Tangy, flavorful and incredibly healthy, this spiced Indian buttermilk aka Masala Chaas recipe is one you absolutely need to try out!
Plain yogurt comes together with chilled water and some spices like jeera, hing and pudina to create a drink that doesn’t just aid in digestion, but also cools you down on a hot summer day.
This refreshing and frothy Indian summer drink pairs wonderfully with all of your favorite Indian meals, and is super easy to put together too!
Also known as Pudina Chaas, this spiced buttermilk recipe is an absolute staple in most Indian households.
It's light, refreshing and takes just a handful of ingredients and a few minutes of kitchen time to put together.
- What's So Great About the Recipe?
- Ingredients For the Masala Chaas Recipe
- How to Make Masala Chaas
- 💭Top Tip
- How to Store Leftover Masala Chaas
- Tips & Tricks to Nail the Spiced Indian Buttermilk Recipe
- Serving Ideas & Suggestions
- Related Recipes
- Spiced Indian Buttermilk
- Food Safety
What's So Great About the Recipe?
You'll find that most authentic Indian recipes are created keeping in mind the nutritional and health aspect.
This Masala Chaas recipe is no different- it uses curd (yogurt) and a blend of spices and seasonings, which team up together to balance the digestive system and give it a good dose of healthy probiotics.
Yogurt also has a cooling effect on the body, which makes this Indian beverage a great refreshment for summers. In fact, you can have it any time of the day!
The ginger and the herbs help soothe the digestive tract and combat bloating and inflammation.
Ingredients For the Masala Chaas Recipe
You'll find several different versions of the classic spiced Indian buttermilk, and believe me when I say I've tried almost every version.
However, this simple recipe and mix of ingredients is what I keep coming back to every single time.
Yogurt: You’ll need to start off with a few cups of chilled yogurt to make this refreshing Indian yogurt drink.
Ginger: Fresh ginger packs in powerful anti-inflammatory and digestive properties, making it one of the main ingredients for Masala Chaas drink.
Cumin: Just a teaspoon roasted cumin powder, when added in, can elevate this Masala Chaas and take it to the next level with its earthy flavor. It’s also known as Bhuna Jeera powder.
Black pepper: I used freshly ground black pepper to this buttermilk drink. Just about ½ a teaspoon should be fine.
Coriander: To add some freshness to this Indian Chaas, I added some chopped coriander leaves.
Mint: You’ll also need some chopped mint leaves to take the flavors of this healthy Masala Chaas to the next level.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Masala Chaas
Combine all the ingredients except the yogurt in a food processor or a blender and turn it into a coarse paste.
Add this to the whisked yogurt in a large jug, and adjust the consistency with cold water.
Pour into individual serving glasses and top with ice cubes and a sprinkle of cumin powder and/or chopped coriander leaves.
Hint: It is a great idea to start off by using cold and refrigerated yogurt. If you're using fresh, room temperature yogurt, you can add a couple of ice cubes into the drink towards the end, right before you serve.
If you don't have all the ingredients the recipe calls for, you can try using some of these substitutions.
- If you don't have coriander leaves, simply skip adding them and let the mint leaves shine.
- If you don't have fresh mint leaves, use dried mint leaves. This one's an absolute essential if you want your spiced buttermilk to have a minty flavor.
- To make Masala Chaas more flavorful, add a dash of chaat masala into it while you churn it.
Based on what you have at hand and your taste preferences, you can bring in a few variations to this spiced Indian buttermilk.
- If you don't mind a bit of heat, you can also add a green chilli into the mixture while grinding it.
- If you have a couple extra minutes, you can also make a simple tempering of curry leaves, mustard seeds and a pinch of asafoetida in some oil and use it to top over the buttermilk.
- Want to enjoy a smoky and earthy taste in your Chaas? Heat a piece of coal until it is red hot, transfer it into a small metal bowl and carefully place it on your buttermilk. Drop a spoonful of ghee or oil onto it and close the bowl or jug with a lid to allow the buttermilk to absorb all the smoky flavors.
It is best to use fresh or a day old yogurt to craft this Masala Chaas. That way, you'll get to enjoy the perfect balance of creaminess and tanginess.
How to Store Leftover Masala Chaas
You can store the buttermilk in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. If you have leftovers, use an airtight food safe container to store them.
Remember that this drink tastes best when it is made and served fresh.
That said, you can prepare the Chaas Masala separately and store it for weeks. All you need to do is combine all the spices and ingredients (except the yogurt) and store it in an airtight container.
Then, when you want to enjoy it, all you need to do is whisk some yogurt and make sure all the powders and other ingredients added to the whisked yogurt are well combined.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Spiced Indian Buttermilk Recipe
- Depending on your personal preference, you can keep the spiced Indian buttermilk thick or watery.
- If you don't have the roasted cumin powder that the recipe calls for, you can easily make it on your own. Simply heat cumin seeds in a pan over medium heat until they turn slightly fragrant. Allow them to cool down and grind them into a coarse powder.
- You can also choose to substitute the regular salt with black salt for some added flavor. If you don't have either of these, you can use pink Himalayan salt as an alternative.
- You can also use your blender to make the Chaas if you want to.
- If the Masala Chaas is thinner than you would like, you can add some more thick yogurt into it and whisk it nicely.
- Not a fan of all the spice powders and other ingredients? You can also enjoy some plain Chaas if you want to. Just don’t forget to garnish it with some chopped mint or coriander leaves right before serving the Chaas.
Serving Ideas & Suggestions
This refreshing Masala Chass made with spicy Indian ingredients can be enjoyed as a mid-day drink or teamed up with your Indian curries and rice dishes.
I personally love pairing it with my Indian meat curries that have a robust, spicy flavor.
Yes, you can use low fat yogurt to make the Indian buttermilk. It will not enjoy the same creamy flavor and taste as the one made with the full fat version, but you'll still be able to reap all the nutritional benefits.
Greek yogurt is another great choice if you're looking to make a healthier, protein rich version of the buttermilk. Just remember to use an unflavored, unsweetened version.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Spiced Indian Buttermilk
- 16 ounces full fat yogurt
- 1 inch ginger
- ¼ cup mint leaves fresh
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves fresh
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- salt to taste
- cold water as needed
- 5-7 ice cubes optional
- Combine all the ingredients except the yogurt in a food processor or a blender and turn it into a coarse paste.
- Add this to the whisked yogurt in a large jug, and adjust the consistency with cold water.
- Pour into individual serving glasses and top with ice cubes and a sprinkle of cumin powder and/or chopped coriander leaves.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove