's ethereal blend of rock salt, spices, masalas and ginger. The tartness or sour taste is due to the lactic acid present in milk. When cream is churned and butter produced, the after liquid formed is called buttermilk.

Diluting and whisking curds with salt and cumin/jeera powder and seasoning it with mustard seeds and curry leaves is delicious and extremely easy to make. Tetra packs are available with flavourings such as plain buttermilk, or spiced with the above mentioned seasonings.

How to select buttermilk, chaas
• If the tetrapak is puffed, chances are the product's expired.
• It's important to examine the label before purchase as it is a perishable product.
• If having it fresh at home ensure that the curd used is not very sour.

Culinary uses of buttermilk, chaas

There is the regular chaas recipe which is what is mainly made as an everyday drink. Then there is the Punjabi mint chaas recipe which has lots of pudina added to it.  Want it spicier, try the masala chaas recipe. For daibetics, weight loss and heart patients we strongly suggest you have the low fat chaas recipe made from low fat curds. 

Yes, we use curd in South Indian recipes. The famous quick rava idli recipe uses chaas to get that lovely sourness taste to the idli. 

More Kuzhambu, South Indian Doodhi Buttermilk Curry recipe is the South Indian counterpart to Kadhi. Here doodhi is cooked in a coconut paste with buttermilk.

Buttermilk rasam recipe is a ‘light’, moderately spicy rasam that can be safely consumed even by those with cold or fever for whom raw buttermilk is usually not allowed.


• Pancakes, dhoklas, cakes and dosas get a fantastic rise when buttermilk is included in the recipe, due its high alkaline content.
• Besan or chickpea flour, with spices and buttermilk make for a choice accompaniment when served with rice. Locally this is known as kadhi chawal.
• Making upma with buttermilk is as healthy as it is delicious.

How to store buttermilk, chaas
• Room temperature sours the buttermilk.
• Ideally the best place to store it is in the fridge.

Health Benefits of buttermilk, chaas
• Buttermilk is excellent for digestion.
• Buttermilk is lower in fat and calories than regular milk because the fat from buttermilk has already been removed to make butter.
• Easily digestible in comparison to whole milk, it also contains more lactic acid than skim milk. Thus, those with digestive problems are often advised to drink buttermilk rather than milk.
• High in protein, riboflavin, potassium, vitamin B12, protein and calcium.
• Your body absorbs and reacts better to buttermilk as it is easily digestible.
• It detoxifies the body and cleanses the intestines.
• It relieves people suffering from constipation.
• It is a healthy dink for people who suffer from piles and obesity.