Why buttermilk is the best way to fight dehydration

Kavita Devgan
Kavita DevganSep 22, 2018 | 17:54

Why buttermilk is the best way to fight dehydration

I have a favourite dairy food that I indulge in a lot, and insist that people who come to me for food advice gulp down a lot of it too. It's buttermilk, or chaach, the savoury variety of the more popular lassi.

So why do I love it so much? Well for starters its a yummy, cooling drink made from curd and spices like jeera, kadi patta (curry leaves), ginger and salt, and second for something so delicious it sure packs in numerous health benefits besides the necessary protein it delivers.


It hydrates.

Packed with electrolytes (particularly potassium) and water, chaach is the best way to fight dehydration. 

If you are worried about scoring enough calcium (needed for strong bones), chaach can come to rescue. Made from curd, chaach is a great way of sneaking extra calcium, even for those who are lactose intolerant as most lactose intolerant people are able to tolerate chaach (and I say this from experience). Two glasses a day (1 cup curd) can deliver calcium that counts. So if you’re lactose intolerant, drinking chaas is one way to make sure you get your calcium.

Made from curd, chaach is a great way of sneaking in extra calcium. (Photo: Facebook)

Vitamins galore

Chaach also delivers multiple vitamins - B complex, A and E. It also delivers Vitamin B12, which most vegetarians tend to be deficient in.

It’s the best thing you can do for your stomach. It is light on stomach and extremely good for the digestive process. Plus it helps cut acidity, as it cools the stomach and reduces the irritation in the stomach lining that happens due to acid reflux. It also helps douse the fire in the stomach that wrong eating and eating spicy food may cause. Also, ginger, pepper and jeera in it, all make excellent digestive agents.


It’s also a perfect cleanser, as it effectively washes down the fat or oil or ghee or butter (from our food) that normally coats the inner walls of our food pipe and stomach and irritates the gut. Buttermilk delivers riboflavin that helps your liver to function properly and detoxify the body. 

7 interesting avatars of buttermilk

Making regular masala chaach is childs play. Just take some pepper, jeera, kadi patta, dhania patta and a ginger piece and grind roughly in a mortar and pestle. Now whisk curd to make a thick paste, add water and mix well. Finally add salt and the above spices mix to the solution. Stir, chill and sip.

Get inventive, try beetroot chaach. Puree 1 boiled beetroot in a mixer. Whisk 1/2 cup curd and 2 cups water to make chaach. Add beetroot puree. Mix. Then heat 1/2 tsp oil, add  a few mustard seeds and curry leaves, a bit of ginger, 1 chopped green chilli, and add to beetroot chhach. Chill and have.

Make a meal with it. Try cooking Haal bai, a popular breakfast dish from Karnataka with buttermilk. Add half cup desiccated coconut to half a cup of soaked rice. Grind in a mixie. Add 1 cup buttermilk, hing, curry leaves, chopped green chillies, ginger and salt. Now cook this mixture with one tsp oil till it thickens.


Chaach also cools the stomach and reduces the irritation in the stomach lining that happens due to acid reflux. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Add some butter or ghee, remove from fire and spread on an oil greased plate to cool. Cut into squares and its ready to eat. Or you can even try the Gujarati savoury cake called Handavo where lentils, rice and buttermilk come together to create a super healthy dish, or Mae sambar with a twist (cooked in buttermilk).

Try a breakfast smoothie made with buttermilk. Whip strawberries, banana, and maple syrup with buttermilk to create a creamy sweet-tangy blend, you’ll love to kickstart your day with.

Try a buttermilk dressing for the salads. Just whisk buttermilk and some olive oil in a small bowl and season with sea salt and pepper. Goes well with all greens.

Add buttermilk to mashed potatoes. It adds creaminess and depth to this interesting side dish to grilled chicken or fish.

Turn it into a soup. To make a cold soup add chopped garlic, tomatoes and onion to buttermilk and stir gently. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with basil leaves. To make a hot option, grind boiled spinach with some buttermilk. Sputter cumin in a little out add, the above spinach and buttermilk mix, and some more buttermilk, season it and give it a quick boil, stirring constantly.

Last updated: September 22, 2018 | 21:40
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