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How to make Makhan (Butter) and Chaach (Buttermilk)? Manthan

Makhan and Chaach are made by churning Yogurt made from whole milk. Makhan is a butter with natural culture flavor from yogurt.  In parts of Europe Makhan is also called 'White Butter'

In United States, the butter is made from 'sweet cream'. The cream is skimmed off the raw milk. The cream is pasteurized, cooled off and aged at 40 F overnight. The cream is churned to separate the butter from cream. The butter may or may not be salted. The left over fluid is buttermilk. For cultured buttermilk, the whole milk is heated to 200 F and then allowed to cool to 77 F. The live culture is added,  and the mixture held at 74 F to 77 F for about 24 hours. Commercially buttermilk is pasteurized and may not have any live-culture.
In India, Makhan and Chaach are made from Dahi (whole-milk yogurt with live-culture). The raw whole milk is heated to 200 F and cooled down to 110 F. The culture is added and the milk incubated in a Terracotta pot Handi or the Matka at 110 F overnight. Now the milk has turned into Dahi (Yogurt). How to make Dahi .


Traditional Makhan Manthan Conceptual artThe process to make Makhan is called 'Manthan' The Handi containing yogurt for churning is called Manthani. A woman squats on her haunches or sits on the floor. The Manthani is tied by a rope to a fixed post, normally it is the leg of a cot. The ropes are shown is grey. A wooden churner stick called 'Phirni' is inserted in Dahi. One rope may may hold Phirin to the post. Another rope is wrapped around the Phirni, about 3 turn. The Phirni is rotated back and forth by pulling on a rope wrapped around the Phirni. Manthan takes place during early cool morning hours. In about 10 to 20 minutes of continuous churning, the butter-fat 'breaks' from the yogurt as butter-globules. The butter-globules clump together to make lumps of Makhan that float on the top. The Makhan is skimmed off leaving behind the Chaach. Chaach is skimmed buttermilk with culture. The heavier (more fat) the milk, lower should be the temperature of Dahi to make Makhan. The temperature for goat's milk yogurt should be below 55 F, the temperature for cow's milk yogurt should be below 60 F.

The ideal temperature to churn yogurt made from cow's milk is 58 F. The butter-globules are firm enough to break out, but soft enough to adhere together to form lumps

The easiest way to make Makhan and Chaach is by using 'Stand-Mixer'. If you just made the yogurt, it should be aged in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight for best results. The yogurt aged in refrigerator is about 40 F. The yogurt temperature should not be over 60 F. Pour the yogurt in the bowl. Use paddle type beater. Churn for 15 minutes at medium speed. The butter-fat in the yogurt will finally 'break', separating butter-grains and butter-milk. Continued churning will adhere the butter-grains together forming lumps. You have just made Makhan (Cultured Butter), and Chaach (skim cultured Buttermilk)

You can also use old fashioned Ice-cream maker, modify it so that container stays stationary.

Approximately 21 pounds of milk is needed to yield One pound of butter.


Food Processor Versus Stand Mixer

Food processor has a blade that actually chops and liquefies. The Mixer has beaters. The beaters as the name suggests beat the food shattering or breaking it. You want to beat the cream so that the butter-grains can break-out. After the butter-grains have broken out, the food processor will try to chop the butter-grains and incorporate them back into butter-milk. The beaters also incorporate air, this helps beaters to move butter-grains closer and adhere together to form lumps.

Another reason is the temperature. The process takes about 15 minutes. The motor of the food-processor is very close to the food being processed. The yogurt will get warmer . if it goes over 60 F, the butter-grains will get softer and will not 'break out'.


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