Sip ‘n’ chill: Here’s how you can enjoy curd and buttermilk this summer

Curd and chaas are a must in the summer. As coolers and digestives, they offer twin benefits during the hot months. City chefs say a lot more can be done with these dairy products. Mid-day Online reached out to city chefs for recipes of delicious dishes and drinks that can be made from buttermilk and curd, both of which are a necessity in this sweltering heat. From a unique take on the classic buttermilk to chicken wings, here are their recommendations.

Dungar chaas by Chef Ranveer Brar
While there are quite a few recipes for celebrity chef Ranveer Brar to choose from, he suggests enjoying some Dungar Chaas. Drinking the spiced version of buttermilk, better known as chaas, has its benefits. “It is a great digestive that helps soothe the stomach like nothing else and actually flushes out the fat,” he says. With this recipe, Brar wanted to create an earthy take on the classic beverage. “Dhungaar or smoking as a technique is very special to me, having started my culinary life making kebabs. The smoked aroma beautifully enhances the spices in the chaas, resulting in both the smell and the senses getting activated together. Above all, this recipe is a perfect blend of the hearty Punjabi (chaas) and the subtle Lucknawi (dhungaar) in me,” he adds.

Curd – 1 cup, water – 2 cups, mint leaves – 3 tbsp, coriander leaves – 3 tbsp, roasted cumin powder – 1 tsp, ginger (chopped) – 1 tsp, black salt – 1/4 tsp, salt to taste.

For tempering: 
Oil – 2 tsp, cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp, green chili paste – ½ tsp.  

For smoke:
Coal piece – 1 no, few curry leaves – 1 nos, cloves – 2 nos, oil – 1 tsp.  

1. In a blender, combine curd, mint leaves, coriander leaves, cumin powder, ginger, black salt, salt and blend well. Add 2 Cups water and give it a quick blend again.
2. Now heat oil, add cumin seeds and green chili paste, saute for a few seconds, add to chaas and mix well. Transfer this chaas to a large bowl.
3. Heat the coal, put in a smaller bowl and gently place inside the large bowl while taking care to not let the chaas get into it.
4. In the small bowl, add curry leaves and cloves. Now carefully pour oil over hot coal and cover with aluminium foil. Let sit for 5 minutes, then remove and serve in glasses.
5. Serve chilled.

The chef at Taftoon Bar & Kitchen dives deep into Kashmiri cuisine to make a delicious gushtaba. Photo Courtesy: Taftoon Bar & Kitchen

Gushtaba at Taftoon Bar & Kitchen, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East 
This recipe is not for lazy cooks. Kashmiri cuisine’s mouthwatering gushtaba is made from lamb that is pounded by hand for three-four hours before being poached and stewed in cardamom flavored yoghurt and mutton stock. The chef, Taftoon Bar & Kitchen, shares, “Yoghurt tenderises meat much more gently and effectively than regular marinades. It makes the meat succulent.”

Lamb – 750 gms, lamb stock – 250 gms, cayenne pepper powder – 2 tsp, fennel seeds (saunf) – 2 tsp, ginger powder – 1 tsp, coriander powder – 1 tsp, black pepper powder – 2 tsp, cardamoms (powdered) – 2 tsp, garam masala powder – 2 tsp, yoghurt – 1/2 cup, ghee – 2 tbsp, sugar – 1 tsp, milk – 1 cup 

1. The meat is hand pounded for four hours.
2. Add fine paste of cayenne pepper powder, fennel seeds, ginger, coriander, pepper, cardamom powder and 1 tsp of garam masala.
3. Add a little yoghurt and ghee. Shape meat paste into small balls.
4. Heat the remaining ghee and add sugar, cream, salt, the remaining yoghurt and 1 tsp garam masala powder.
5. Pour in the milk slowly, add the koftas, and simmer until the liquid evaporates and the koftas are very tender.
6. Serve hot.

Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Wings by Vishesh Shah, founder, The Little Easy, Bandra West 
Founder Vishesh Shah first tasted the dish in Virginia, US and knew he had to bring it to the city. At the restaurant, the wings are soaked overnight in buttermilk, lightly dusted with peri peri powder and served with paprika aioli. It has been a favourite at the city restaurant even four years after its introduction. He explains, “The intensely flavoured buttermilk brine helps with tenderising the chicken and keeping it moist. Also, soaking the wings helps the flour to coat the wings well in all corners, which helps in a super crispy crust.”

Chicken wings – 300 gms, curd – 50 gms, salt – 5 gms, black pepper – 3 gms, refined flour – 300 gms, peri peri powder – 5 gms, mayonnaise – 30 gms, paprika- 3 gms.

1. For buttermilk, blend curd with water, salt and black pepper then soak the chicken wings in the buttermilk overnight. 
2. Take out the wings and coat it with the refined flour and deep fry it in oil for 3-4 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. 
3. Sprinkle peri peri powder on it and serve it with paprika aioli.

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