Nov 8, 2006
Tempered Buttermilk (paNNa taak )
In those times when coke and sodas did not exist buttermilk ruled the rural Indian beverage market. Tempered Buttermilk is still a popular beverage in the villages and suburbs of India. Buttermilk is not yogurt/curds. It is the residual liquid after churning all the butter from the yogurt. The buttermilk made this way has a sour and tangy taste and the healthy bacterias developed in the fermentation process aids in digestion.
The cultured buttermilk available in the supermarkets in the USA is not the original buttermilk. They are not made by churning the butter from the yogurt, but by adding cultures to the milk in a industrial process.
Authentic konkani meal always ends with a glass full of tempered spicy buttermilk, paNNa taak. I tried making buttermilk the traditional way at home but could not achieve good results. Hence I use home made yogurt from the low fat milk to make paNNa taak.
Making tempered buttermilk is quite an easy task.
1-2 cup low fat/fat free yogurt/buttermilk, preferably home made
1 green chilli
small piece of ginger
a pinch of hing
for tempering, which is optional
1/4 tsp oil
1/8 tsp mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
If using hing paste, dissolve hing in a tsp of water and add it to the yogurt. In a Blender, blend together yogurt, green chilli, ginger and hing. Add enough water to make it 4 cups. For the tempering, heat little oil , splutter mustard seeds, add curry leaves. Pour the seasoning to the spicy yogurt mix.
Serve chilled if desired. This recipe yields 4 cups of buttermilk.
Traditionally the drink is thin, if you like the drink thick, add more yogurt. Adjust the green chillies according to the desired hotness.