Taak also called Mattha is the Maharashtrian version of buttermilk which is made using yogurt (curd), herbs, and spices. It is a refreshing Indian summer drink that comes together in just 5 minutes using very basic ingredients.
About This Recipe
Taak or Mattha is nothing but spiced buttermilk made in Maharashtrian style. It has always been a must in my summer meals due to its refreshing flavor and amazing cooling properties. It is spicy, tangy, salty, and full of flavors.
I am very fond of buttermilk (masala chaas) since my childhood. We always had a pitcher of buttermilk sitting in the fridge throughout the summers. It was mildly spiced with cumin and mint powder.
When I moved to Pune, I came across this new variation of buttermilk, Taak, which was subtly flavored with green chilies, ginger, and a tempering of cumin seeds and curry leaves (phodnichi mattha). It changed my buttermilk game instantly!
My house help told me that it was traditionally prepared by churning malai (milk fat) with a wooden buttermilk churner. The butter was separated which was used for various recipes, and the leftover sour whey which is called Matha was used to make spiced taak.
Since churned whey is not easily available these days, I make taak at home using yogurt, which is a super-easy way of preparing Maharashtrian buttermilk. And I assure you this one will refresh you up instantly, keep you hydrated and also give you relief from the scorching heat.
Health Benefits Of Taak
Buttermilk is great for your stomach as it aids digestion, fights acidity, and calm the stomach after a heavy meal.
It cools down the body and gives instant relief from the scorching heat.
Taak is great for hydration too! It is also said that it helps in reducing blood pressure and also brings a drop in cholesterol levels.
Yogurt – You can either use homemade plain yogurt (curd) or buy a tub.
Water – If you plan to serve the taak immediately, use chilled water. If refrigerating it and serving later, regular water also works.
Salt – Season the Taak with regular white salt or black salt.
Cilantro – Cilantro (coriander) adds a refreshing flavor and taste to this drink.
Ginger and Green Chili Peppers – Fresh ginger along with green chili peppers adds that much-needed heat and spicy flavor to this Maharashtrian buttermilk. Adjust the amount as per your liking.
Cumin Powder – For the best flavor, make cumin powder at home using my simple recipe.
You can also add in a little dry mint powder, as it adds a beautiful flavor.
Tempering Ingredients – Tempered taak is called Masala Phodnichi (tempered) Taak. You will need vegetable oil, cumin seeds and curry leaves to temper the taak.
How To Make Taak
Transfer 1 cup plain yogurt and 2 cups of chilled water to a large bowl. Whisk well using a wire whisk.
Note – I like little pieces of yogurt coming into my mouth and so I don’t whisk yogurt before adding water to it. Having said that, if you prefer smooth buttermilk, then whisk the yogurt until smooth and then mix it with water.
Note – Some local dairies in India sell plain taak. If you have access to it, then use it in place of yogurt and water and add the remaining ingredients to it to make masala taak.
Add salt to taste, 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro, ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder, ½ teaspoon grated ginger, and ½ teaspoon chopped green chili peppers to the bowl and mix well. Set aside.
Some people don’t like cilantro, ginger, etc coming in their mouth while sipping the buttermilk. In that case, you can strain it using a fine-mesh strainer after refrigerating it for 1-2 hours, so that all their flavors steep well in the buttermilk.
You can also make a paste of cilantro, ginger, and green chili peppers in a blender and add it to the yogurt and water mixture.
To temper the taak, heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot, add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and 5-6 chopped curry leaves and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.
Pour the tempering over the buttermilk and mix well.
Chill the buttermilk for a few hours before serving. You can refrigerate it for up to 2 days. Do not freeze.
You can serve Mattha along with your everyday meals or just enjoy it as a snack whenever the hunger strikes or you feel dehydrated and thirsty. Since it aids digestion, it is a great drink to serve after a heavy meal.
It can be served in a glass or in a vaati (bowl).
I like to serve it with Maharashtrian dishes such as Phodnichi Poli, which is a leftover roti poha or masala bhat. This simple combination is a must-try.
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- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 cups chilled water
- salt (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (coriander)
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped green chili peppers
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 5-6 curry leaves (chopped)
- Whisk yogurt and chilled water in a large bowl.
- Stir in salt, cilantro, cumin powder, ginger, and green chili peppers. Set aside.
- Heat vegetable oil for tempering in a small skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and curry leaves and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.
- Pour the tempering over the yogurt mixture and stir well.
- Chill for a few hours before serving. You can strain it just before serving if you don’t like cilantro and chili coming into your mouth.