Taak | Mattha| Chhaas(Indian Buttermilk)
Taak | Mattha| Chhaas(Indian Buttermilk) is a popular drink in India, especially during hot summers. It’s made from yogurt, cilantro, mint, and a few spices.
This drink has a unique flavor – it’s a bit sour and sweet, with a hint of saltiness and mintiness. It’s something many Indian families enjoy to cool off on hot days.
What is Taak/Chhaas/ Mattha
Taak also know as Chhaas or Mattha is nothing but Spiced Buttermilk made with Indian spices.
Long ago, people made it by using a wooden churner to make milk fat called “malai“or butter. They’d keep the butter for cooking and use the sour liquid, called Taak or Matha, to make Spiced buttermilk.
But today, it’s not easy to find this traditional buttermilk in India. So, to enjoy the same taste and health benefits, we simply mix yogurt and cold water together and whisk.
If its available, you can buy readymade buttermilk at the store, it’s like skipping one step in this recipe. Just add the masala tempering to it and it is good to go.
In our family, we always had Taak during the scorching hot summer days. My mom would make a big pitcher of it, and we would enjoy it after lunch or when we came back from playing outside. It helped us stay cool, refreshed, and hydrated. Taak also protected us from the sun stroke which made our lives difficult during summer.
Health Benefits of Taak/Chhaas/Mattha
- Hydration: Buttermilk is an excellent source of fluids, which helps in keeping your body hydrated, especially during hot weather.
- Cooling Effect: Traditionally, buttermilk is known for its cooling properties, which can help alleviate the discomfort of hot weather or spicy foods.
- Digestive Aid: It contains probiotics that can promote a healthy gut by improving digestion and preventing common digestive problems like indigestion and constipation.
- Rich in Probiotics: The live bacteria in buttermilk’s probiotics can support a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which may have positive effects on your immune system and overall health.
- Nutrient-Rich: Buttermilk is rich in essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin B12, and riboflavin (vitamin B2), which are important for bone health and overall well-being.
- Low in Calories: It’s relatively low in calories compared to whole milk, making it a healthier option for those watching their calorie intake and weight management.
- Protein: It provides a moderate amount of protein, which is essential for muscle health and overall growth and repair of the body. This helps you fuller for longer helping with effective weight loss.
- Lactose-Friendly: Buttermilk is often easier to digest for people who are lactose intolerant compared to regular milk due to the fermentation process that reduces lactose content.
- Blood Pressure Regulation: It contains potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension.
Ingredients for Taak/Mattha/Chhaas(Indian Buttermilk)
- Yoghurt: Yoghurt is the primary base for Taak. It’s a dairy product made by fermenting milk with beneficial bacteria. Yoghurt gives Taak its creamy and slightly tangy flavor. You can use full fat or low fat yoghurt or even unsweetened Greek yoghurt.
- Cilantro: Cilantro, also known as coriander leaves, adds a fresh and citrusy note to Taak. It contributes to the drink’s refreshing taste.
- Mint: Mint leaves provide a cool and refreshing flavor to Taak, making it especially enjoyable on hot days.
- Black Salt: Black salt, or “kala namak,” is used to add a salty and slightly sulfuric flavor to Taak. It’s distinctively different from regular table salt.
- Table Salt: A small amount of regular table salt may also be added to enhance the overall saltiness of the drink, if required.
- Sugar: Sugar is used to add a touch of sweetness to balance the sour taste of yoghurt in Taak. The amount of sugar can be adjusted according to personal preference.
- Cumin Seed Powder: Ground cumin seeds provide a warm and earthy flavor to this drink. It adds depth to the taste.
For Tempering (Tadka):
- Cumin Seeds: Whole cumin seeds, when toasted in hot oil or ghee, release a nutty flavor that complements the other ingredients in Taak.
- Curry Leaves: Curry leaves, when tempered in hot oil or ghee, release a unique aroma and flavor that enhances the overall taste of Taak.
- Asafoetida: Asafoetida, or “hing,” is used sparingly for its pungent flavor and digestive properties. It’s typically added during tempering.
- Green Chilli: Green chillies add spiciness to the tempering. The amount can be adjusted to control the level of heat in Taak.
How to make Taak/Mattha/Chhaas(Indian Buttermilk)
Start by taking one cup of yogurt, whether it’s full-fat or low-fat, and put it in a mixing bowl. If you don’t have plain yogurt, you can use unsweetened Greek yogurt.
Add cumin powder, black salt, regular salt, and sugar to the yogurt. Whisk it all together. You can also use a blender to make sure there are no lumps in the yoghurt.
Whisking it before adding water will make sure there are no lumps in the yoghurt. However if you like it a little lumpy yoghurt in the taak, whisk it after adding the water.
Now, add some water to the mixture. Also, put in chopped cilantro and mint leaves.
Whisk and mix everything together.
Now, let’s make the tempering.
In a small pan, heat some oil. I usually use peanut oil, but you can use any oil you like. Avoid using butter or ghee because they have strong flavors that don’t go well with Taak.
When the oil is hot, add cumin seeds. They should start to sizzle and pop.
Sprinkle in a pinch of hing.
Next, put in some curry leaves and let them sizzle too.
Now, add the green chilies. Let them cook for about a minute, then turn off the heat.
Add this tempering mixture to your Taak and mix it all together.
Your Taak/Mathha/Chhaas is now ready to be served and enjoyed!
Here are some serving suggestions for this refreshing drink:
With Indian Meals:
Taak complements a wide range of Indian dishes. Serve it alongside spicy curries, biryanis, or any rich and flavorful meal. It can help balance the heat and add a cooling element to your palate.
As a Digestive:
After a heavy meal, a glass of Taak can aid digestion. It’s known for its digestive properties, thanks to the probiotics in yogurt and the tempering spices like cumin and hing.
Taak pairs well with various Indian snacks like Chakli and Besan Ladoo. You can also serve it with samosas, pakoras, or chaats for a delightful contrast of flavors.
This is a fantastic drink for fasting. It helps reduce acid reflux, keeps you feeling full for a longer time, and doesn’t cause a big spike in insulin levels. You can enjoy it with Sabudana Khichdi and other fasting-friendly foods.
It’s a popular choice during festivals like Holi and Diwali. Serve it as a festive beverage alongside traditional sweets and snacks. The ideal match for Taak is Jalebis because it balances the Jalebis’ sweetness with the salty and sour flavors of Taak.
As a Welcome Drink:
When hosting guests, consider serving Taak as a welcome drink. It’s a unique and refreshing way to greet your visitors.
Start with good-quality yogurt. Full-fat yogurt tends to make a creamier Taak, but you can use low-fat yogurt if you prefer a lighter version.
If you whisk the yogurt before adding water, it will ensure there are no lumps. But if you prefer a slightly lumpy texture in your Taak, you can whisk it after adding the water.
Adjust the water quantity to achieve your desired consistency. Some prefer it thicker, while others like it more diluted. Start with equal parts water and yogurt, and adjust from there.
Use fresh cilantro and mint for the best flavor. Chop them finely to release their aroma and taste. If you have folks who aren’t fans of the mint and cilantro in their drink, you can strain it before serving to take out the cilantro and mint leaves.
Adjust the amount of spices (black salt, regular salt, sugar, and cumin powder) to suit your taste. Begin with smaller quantities and add more if needed.
For the most refreshing experience, chill your Taak in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
Be careful when adding the tempered spices to the Taak. Ensure the mixture is hot before hot before adding. This will keep the flavors intact when oil mixes with the Taak.
While peanut oil is commonly used for tempering, you can use other mild oils like vegetable oil or sunflower oil. Avoid strongly flavored oils like mustard or sesame.
Use hing sparingly, as it has a potent flavor. A small pinch is usually sufficient to enhance the taste.
Feel free to personalize your Taak by adding ingredients like grated ginger or black pepper powder for unique variations.
A garnish of fresh mint leaves or a sprinkle of roasted cumin seeds on top of each glass can enhance both the flavor and presentation.
Other Recipes to Try
If you found this recipe to your liking, I invite you to delve into a wide array of mouthwatering Indian recipes that I have on my website.
- Ayurvedic Haldi Doodh or Creamy Golden Milk Recipe
- Bottle Gourd/Dudhi Soup
- Paneer Masala
- Kakdi Tomato Koshimbir
For the base Taak
- 1 sprig mint
- In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, cumin powder, black salt, regular salt, and sugar. Whisk well.
- Pour in 3 cups of water and add chopped cilantro and mint. Whisk again until smooth.
- In a tadka pan, heat your choice of oil (preferably peanut oil). Avoid butter or ghee.
- Splutter cumin seeds and add a pinch of hing (asafoetida).
- Add curry leaves and let them splutter, then add green chilies. Cook for a 30 seconds, then turn off the heat.
- Add the tempering to the Taak mixture and mix well.
- Garnish with a sprig of mint leaves and your Taak/Mathha/Chhaas is ready to serve!