There is a definite place for yogurt or buttermilk in the Indian diet. Traditionally, Indian meals included a serving of thick yogurt or a glass of chhaas as part of all meals. With the passage of years and newfound theories buttermilk was slowly dropped off the menu. But off late, the inclusion of probiotic yogurt has almost become a fad in the western countries with India not left far behind. In fact, if Indians had to just go back to including the old fashioned home made dahi or chhaas we would not need these branded probiotic drinks. If fat is a concern either set curd / yogurt with low fat milk or after the curd is set extract the butter and make into chhaas.
Chhaas, is seasoned buttermilk and the seasoning varies based on where it is made. Like in South India the chhaas is seasoned with ginger or curry leaves or lime leaves, whereas in the West and North India the chhaas is seasoned with roasted jeera powder or coriander leaves. The yogurt used to make chhaas should ideally have just turned sour so that when mixed with water it is no longer sour but still has flavor. The recipe of Chhaas given here is the way it is made in the West and North India.
Ingredients (makes 1 glass Chhaas)
Yogurt / Curd / Dahi - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Roasted Cumin pwd - 2 pinches
Coriander leaves - a pinch
Salt as per taste
Add the yogurt and water in a blender and whisk till they are well blended. Add a little salt and mix then pour it into a glass. Drop an ice cube or two into the glass and top the chhaas with cumin powder and coriander leaves. The Chhaas is ready to serve.