Lassi is one of the most popular drink in India and Punjabi Lassi is known for its rich, creamy taste. Lassi could be prepared either sweet or salted and I’m in love with both the versions. Chaas is the salted version. Masala chaas or Spiced buttermilk is a simple and effective drink for the summer seasons in India. It is also famous in other states with different names. To name a few, it is know as Neer mor in tamil, sambharam in malayalam, chaas in hindi and taak in marathi. It’s Cool, low fat and healthy refreshing summer drink ! Worth trying this summer. A great thirst quencher on a hot day !
I do prepare Sweet Lassi, once in a while to treat ourselves with the luscious thick creamy drink. In Punjab, Sweet Lassi is prepared very thick yoghurt and is topped with white butter or malai and is served in tall glasses. One glass of lassi is good enough to fill your tummy and can skip a meal easily. In summer season it is a treat definitely but one can prepare it any time round the year. You can prepare various fruit lassis like Mango Lassi or Strawberry Lassi during their respective seasons. Though it is lassi (sweet buttermilk preparation) that gained global recognition, I feel Masala chaas or Spiced buttermilk should also be given equal recognition !!
Masala chaas or Spiced buttermilk is traditionally made out of yogurt (Dahi) which is blended in a pot with an instrument called madhani (whipper). The butter which comes on top is filtered with a piece of cloth, and the remaining liquid which is left is known as chaas or buttermilk. You can improvise this buttermilk and add your own spices to make your favourite Chaas !!
This rustic, refreshing, chilled drink goes amazingly well with spicy or fatty foods. We usually make this whenever we have pizza…Crazy combination, Isn’t it?…But we really used to enjoy it and later on became a tradition at home!!….But off late we have become so busy in lives that we order pizza but no time to make Masala Chaas or Spiced Buttermilk!!……Sometimes life becomes so hectic that we start missing out petty things in life!! Moreover it feels like our lives have turned into a race towards a finish line we never reach. No matter how fast we go, how many comforts we forgo in order to quicken our pace, time seems to be never enough. In the persistent busyness of modern life, we have lost to strike a balance between work and rest. I’m sure most of you agree with me!!
Back to the recipe, after a long time I decided to make this today to go along with Tandoori Chicken with Mint Coriander Relish and Tandoori Paneer Tikka with Grilled Veggies. It goes very well with the spicy Tandoori platter, which is a part of the Blog Hop Theme– Regional Indian Cuisine-Punjabi Cuisine
Basically, chaas is a refreshing buttermilk drink which is subtly spiced with chat masala, cumin and black salt. My twist is to add green chillies, coriander, ginger and Curry leaves!!….This is my South Indian touch to accentuate the flavour of the Punjabi Chaas and trust me it tastes awesome!! The chat masala and black salt is what gives this drink its unique flavour in original version but my version has a riot of flavours. It is extremely simple to prepare and is one of the healthiest and cooling drinks to combat the summer heat.
We definitely can’t follow the traditional method to prepare Chaas, So I’m just using very low fat yoghurt instead of churning yoghurt to remove butter and use the buttermilk to make Masala chaas or Spiced buttermilk.
Off to the recipe!!
Step-by-Step process in making Masala Chaas or Spiced buttermilk:
There are different ways to prepare Masala Chaas or Spiced buttermilk:
- You can just blend everything together and strain.
- Serve chilled garnished with finely chopped coriander leaves or a sprinkle of chat masala. You can also serve unstrained if you wish to.
I follow the following method to prepare my version of Masala Chaas or Spiced buttermilk:
- Finely mince all the “wet Ingredients“.
- Blend low fat yoghurt along with water in a juicer mixer and transfer to a bowl.
- Add all the “Wet Ingredients” and the “Dry Ingredients” to the yoghurt blend in the bowl.
- Keep it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, strain and serve chilled with a sprinkle of chaat masala on top or with finely chopped coriander leaves as garnish. You can also serve unstrained as all the ingredients are finely chopped.
- This way all the flavours get into the buttermilk and Masala Chaas or Spiced buttermilk tastes really great and also remains pure white in colour.
- Wet Ingredients:
- ½ an inch Ginger minced
- 1 Green chilli minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh Coriander minced
- Few curry leaves minced
- Main Ingredients:
- 2 cups Fresh plain yoghurt low fat
- 1 -1½ Cups chilled Water
- Dry Ingredients:
- ½ teaspoon Cumin Powder Jeera powder
- ½ teaspoon Black salt
- Required Salt to season
- For garnish:
- ½ teaspoon finely minced coriander
- A pinch of Chaat masala for garnish
- You can just blend everything together. Serve chilled either strained or unstrained. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
- My method:
- Finely mince all the ingredients under the list “wet Ingredients“.
- Blend yoghurt along with water in a juicer mixer and transfer to a bowl.
- Add all the minced "Wet Ingredients" and the "Dry Ingredients" to the yoghurt blend in the bowl.
- Keep it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, strain and serve chilled with a sprinkle of chaat masala on top or with finely chopped coriander leaves as garnish. You can also serve it without straining since all the ingredients are finely minced.
- This way all the flavours from the spices and herbs get into the buttermilk and Masala Chaas or Spiced buttermilk tastes really great and also remains white in colour.
Mint, coriander, small piece of onion, chopped cucumber, Lime leaves, cumin a pinch can be added to flavour this.
To make the yogurt less sour, add in a little milk while making Chaas.
Buttermilk can also be substituted for the yogurt and water.(Like how I have prepared)
Try out this Masala Chaas or Spiced buttermilk after enjoying the Tandoori Platter with Tandoori Chicken with Mint Coriander Relish and Tandoori Paneer Tikka with Grilled Veggies. You can enjoy tandoori platter as it is or you can have with any Indian bread like Roti or Paratha. Finally indulge into the dessert, Rice Kheer to complete the Punjabi Tandoori Grill Party with a sneak peek into my Rose Lavender Garden !! Hope you enjoy the party!!
Stay Tuned for the Next Party (???) and more recipes from the Punjabi Cuisine!!
Happy Cooking 🙂