Wishing all the visitors a very Happy Janam Ashtami! It is the birthday of Lord Krishna, the reincarnate of Lord Vishnu, and what better way to celebrate it than with butterhis favourite food!! Born into the royal family of Dwarka (but forced by circumstances) he was raised as a commoner by the community of dairy farmers where butter and other milk products were aplenty; which explains his intense liking for butter. Butter was his weakness and so much so that his doting and loving foster mother Yashoda had to keep it out of his reach in clay pot called ‘matka’ that hung from ceiling with string and hook. Even that could not deter him! With the help of his friends he would manage to reach the pot and scoop out mouthfuls.
Coming back to the post, if I remember clearly, a few years back (perhaps 7-8 years ago) Amul came up with lovely white butter but, for reasons best known to the company, it simply disappeared from the shelves of the super markets. Personally, I believe the reason could be this – white butter is easily available at local dairy shops and often reasonably priced. Many Indian households make butter at home from cream that is skimmed off from atop the boiled and cooled milk. Cream is accumulated over a period of 4-5 days from batches of milk, stored in refrigerator and subsequently fermented to make set curd. However, I find the dairy one having substantial amount of water which spells trouble when one is using it for baking. Besides, it has a typical odour, sort of rancid (coz they don’t make it the traditional way), which I find extremely repelling. It is certainly not suitable for cakes or cookies; basically it isn’t good for any thing (apart for making ghee) in my opinion.  

Here is what you will need to make the butter the traditional way…



½ kg heavy cream – Malai (I used the short cut method and purchased it from my local dairy but I have explained the process below in case you want to use home made cream)

2½ – 3 tbsp active culture yogurt

Lots of ice cubes
A jug of water

How to procure heavy cream or malaiBoil the fresh milk (i do it on low heat) and let it rise nearly to the brim before switching off the heat. Cool and refrigerate the milk. Cream will form a thick layer on the top and cover the surface of milk. Skim it off and store in a container. 

To begin the process of a making butter the traditional way, you need to turn the cream into fermented curd or yogurt. This will take at least 4-5 hours; the time will actually vary from place to place. For details on how to make curd, read the Yogurt post.

Once the cream has turned into yogurt, churn the chilled curd using hand blender (if you have a sturdy one) or a kitchen aid mixer or food processor to derive butter from the fermented cream.

When you begin with, the cream will appear terribly thick and difficult to churn. Gradually it will loosen and become easier to work with. Continue churning it till you see lumps of butter floating in liquid. This liquid is the buttermilk. 

Add the ice cubes to a jug of water and ensure that the water is nearly chilled. Add one third cup of water to the butter and buttermilk mix. 

Scoop out the butter from the buttermilk (you may need to use clean hands to do a better job at this) and squeeze out buttermilk. Take some chilled water from the jug into a separate container. Give the butter a rinse in the cold water. You may need to repeat this process 2-3 times. Once the water runs clear, remove the excess water and store the butter in a container; refrigerate soon after. 

Note: I usually boil the milk in the evening and let it be in the refrigerator the whole night before I skim off the cream. It helps yield maximum cream.
Note: Ensure that while churning the cream, it remains chilled. To maintain the temperature, I usually add a few cubes of ice in-between the churning process.
Note: Do not throw away the buttermilk. Use it for baking cookies, cakes or making salad dressing. Or have a glass full with some dry mint powder, some roasted cumin powder and a little salt thrown in; dilute it with some water.
Note: I usually weigh the butter in denominations of 100 gm and 50 grams and pack each gram separately in a butter paper or parchment paper. I refrigerate the one that I need and freeze the rest. This helps the butter stay for a period of over 3-4 months. 

Yield : Half a kilo of cream yields approximately 275-300 grams of butter. Rest is buttermilk.

You can turn simple white butter into Compound Butter or  Beurre composé, as the French call it, by adding herbs or spices of your choice. The result is a gourmet-ish butter that adds a whole new dimension to the dish and gives is a beautiful flavor. 

The options are endlessyou can use strong flavors such as that of garlic or ginger. Sun dried tomatoes with basil will give it an Italian spin. Add finely chopped green chilies or crushed pepper corns, curry powder or paprika for a spicy hit. Herbs such cilantro, chives, parsley, rosemary, oregano, basil work great (and why not try curry leaves!)and for a zing, add zest and juice of any citrus fruit or lemon. Even nuts are not a bad idea! J

Compound butter is multipurpose in its utility 
It is great with a piece of grilled steak or fish. 
Rub whole chicken with compound butter before roasting and pop in some inside the cavity too for a chicken bursting with flavors.  
Instead of serving the jacket potatoes with plain butter adorn it with compound butter. 
Pep up your corn on cob with some compound butter.
You could add a little to your bowl of soup. 
Pop some, over savory crepes. 
Enjoy it with crispy snappy bread sticks or crackers. 



OR Add some cinnamon or saffron or vanilla or cardamom with finely chopped nuts of your choice and simply slather some over your favorite bread slice or with pancake or waffle.

You can even add fruits of our choice to make compound butter and use it for the same purpose as above. 

I used the following herbs and spices to make this compound butter that is of utility in my house and which I often use to saute prawns and veggies. I slather it on slices of bruschetta before popping them in the oven to toast.

100 grams White Butter
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cracked pepper (i used green and red pepper corns)
1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic (grated)

Mix everything together and using a cling wrap, roll the butter to form a log. Chill the butter and then remove the log from the cling wrap, slice and use. 


Thanks for visiting and see you again! 

IT IS ALWAYS ENCOURAGING TO HEAR FROM FRIENDS AND READERS. I CAN ALSO BE REACHED AT: easyfoodsmith@gmail.com
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