Come summers I insist that every one, who is willing to listen - friends, family, clients - drink two glasses of buttermilk every day!
Personally, this twice a day diktat is non-negotiable.
Why do I love chaach so much? Well it’s a no brainer actually.
This delicious drink made from curd and spices like jeera, kadi patta (curry leaves), ginger and salt is extremely cooling making it the perfect drink for these hot months.
Not only is it extremely hydrating, but it also delivers electrolytes (particularly potassium). Buttermilk is an easy (and tasty) way to fight the much rampant dehydration.
Drink it through the year but make it your best friend during the hot months!
Plus for something so delicious, it is loaded with nutrients, besides delivering the much needed protein.
Two glasses a day is a smart way to add extra protein to our diet seamlessly.
Lack of enough calcium is very often a cause of concern for many people.
We all need to score enough calcium for strong bones, and here too chaach can come in handy.
Made from curd, chaach is a great way of sneaking extra calcium, even for those who are lactose intolerant, as most lactose intolerant people are able to tolerate chaach (and I say this from experience).
Two glasses a day (1 cup curd) can deliver the calcium your bones desperately need.
Chaach delivers multiple vitamins - B complex, A and E. It also delivers the much coveted Vitamin B 12, which most vegetarians tend to be deficient in, and whose deficiency can lead to multiple health issues.
Buttermilk also delivers riboflavin that helps detox and cleanse the body, allowing it to function properly.
Read the old cookbooks and you’ll realise that buttermilk was called the “Grandma’s probiotic”.
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It’s a weight watchers friend, as it has a low calorie load and is a highly satiating drink that can keep one full for a long time.
Buttermilk helps in cutting cravings for unnecessary mid meal junk eating too.
Try some interesting, varied ways to include more buttermilk in your daily diet.
Regular Masala Chaach
Just take some pepper, jeera, kadi patta, dhania patta and a ginger piece and grind roughly in a mortar and pestle. Now whisk curd to make a thick paste, add water and mix well. Finally add salt and the above spices mix to the solution.
Stir, chill and sip.
Puree: 1 boiled beetroot in a mixer.
Whisk 1/2 cup curd and 2 cups water to make chaach. Add beetroot puree. Mix. Then heat 1/2 tsp oil, add a few mustard seeds and curry leaves, a bit of ginger, 1 chopped green chilli, and add to beetroot chhach.
Chill and have.
Haal bai (from Karnataka)
Add half cup desiccated coconut to half cup of soaked rice. Grind in a mixie. Add 1 cup buttermilk, hing, curry leaves, chopped green chillies, ginger and salt. Now cook this mixture with one tsp oil till it thickens. Add some butter or ghee, remove from fire and spread on an oil greased plate to cool.
Cut into squares and its ready to eat!
Whip strawberries, banana, and honey with buttermilk to create a creamy sweet-tangy blend, you’ll love to kickstart your day with.
Do More With It!
Try a buttermilk dressing for the salads. Cook upma and cheela in it, make a buttermilk cold soup or besan kadhi and sambar (with a twist), add to mashed potatoes, make buttermilk Pulusu (brinjal, lauki and bhindi), or Gujarati savory cake called Handavo, add to cakes when baking, or make pancakes.
It is a very versatile food ingredient and adds both taste and health in good amounts.
(Kavita Devgan is a nutritionist, weight management consultant, and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of The Don't Diet Plan: A no-nonsense guide to weight loss, Fix it with Food, Ultimate Grandmother Hacks, and Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People.)