Masala Chaas ( Indian Spiced Buttermilk) is a refreshing Indian drink that is mildly spicy and tangy and usually savored after meals to improve digestion. Made using just 4 ingredients, it gets ready in just 5 minutes. Here is how to make it (gluten-free).
About This Recipe
Masala Chaas (Indian Spiced Buttermilk) is an Indian beverage made using yogurt (dahi), fresh herbs, and spices. It is basically yogurt diluted with water and then flavored using basic ingredients.
Masala chaas is made all over India but each region has its own variation of it. It also has different names in different parts of India.
The North Indian buttermilk variation is a simple mix of yogurt with roasted cumin powder and salt while it is spiced and tempered when made in South Indian style.
It is an ideal summer drink as it has a cooling effect on the body. It is also the perfect drink to serve after a heavy meal as it aids digestion.
This masala chaas recipe needs no special skills. You basically dump all the ingredients into a blender and blend until combined.
In this post, I am sharing the recipe to make masala buttermilk along with many variations that you can try at home.
Health Benefits Of Masala Chaas
This beverage comes with a lot of health benefits, some of which are:
- It aids digestion and is considered great to treat constipation. It also calms the stomach after a spicy meal.
- Cool down the body and helps it deal with the hot weather.
- Hydrates the body and energizes it.
- It is a great source of vitamins like vitamin B complex, proteins, and potassium.
- Reduces blood pressure.
- If you add pepper and ginger to the chaas, it also helps with acidity problems.
Yogurt – Plain yogurt (dahi, curd) makes the base of this drink.
Note – Traditionally chaas or buttermilk was made by churning the milk. The butter was separated which was used to make various recipes, and the leftover sour whey was made into masala chaach.
Spices – You will need salt, black pepper powder, and roasted cumin powder. Homemade Cumin Powder gives the best flavor to this drink. Make it using my recipe.
Herbs – Cilantro (fresh coriander leaves) and fresh mint leaves give a very refreshing feel to the buttermilk. Do not skip adding these herbs.
Replace regular salt with black salt for an earthy flavor. You can also add some chaat masala to your chaas recipe for a nice spicy tang.
How To Make Masala Chaas
Add 1 cup plain yogurt, 2 cups of chilled water, ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder, ½ teaspoon regular salt, ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder, 8-10 chopped mint leaves, and 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves) to a blender jar.
Note – You can also use a hand blender to blend the buttermilk ingredients.
Add 3-4 ice cubes and blend for 2-3 minutes until a froth is formed on the top. Adding ice cubes while blending helps in making the froth easily.
Pour the chaas into serving glasses, add a few ice cubes and serve chilled immediately or refrigerate it for up to 2 days.
Plain Chaas – This is just a combination of yogurt and water which is flavored with salt and cumin powder. This is how it is made in most North Indian homes.
Tadka Chaas – In this version, buttermilk is given a tempering of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chillies. This is very popular in South India.
Beetroot Chaas – Beetroot is peeled, chopped, pureed, and then mixed with buttermilk. It not only gives a beautiful color to it but also adds to its nutrition.
Boondi Chaas – Add some boondi (fried chickpea flour balls) to the chaas for a nice crunch. Just make sure you add the boondi right before serving otherwise it will get soft and mushy.
Cucumber Coriander – Puree the cucumber along with cilantro, green chilies, and ginger, and add to the buttermilk.
Pudina Chaas (Mint) – Puree the mint leaves with green chilies and ginger, and add to the buttermilk.
Smoked – This is one of my favorite way of making Chaas. You can make either plain or masala buttermilk and then smoke it with coal. It gives it a beautiful earthy flavor.
Ginger – You can grate the ginger and blend it with other ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
Masala Chaas is an everyday affair at my home and we drink it every day in the summers, as it helps cools down the body and also aids digestion.
As it is cold in nature, it is not advisable to drink it in winter very often, as it may cause a cold. But you can still serve it along with your meals from time to time.
Yes, you can drink buttermilk at night as it provides many health benefits. It aids digestion, promotes sleep, and also improves the quality of your sleep. But it’s good to avoid it if you have a cold.
Masala chaas keep good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. So make a big batch, refrigerate it and keep sipping on it.
You can mix a few spice powders together and make a chaas masala powder. This spice mix can be added to yogurt and water to make instant chaas.
Dry roast 2 tablespoon cumin seeds and 1 tablespoon black peppercorns until fragrant. Add them to a grinder along with 1 teaspoon kala namak (black salt) and ½ teaspoon mint powder and grind to make a fine powder. Now add ½ teaspoon of this powder to ¼ cup yogurt whisked with 1 cup chilled water and stir well. Your instant masala buttermilk is ready.
The perfect way to serve chaas is chilled, with a few ice cubes added to it. However, you can serve it at room temperature too.
Chass can be served any time of the day however, it is recommended to serve it post meals. I serve it with my Indian meals as it is light on the stomach and helps in digesting the heavy food.
You can store it in an earthen pot for a few hours to get that earthy flavor.
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Masala Chaas Recipe (Indian Spiced Buttermilk)
- 1 cup plain yogurt (dahi)
- 2 cups chilled water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 8-10 chopped mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
- 2-3 ice-cubes (plus more for serving)
- Add all the ingredients to a blender.
- Blend for 2-3 minutes until a frothy mixture is formed.
- Pour the chaas in serving glases, add a few ice cubes and serve chiled.