How to Make Buttermilk at Home and What are its Types?

Posted by Dr. Rashmi Rao on

Buttermilk is one of the popular healthy drink widely used by many people especially Indians. There are many variants of buttermilk with different health benefits. The name buttermilk is somewhat misleading, as it doesn’t really contain butter. Traditional buttermilk is the liquid leftover after whole milk has been churned into butter. This type of buttermilk is rarely found in Western countries today but remains common in parts of India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Modern buttermilk is a cultured, fermented dairy product often used in baking. It contains bacteria that make it sour and thicker than regular milk.

Interesting Things about Buttermilk

  • Though it is easily available in local shops and supermarkets, still you can make it home easily and have a pure drink.
  • If the curd is ready, you can make it within five minutes.
  • It is said in Ayurveda - " Nectar is for Gods and Goddesses, buttermilk is for human beings."

How to make buttermilk at home

  • First, you need to prepare curds from milk. Take 400 ml of curds. Add 100 ml water to it. Churn the curds just for one to two minutes. You can churn it in a bottle/jar/mixer.
  • This 100:25 = curds: water ratio buttermilk is the most widely used type of buttermilk. There are a few other types of buttermilk as well.

Types of Buttermilk

There are five types of making buttermilk.

Full Cream Buttermilk: Curds is prepared from milk with cream. Such curd is churned without adding any water.

No Cream Buttermilk: Curds is prepared from milk devoid of cream. such curd is churned without adding any water.

Buttermilk: Prepared from the above-mentioned method.

HalfWater Buttermilk: Take 100 ml curds to add 50 ml of water and churn it to get half water buttermilk.

No Fat Buttermilk: Churn curds till it becomes butter. Remove butter. The remaining watery part is no fat buttermilk. It is also commonly used as buttermilk.

Each of these can be used interchangeably as buttermilk substitute to one another.

Apart from that, a few other substitutes you can also add. They can be:

Buttermilk Powder and Water:

You can buy powdered, dehydrated buttermilk and convert it to a liquid state by adding water, per the instructions on the package.

Add 1/4 cup (30 grams) of powdered buttermilk with 1 cup (237 ml) of water to make 1 cup (237 ml) of buttermilk.

If you’re using powdered buttermilk for baking, it may work best to mix the buttermilk powder with the other dry ingredients, then add the water at the point when you’d normally add liquid buttermilk.

Plain Yogurt and Water or Milk:

The tangy, acidic flavor and composition of yogurt is similar to buttermilk, so plain yogurt makes for a good substitute.

You can replace buttermilk cup for cup with plain yogurt, but it may work better to thin the yogurt with water or milk, especially for recipes that make a thin batter, such as for cake.

To make 1 cup (237 ml) of buttermilk substitute, combine 3/4 cup (163 ml) of plain yogurt with 1/4 cup (59 ml) of water or milk and whisk until smooth.

Milk and Lemon Juice:

Lemon juice is an acid you can use instead of vinegar to make buttermilk.

To make 1 cup of buttermilk substitute, add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then, add milk to the 1-cup line (237 ml) and stir.

You can either use fresh-squeezed lemon juice or bottled lemon juice. However, bottled varieties typically contain preservatives, such as sodium benzoate and sodium sulfite. Sulfites may trigger asthma symptoms in some people

Milk and Vinegar:

Adding vinegar to milk gives it an acidity similar to that of buttermilk. You can use various kinds of vinegar, such as apple cider or distilled white vinegar, but the latter has a more neutral flavor.

You can use any kind of milk as well, but if your recipe calls for a certain type of buttermilk — such as low-fat — it may be best to use a similar type of milk to make a substitute.

To make 1 cup of buttermilk substitute, add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of vinegar to a liquid measuring cup. Then, add milk to the 1-cup line (237 ml) and stir. If you measure the milk separately, you’ll need a scant — or not quite full — cup (around 222 ml).

Though many sources recommend letting the mixture sit for 5–10 minutes before adding it to your recipe, experts suggest this isn’t necessary.

      A common way to make a buttermilk substitute is to add an acidic substance — typically lemon juice, vinegar, or cream of tartar — to milk. Alternately, you can use plain yogurt or buttermilk powder as a substitute.

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About The Author

Dr. Rashmi Rao

Dr. Rashmi Rao is an Ayurvedic Practitioner based out of Bangalore. She has done P.G.D.C.R from the University of Goa. She has also done B.A.M.S from Rajiv Gandhi University. She has a total work experience of 11 years in Ayurvedic Medicine. She is passionate about writing different articles on Ayurveda.


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