Chaas (Yogurt Drink), a refreshing summer drink is primarily yogurt diluted with water and mild spices. Chaas is known by many different names across India, including the South Indian versions majjiga, majige or mor and is a refreshing yogurt based drink. It is usually served along with lunch especially during the hot summer months in India. This yogurt drink has many health benefits which include cooling the body and aiding digestion. It has a unique taste and is delicious with any meal, particularly when its hot.
This drink is very often mistakenly known as and called buttermilk but this could not be further from the truth. Buttermilk is a by-product of butter making and is milk which is slightly sour and thicker than ordinary milk. Chaas is not made from milk or buttermilk but yogurt; be it natural set, low fat or Greek yogurt. In India, it is referred to as buttermilk purely because it strongly resembles and is consistent in texture to buttermilk but chaas is made from yogurt.
Chaas is made with natural yogurt where it is beaten or blended and diluted with water to the ratio of 1:2, i.e for 1 cup of yogurt, 2 cups of water is added. This plain chaas recipe is only flavoured with salt if required. A thicker version of chaas uses more yogurt anything from 1 ½ to 2 cups of yogurt to 1-1 ¼ cup of water. This makes for a thicker, smoother yogurt drink.
Most Gujarati households have their own flavours of chaas based on the region they come from. Basic chaas recipes can be flavoured with very mild green chillies, fresh coriander leaves, asafoetida, black salt, chaat masala, freshly grated ginger, and roasted cumin powder. We usually have very mild chaas with a mild flavour consisting of fresh coriander leaves and a teaspoon of cumin coriander powder with plenty of ice.
Yogurt is the main ingredient in this drink and you can add what ever type of yogurt you prefer. Natural set yogurt and Greek set yogurt is usually thicker which means the chaas will be thicker in consistency. Low fat yogurt usually is thinner in consistency and the chaas will be thinner.
Enjoy this drink, it really is a unique taste and something which can be enjoyed by all in the family.
Masala Chaas (Yogurt Drink)
1 ½ cups or 350ml natural set yogurt, low fat yogurt or Greek yogurt
300ml cold water
1 teaspoon cumin coriander power
½ teaspoon chaat masala powder (optional)
Salt to taste (optional)
Coriander leaves to garnish
¼ teaspoon black salt powder
¼ teaspoon grated ginger
1 green chilli, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
pinch of asafoetida
5 to 8 fresh mint leaves
- Place the chilled yogurt in a large jug and add the cold water.
- Using a hand blender, blend the yogurt and water until nice and smooth and to the required (thin or thick) consistency.
- Add the cumin coriander powder or any of the other optional items which you desire (except mint leaves) and blend again. If you are using mint leaves, add them to the chaas after you have blended all the other ingredients.
- Add ice cubes if desired and then garnish generously with coriander leaves.
- Serve cold.