Recipe: Chaas With Cumin (Spiced Buttermilk) From the Kitchen Window column

Chaas With Cumin (Spiced Buttermilk)

Chaas (also called mattha) is a savory dairy drink enjoyed all over India. In this instance, it is made by thinning yogurt with a little bit of water. This recipe was adapted from one by Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal.

Sala Kannan for NPR
Chaas With Cumin (Spiced Buttermilk)
Sala Kannan for NPR

Makes 4 servings

3 cups Greek-style yogurt

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon ground toasted cumin

1 small green serrano chili, minced (optional)

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon chopped mint

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro


1 teaspoon ghee* or grapeseed oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/4 teaspoon minced green chili such as jalapeno

Whisk the yogurt with the water until smooth. Add the ground cumin, chile, ginger and salt and mix well. Pour into four glasses.

To make the tadka, heat the ghee in a small pan until it shimmers. Add the cumin seeds. When the cumin darkens and gets aromatic, add the garlic. When the garlic starts getting golden at the edges, add the chili. Fry until the chili begins to darken but not burn.

Pour the tadka over each portion. Serve garnished with the chopped mint and cilantro.

*Available at Indian markets