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Masala Buttermilk

-Submitted by Dahlia on 14th Sep 2015

(Chaas, Mattha, Neer Moru, Masala Mor)

Mor (Buttermilk) is the liquid left after churning butter out of the full fat milk.

I remember my dad sharing his childhood memories about buttermilk. My grandmother used to have 3 cows of their own. Milk was available in plenty each day. After everybody has had the milk, the leftover milk was stored in earthen pots. The next day my grandmother used to churn the milk using the traditional tool called ‘matthu’. After few minutes of churning, the butter floats on top. This is usually given to small kids or immediately made into ghee for long time storage. The left over liquid is called moru (or buttermilk) which is creamy and slightly sour due to fermentation. It is served as a mid morning snack or seasoned to be served with lunch.

Today buttermilk is a term used for diluted yogurt. Well, most of us may not have tasted the traditional buttermilk. But the diluted yogurt is very delicious and can be used to make many cool beverages to beat the summer heat. One of the very traditional recipe with buttermilk is ‘spiced buttermilk’. Spiced yogurt is famous drink served throughout India with mild variations. In North India, it is referred to as Chaas or Mattha in which the buttermilk is flavored with roasted cumin powder, black salt and coriander leaves. In Kerala, buttermilk is flavored with crushed ginger, green chilies and curry leaves and is known as Sambharam or Moru. In Tamil Nadu, it is popularly known as Masala more or Neer mor or Thalicha mor. Here, an aromatic seasoning is added to the buttermilk. Make sure to try this recipe and enjoy as a drink or serve with some white rice as a simple refreshing meal.

Masala Buttermilk


  • Thick yogurt – 1 cup
  • Cool water – 1.5 cup
  • Green Chili - 1
  • Ginger – 1” piece
  • Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Coriander Leaves – 2 sprigs (finely chopped)
  • Salt – to taste

For Seasoning

  • Oil – ½ tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 4 tsp
  • Asafoetida – 1/8 tsp
  • Curry Leaves – 1 sprig


  1. Take the yogurt in a mixing bowl and whisk it.
  2. Add the cold water and whisk it using a hand blender or using the traditional matthu. If you do not have both, blend it in a mixie or blender till the buttermilk becomes frothy.
  3. Coarsely crush the ginger, green chili, cumin seeds and a couple of curry leaves using a mixie or mortar and pestle.
  4. Add the to the buttermilk along with salt. Mix and check for seasoning. If the buttermilk is not sour enough, add few drops of lemon juice.
  5. Chop the coriander leaves finely and mix in with the buttermilk.
  6. Finally, heat oil in a small pan and pop the mustard seeds. Add asafetida and chopped curry leaves to the hot oil.
  7. Pour this seasoned oil over the buttermilk. Serve it chilled.

Serving Suggestion

  • If you prefer creamy buttermilk, add little less water. If you prefer it watery, increase the amount of water.
  • Serve this drink chilled by refrigerating it for some time. Add some ice cubes if you want to serve immediately.
  • It also makes a perfect summer time meal with some rice and pickle.

Masala Buttermilk

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