Thursday, March 23, 2006

Majjiga - Andhra Spiced Buttermilk (Salted Yogurt Drink)

Summer time conjures up memories of big cool earthern pots of churned buttermilk kept in the open verandah of my tatayya’s (grandfather) farmhouse and those visiting him being offered a glass of cool refreshing ‘majjiga’ (Telugu term for buttermilk)-the quintessential summer drink.I reminse the good olden days of sharing some great moments with tatayya over a glass of chikkati majjiga (thick buttermilk). I grew up drinking ‘majjiga’ and it still is a routine affair in our home... call it a mix of tradition, habit , nutrition and comfort. Visit any Andhra home during summer time and you are sure to be welcomed with a chilled glass of majjiga (moru(Tamil),majjige(Kannada),chaas(Gujarati),lassi(punjabi)).
Majjiga is an integral part of Andhra cuisine and no meal is complete without Majjiga which is usually taken towards the end of a meal as it has the ability to enhance digestion.Majjiga which is known by different names in the West like Salted Yogurt Drink,Yogurt Shake and Indian Drinking Yogurt is a blend of three tastes which are sweet,sour and astringent.Majjiga is one of the easiest recipes even a 6 year old can whip up and is nothing but a blend of fresh curds,plain water and salt.Replace the salt with sugar and it becomes Sweet Lassi,a very popular sweet drink beverage in North India,having its origins in Punjab.

The best way to prepare ‘majjiga’ is to always use fresh home made curds and mix it in equal parts of water to make a thick buttermilk (chikkati majjiga).For a more thinner majjiga add 3 parts of water to one part of curds and use a hand churner or kavvam (traditional wooden or stainless steel churner) to churn the mixture ,rolling it back and forth between your hands.
Do this for 2 minutes.This action helps in blending the mixture well and any fat which is in the curd will separate and rise to the top.Skim off the fat.(If you don’t have a hand churner similar to the ones shown in the picture ,use a blender to blend on low speed for a minute)

Andhra Spiced Buttermilk is a soothing combination of fresh home made curds,water,fresh curry leaves,crushed ginger,green chillis,salt and a dash of lemon juice.This spice and herb infused drink is a perfect blend of myriad flavors ….sweet,spicy,sour and salty which balances and pacifies all the three doshas.Vata,Pitta and Kapha,strengthens and increases our appetite and digestive power.

Andhra Spiced Buttermilk

4 glasses of buttermilk(made from 4 parts water and 1 part curds)
1-2 green chillies finely chopped (adjust according to your choice)
½” ginger piece grated or crushed
few curry leaves (only fresh leaves)
1-2 tbsp lemon juice

salt to taste
coriander leaves(optional)
Mix all the above ingredients and chill.Serve cold.

Another variation is to add a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves to the above prepared majjiga.Heat ½ tsp of oil in a pan and add 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds and let them splutter.Add the curry leaves and let the flavors blend in the oil, remove from heat and immediately add to the majjiga and cover for a few minutes and then blend with a churner for a minute and chill. Serve cold.
Another version is nimmakaaya majjiga or nimma majjiga which is plain salted majjiga (blend of curds and water)with a dash of lemon juice.
North Indian version of buttermilk or lassi calls for the use of rock salt,dry roasted cumin pwd and fresh mint leaves.Read more about Lassi.

Each home has its own version of buttermilk be it North, South ,East or West.The basic recipe of buttermilk is the same,only the infusion of spices and herbs differs according to each home or region.Read more about curds or yogurt and home made yogurt.

Ayurvedic nutrition recommends buttermilk to pacify Pitta dosha (with the addition of sugar or rose water), pacify Vata and Kapha (use of rock salt, honey,spices like dry-roasted cumin pwd, black pepper and herbs like ginger).Buttermilk is highly recommended as one the best home remedies for certain ailments like piles,diarrhoea,jaundice and dysfunctions of liver and spleen.Read more about the benefits of buttermilk.

This traditional thrist-quenching refreshing drink with high therapeutic and nutritional properties is appetizing,cooling,rejunuvating,soothing and serves as an excellent antidote to sunstrokes during Indian peak summer times. It tones the small intenstine,very light on the stomach and easy to digest unlike other dairy products like cheese and paneer.It goes without saying that majjiga is the healthiest low calorie milk product among the many dairy products and works as a good calcium substitute for the high calorie dairy products.

Buttermilk serves as a good home remedy for removing sun tan.Apply buttermilk to the face and rinse off with cool water, once dry.Do this regularly and your tan disappears and your face gets back it lost glow.So it works as a beauty enhancer too…:)

I had to start with my series on “Indian Drinks & Sharbats” with this heavenly traditional drink which most of us in Andhra cannot do without.So instead of heading for aerated drinks this summer,try out the irresistible, nourishing,old-fashioned beverage 'majjiga' which will revitalize you and keep you cool throughout the delirious hot season.



Lakshmi said...

fabulous , ye topic kanni, miru chala baga rastaru.

sailu said...

Thank you,Lakshmi.

Kitchenmate said...

Sailu: Informative blog on buttermilk. We make your version without lime juice, but with very small pinch of hing in it with mustard seeds seasoning; heavenly, i make it only in Summer :)

Vineela said...

Majjiga bramhmandamandi
Chala baga vivarincharu.Teesukoni tagalanipinchindi.

Ashwini said...

I lovvve buttermilk. This is new to me so am happy to try out. You are off to a great start :-)

Kay said...

Wow! My fav drink of all times! Sailu, I also love the container you've served the buttermilk in. It gives a more authentic touch.

Lera said...

Buttermilk with seasoning is my all time fav, especially during summer you get to value this refreshing cool drink all the more....:)

Sailu,we at home season it with the addition of cumin seeds apart from mustard and hing and curry leaves.

Saffron said...

ahh, that pot of buttermilk looks luscious! definitely THE drink for a hot summer day.

My hubby loves it with some mango pickle liquid mixed in it :-)


RP said...

Awww...the pictures of churners bring back memories of my grandma churning the curd. She had a wooden one. I have never used it, and I think I haven't even seen one for a very long time now. Shame on me!

The drink looks great Sailu. We call it sambaram, and we don't add lemon juice.

zohguy_saiyajin said...

It seems so delicated. I must try this one. (:

Santhi said...

brings back memories of hot summer days, in busstops, bunking college, chatting with friends buying and drinking butter milk from road side vendors....

sailu said...

I do make that version with hing too sometime to break the monotony,Karthi.

Thank you,Vineela.

You will love it for sure,Ashwini.

Kay,the brass glass you see belongs to my grandmothers time ..which is more 80 years old.Its an antique piece I treasure..:)

Lera,I do add cumin seeds in the tempering sometimes.I like to try out different variations..:)

Saffronhut,I love my majjiga annam with pickle too..:).Its a deadly combo.

RP,all our traditional kitchen tools are being outdated and being replaced by modern ones which really dont do justice to the food being cooked.Yes,they are convenient and do make life easy.
But the traditional hand churner is far superior to the modern blenders in preparing majjiga or mashing the dal.

Thanks for dropping by,ZS.

Shanti,I am so glad it conjured up memories of good times..:)

Mahek said...

sailu now its my turn to visit your blog...
lovely photos are they clicked by you ..
i love to take photos of day to day life and day to day things which i can see in your photos too the banana man photo is superb i had seen such bananas at kerala when i went on a trip there.
i am going to read all your recipes the butter milk looks yummy its my favorite

sailu said...

Thanks for dropping by,Mahek.
Yes,those pics are taken by me and I am glad you like them..:)

Melissa CookingDiva said...

What kind of milk is the curd made from? I have always loved homemade yogurt, and since now I am pro-raw milk I prepare my own cheese, etc---Well, IF I have the time :)

sailu said...

Melissa,we prepare curd,butter and ghee (clarified butter)from buffalo milk.The buffalo milk has a sweeter flavor than cow's milk...and the fat and protein content in buffalo's milk is higher than in cow's milk. I generally skim off the fat when I prepare the curds and buttermilk.

Mythili said...

majjiga adirindhi sailu ! super !!

BDSN said...

Wow I feel like having majiga now even though its spring and the weather is chilly here...Good informative post Sailu...

Puspha said...

Yummy!! great thirst quencher on hot sunny days. I miss having iced & spiced buttermilk along with banana leave rice.

Kalyn said...

Very interesting. I am actually quite fond of buttermilk, although I've never put any other seasonings in it.

Nandita said...

Hi Sailu, Have been following your blog for a while, one of the best food blogs around i must say.
The Bombay heat has driven me to put up a similar posting on my blog on Masala mor two week ago...guess it's the seasons impact.
Just want to tell you how much i enjoy reading your blog with wonderful pictures

sailu said...

Thank you,Mythili.Mana andaraki majjiga must have drink,kada..:)

Thanks,bdsn.Majjiga is an any time,any season drink.

Try it with seasoning,Kalyn.You will love it for sure.

Thanks so much for your kind words,Nandita.I am on my way to your blog to read about masala mor.

Mrs Marthi said...

Hi Sailu,

Andhralo manchi summer lo, ee majjiga ku minchi manchi paneeyam ledu....I love Nimmakaya majjiga....Hope to make this soon......

Mrs Marthi

chanit said...

Yummy !!!

Annita said...

nice & informative post Sailu..And that brass glass looks relly cool..:)

Anonymous said...

recipe is super.
Wishing you ahappy Ugadi.Please vist on 28th or 29th morining for online social function.expecting your visit.

Anonymous said...

wish you a happy ugadi Sailu,inka update cheyaledu mi blog, nenu roju visit chestunna.

Anonymous said...

that was lakshmi ...sailu from myrasoi.......something i did, happenned to post that comment as anonymous

Ravi said...

Sailaja garu,

Really proud of you. This is the first time I am seeing you blog and felt in love at first sight. I had not reviewed all the dishes but certainly they will be good.

All the best for you.

Ravi Kethe