Buttermilk refers to a number of dairy drinks. Originally, buttermilk was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream. It also refers to a range of fermented milk drinks, common in warm climates (e.g., Middle East, Pakistan, India, or the Southern United States) where fresh milk would otherwise sour quickly. It is also popular in Scandinavia and the Netherlands, despite the colder climates.
Buttermilk may also refer to a fermented dairy product produced from cow’s milk with a characteristically sour taste caused by lactic acid bacteria. This variant is made in one of two ways:cultured buttermilk is made by adding lactic acid bacteria (Streptococcus lactis) to milk;Bulgarian buttermilk is created with a different strain of bacteria called Lactobacillus bulgaricus, which creates more tartness.
Whether traditional or cultured, the tartness of buttermilk is due to the presence of acid in the milk. The increased acidity is primarily due to lactic acid, a byproduct naturally produced by lactic acid bacteria while fermenting lactose, the primary sugar found in milk. As lactic acid is produced by the bacteria, the pH of the milk decreases and casein, the primary protein in milk, precipitates causing the curdling or clabbering of milk. This process makes buttermilk thicker than plain milk. While both traditional and cultured buttermilk contain lactic acid, traditional buttermilk tends to be thinner whereas cultured buttermilk is much thicker.
Buttermilk can be substituted in recipes by adding 1 Tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, apple cider vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice to 1 cup of dairy or non-dairy (such as soy) milk and allowing it to “sit” for five minutes.
- Yogurt / curd – 1 cup
- Water – 4-5 cups
- Ginger – 1 small piece
- Green Chilly – 1
- Take a cup of thick yogurt / curd, best if you have homemade yogurt. Add 4-5 cups of water to dilute it.
- Take one small piece of ginger, one small green chilli ( must be the hot variety), a small bunch of clean
- coriander / cilantro and 3-4 curry leaves.
- Pound them together with some sea salt with mortar-pestle, or any other available gadget. Add them to the
- diluted yogurt.
- Using a hand blender, blend the yogurt with water and pounded spices.
- You may roast ¼ tsp of mustard seeds either dry or pop them in very little hot oil to garnish the buttermilk.