Churning Butter, Indian style

This post is for my blogosphere friend Katharine. When I had posted about churning butter at home, she wanted to know the process. So here it is –

  1. Heat full cream milk till it forms a layer of cream and starts to rise. It has to be full cream (Full Fat) milk for making butter.

    Taken from the internet. Don’t let the cream spill. 🙂
  2. Allow it to cool till it feels tepid.
  3. Pour into another clean vessel, preferably steel or glass. In India we also use earthenware to set curds, but the practise is slowly dying out.
  4. Add a tablespoon of curd, mix well
  5. Leave it in a corner, undisturbed for atleast 5 to 6 hours.
  6. If the weather is cold, keep the vessel inside the microwave or a rice cooker to keep it warm. You could also wrap it in a shawl or old sweater if its really cold.
  7. Once the curds are set, the cream will form a thick top layer.

    The thick creamy layer on top of curds that are set
  8. Remove the creamy layer and store it in the fridge till you have sufficient quantity or you can churn it right away in a mixie.
  9. Add the creamy layer in a mixie jar, pour warm water if the weather is cold, or cold water if the weather is warm and give it a few spins till butter separates out.
  10. The water plus curd is buttermilk and a great coolant/digestive. Add some salt, popped mustard seeds and asafoetida to it and shake well. Store it in the fridge to cool further.

We collect enough butter and then turn it into “ghee” or clarified butter. The process is quite simple – just put all the butter into a flat bottomed pan and on slow heat. The butter melts and reaches the color of oil and the smell changes. Thats when it is ghee and ghee stays forever ! No refrigeration is required, just ensure that you use a dry spoon every time you want to use it. Ever since we have started churning butter at home for the past six odd months, I haven’t bought any ghee from the market. The home made ghee tastes wonderful and this way we get curds, buttermilk, butter and also know that the milk being supplied is not adulterated.

Ghee being made. The reddish brown residue is probably milk cream or other milk solids that just turn reddish on heating the butter. I love the taste of this residue, but you can just throw it as well. 



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