Chaas Recipe (Indian Spiced Buttermilk)

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The classic Chaas (Chaach/Mattha) also known as the Indian version of buttermilk is a refreshingly cooling summer drink made with creamy yogurt and seasonings. Here you’ll find step-by-step instructions with photos for making two chaas recipes – Masala Chaas and Pudina Chaas. Called by various names across the country this spiced Indian buttermilk drink features lots of bold, delicious spices.

small three glasses filled with chaas placed on a wooden tray and a white linen

What is Chaas

Traditional Indian chaas is made by blending cold, rich yogurt with a bit of water and nearly any spices you like. Today I’m sharing with you two recipes for making chaas. The buttermilk is made by churning or blending yogurt and water with some spices and/or herbs. A bit of butter comes on the surface while churning.

If you prefer you can remove the butter fat aside and only serve the buttermilk or serve chaas with the butter fat. We love to have chaas with that bit of butterfat. To make chaas, you can use a blender, an immersion blender, a wired whisk or the traditional Indian handheld wooden churner (called madani).

Not only salty chaas is had during summers but also as a part of meals and sometimes before or after meals. There are again many ways of making it.

Variations

We also drink the buttermilk separated from blending/churning cultured cream or yogurt while making homemade butter – which is traditionally known as buttermilk all over the world. But here in India, we call both these drinks chaas or buttermilk – whether made from blending yogurt or derived from cream.

This summer drink in known by various names all over India – mattha (Hindi), taak (Marathi), chaach (Hindi), majjige (Kannada), moru (Tamil & Malayalam), majjiga (Telugu).

The North Indian versions of chaas are very simple and the ingredients are churned or blitzed in a blender.

The South Indian version has a few herbs and spices blended with the buttermilk and later mixed with a fried tempering mixture of mustard seeds, cumin and curry leaves.

If you are interested you can look at this South Indian recipe of Neer Mor which is made differently than the chaach recipes I have shared here.

Chaas is also street food and in many Indian cities you will find vendors selling this spiced buttermilk, especially in the hot summers. Sometimes this mattha drink is also smoked with charcoal fumes which gives it an earthy smoky flavor.

small three glasses filled with chaas placed on a wooden tray next to a white linen

1. Masala Chaas

This first version is your classic, simple basic recipe for making masala chaas with just a hint of black salt, a few mint leaves and cumin, along with ideas to prepare your favorite spicy version and tips for adding your preferred seasonings.

Some variations of authentic spiced Masala Chaas, also include herbs like coriander (cilantro) leaves. Plus, chopped green chiles, ginger or black pepper for an extra bit of bite.

Some of these ingredients are very flavorful and they happen to be great for your gut health, too! The yogurt, black salt, ginger, cumin, and coriander leaves are all known to aid in digestion and help boost energy.

I have used a blender to make masala chaach. Feel free to customize the spices and herbs according to your likings.

2. Pudina Chaas

After you make this spiced classic Indian buttermilk version, be sure to try my Pudina chaas recipe. It is another classic chaach that’s flavored with mint leaves for a tasty summer treat!

Both buttermilk and mint (pudina) are cooling and thus their combination would double the cooling properties in this traditional drink. Mint has many health benefits and is also excellent as a detox ingredient.

Seasonings, Spices and Herbs

For any chaas or chaach variation that you make and that includes the “plain” Indian buttermilk, black salt – known as kala namak is often added. This special ingredient is used in many summer coolers.

It is an intrinsic part of Shikanjvi (Indian lemonade), another popular North Indian summer coolant. (You can also add black salt in fruit juices like apple pomegranate juice, black grapes juice etc, for a bit of sulfur-like saltiness that really enhances the sweetness of the fruit.)

Along with the black salt, ground cumin is a common addition to most chaas recipes. The combination of salt and cumin adds a terrifically earthy and vibrant zing to the buttermilk drink. Cumin also helps in digestion.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Masala Chaas

1. To a large blender add 1.5 cups of chilled or cold curd (yogurt), 1 teaspoon of roasted ground cumin, 1 tablespoon of chopped mint leaves or coriander leaves (cilantro), and ½ teaspoon of black salt (or regular salt, as needed).

For a spicy version of masala chaas, add ½ teaspoon of fresh grated ginger and ½ teaspoon of chopped green chillies OR ¼ teaspoon of black pepper.

curd, mint sprigs, black salt, cumin powder in a blender

2. Next add 1 cup of cold or room temperature water. For a colder spiced Indian buttermilk, add a few ice cubes.

water in the blender

3. Blend for 2 to 3 minutes, until the ingredients are combined and the curd has been whisked well. You should see a nice frothy foamy layer on the top with a bit of butter fat separated from the blending.

blended chaas ready to be served
Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Pudina Chaas

  1. Chop 10 to 15 mint leaves (pudina). Measure and you should get about 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves. If fresh leaves are unavailable, add 1 to 2 teaspoon dried mint leaves.
  2. In a blender take 1 cup curd (cold or chilled), 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder, salt (black salt or edible rock salt or regular salt) according to taste, ⅔ cup water and the chopped mint leaves.
  3. Blend for a few minutes until smooth and you see some butter fat layer on the buttermilk.
  4. Pour pudina chaach in glasses. If you like add a few ice cubes. You can refrigerate the chaach for a few hours to serve later

Serving Suggestions

Whichever chaas recipe you have made, pour the spiced Indian buttermilk into tall glasses. Garnish with mint leaves or coriander leaves and serve cold.

You can also store the buttermilk in the refrigerator and serve later. Just be sure to use within one full day for the freshest taste.

overheat shot of small three glasses filled with masala chaas placed on a wooden tray next to a white linen

Expert Tips

  • Seasoning Variations: You can skip the black salt, if you don’t have it. Simply use regular salt instead. If you don’t have ground roasted cumin powder, make your own with cumin seeds. Toast the seeds for a few minutes in a hot pan until fragrant. Then grind into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle or in a spice-grinder. Other spices and herbs which we add in spiced chaas or mattha are asafoetida (hing), ground fennel powder, ginger juice, and curry leaves.
  • Herbs: Fresh herbs are preferred, but can be skipped if not available. If you have dried mint leaves, use them instead. You’ll need about 1 teaspoon of dried leaves to replace 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint in both the recipes.
  • Garnishing: I like to save a few mint or coriander leaves to add to the glass of freshly prepared spiced mattha or Indian buttermilk.
  • Scaling: Make a large batch easily by doubling or tripling the chaas recipe.
  • Curd (Yogurt): Make sure that your curd is fresh and not sour for the best chaas.
  • Ice cubes: Instead of adding ice cubes in the blender, you can add ice cubes at the end to serve the spiced mattha. But personally, I like to include the cubes when blending for the most refreshing drink.
  • Consistency: Feel free to add more water or ice cubes if you like a thinner chaas or mattha.
  • Fasting or Vrat: If making this recipe for religious fasting, like Navratri or Ekadashi, add edible and food grade rock salt or sendha namak.

More Cooling Drinks For You!

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close up shot of masala chaas or chaas filled in a glass with a few cilantro sprigs

Chaas Recipe (Pudina and Masala Chaas)

The classic Chaas (Chaach/Mattha) also known as the Indian version of buttermilk is a refreshingly cooling summer drink made with creamy yogurt and seasonings. It is an excellent body cooler, digestive and appetizer. Find two easy chaas recipes – Masala Chaas and Pudina Chaas.
4.72 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Cuisine North Indian
Course Beverages
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Easy
Servings 2
Units

Ingredients

For Masala Chaas

  • 1.5 cups Curd (Yogurt) – 375 grams
  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder (bhuna jeera powder), add as required
  • 1 cup water (cold) or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves or coriander leaves (cilantro) – optional
  • 5 to 6 small ice cubes – optional
  • ½ teaspoon black salt or regular salt, add as required
  • 3 to 4 mint sprigs or coriander sprigs, for garnish

For Pudina Chaas (Mint Chaach)

  • 1 cup Curd
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mint leaves or 12 to 15 leaves (pudina patta) or 2 to 3 teaspoons dried mint
  • cup water (cold)
  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder  
  • black salt or edible, food grade rock salt – as required

Instructions
 

Making Masala Chaas

  • In a blender, add the curd, roasted cumin powder, mint leaves, water and salt.
  • Blend for 2 to 3 minutes, until the ingredients are combined and the curd has been mixed well. You should see a nice frothy foamy layer with a bit of butter fat separated from the blending.
  • Pour in glasses. Garnish with mint leaves or coriander leaves and serve immediately.
  • You can also place the the butter milk in the refrigerator to make it cold. Then serve later.

Making Pudina Chaas

  • Rinse the mint leaves first. Drain all the water and then chop them roughly or keep them whole.
  • In a blender take the curd, roasted ground cumin powder, salt, water and the mint leaves.
  • Blend for a few minutes until smooth and you see some butter fat layer on the buttermilk.
  • Serve Pudina Chaas in glasses.

Serving Suggestions

  • While serving, you can add a few ice cubes if you like.
  • Garnish with mint leaves or coriander leaves and serve cold.

Storage

  • You can also store the buttermilk in the refrigerator and serve later. Just be sure to use within one full day for the freshest taste.

Notes

  1. Seasoning Variations: You can skip the black salt, if you don’t have it. Simply use regular salt. If you don’t have roasted ground cumin powder, make your own with cumin seeds. Toast the seeds for a a few minute in a hot pan until fragrant and browned, taking care not to burn them. Then grind into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle or a spice-grinder. Other spices and herbs which are often added in spiced chaas or mattha are asafoetida (hing), ground fennel seeds (saunf powder), ginger or ginger juice, and curry leaves.
  2. Herbs: Fresh herbs are preferred, but can be skipped if not available. If you have dried mint leaves, use them instead. You’ll need about 1 teaspoon of dried leaves to replace 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped mint in these recipes.
  3. Garnishing: I like to save a few mint or coriander leaves to add to the glass of freshly prepared spiced mattha or Indian buttermilk.
  4. Scaling: Make a large batch easily by doubling or tripling the chaas recipe.
  5. Curd (Yogurt): Make sure that your curd is fresh and not sour for the best chaas.
  6. Ice cubes: Instead of adding ice cubes in the blender, you can add ice cubes at the end to serve the spiced mattha. But personally, I like to include the cubes when blending for the most refreshing drink.
  7. Consistency: Feel free to add more water if you like a thinner mattha or chaach.
  8. Fasting or Vrat: If making this recipe for religious fasting, like Navratri or Ekadashi, then add edible and food grade rock salt or sendha namak.
  9. Note that the approximate nutrition info is for the Masala Chaas recipe.

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Chaas Recipe (Pudina and Masala Chaas)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 118 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 674mg29%
Potassium 317mg9%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 301IU6%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin B12 1µg17%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Vitamin D 1µg7%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 1µg1%
Calcium 242mg24%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 16µg4%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 29mg7%
Phosphorus 181mg18%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This chaas recipe from the blog archives (March 2014) has been republished and updated on 14 May 2021.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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23 Comments

  1. It’s really awesome… Mouth watering… The taste cumin in the drink is the highlight… This drink is the all time favourite drink of my family… I love you dassana ….. Keep rocking like this.. expecting more from you…. Very much satisfied with. The buttermilk with cumin…5 stars

    1. thanks a lot madhu. agree that the taste of cumin is one of the highlight of the recipe. thanks again.

  2. Can i prepare chhanch in night and keep it overnight in the fridge to consume it next day..

  3. Can we use this buttermilk for baking and in pancakes? If the spices are not added and only curd is blended4 stars

    1. yes rushikesh, without the spices and salt, this buttermilk can be used in baking and preparing pancakes.

  4. In south india we dont add cumin powder but i tried this.
    A different taste and we drink this thrice in a week.
    Good taste.4 stars

    1. i know the south indian version is different. did you try with black salt. i am not sure if you get black salt there. with black salt, the taste is different.

  5. Perfect recipe for the coming season…this is my all time favorite in summer! I also add a pinch of hing to my chaas.

  6. This is such a refreshing yogurt drink either by itself or along with a spicy meal. I am tempted to try out all the variations of the different kinds of chaas you have on your space:)

  7. my all time favorite. i tasted this when i visited mumbai , naturally fall in love with this, yes every thalli they serve this.