A clear step by step guide with pictures on how to make butter at home from native cow’s milk.
My love affair with making butter at home started very recently. It is almost like a science experiment absolutely intriguing. Food transforming from one form to another, evolving stage by stage, just pure joy ! No wonder, there was so much of singing and dancing in Brindavan, where the women folk with great fervor used to churn out unlimited butter.
I read up a lot of about how to make butter and ghee and the science behind it. I hit upon Rujutha Diwekar’s book “Indian Super foods” where she dedicates an entire chapter on bursting myths about Ghee. Ghee is clarified butter. In that she says, how by adding adding ghee to your meals can bring down the Glycemic Index (GI) of food. The addition of any fat to food reduces its glycaemic index and ghee is brilliant in this regard. By bringing down the GI of the food, you ensure slow and study rise in blood sugars and better energy levels through the day. Home made ghee, is a “pro-biotic” which creates an environment conducive for gut-friendly bacteria to prosper.
So, today I will share with you how to make home made butter, an essential step in making Ghee. I will be using native (Indian) cow’s raw milk here. I think there is tons of reading material available on why it is important to consume raw cow’s milk as against toned pasteurized milk in packets Do not attempt to make butter from low fat milk or milk from a tetra pack. For those who live abroad, organic milk from free grazing cows or raw milk is the way to go.
As a first step, boil the milk and let it cool completely. I usually boil the milk and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, skim the cream from top of the milk. Store this in a container in the freezer. Repeat this everyday for a few days till the container is almost full.
Once you have collected substantial cream, transfer the vessel from the freezer to the refrigerator section and leave it there overnight to thaw under controlled temperature. The next day morning you will find thick cream that you can work with. Remove from refrigerator and transfer it to a stove friendly vessel. Whisk it well for a few minutes to form smooth cream. Now, slightly warm the cream on stove top. Do this in low flame. Keep checking the temperature with you fingers. The trick is to warm the cream but not heat it. Once, the cream is warm, remove from stove and add a spoonful of curd (Dahi/thayir/culture) to the cream. Mix well with a spoon so that the curd is mixed well.
Leave it in a cool, dry corner of the kitchen to set overnight or for a few hours. Depending on the weather, this time may vary. Allow the cream to set like curd. You can see in the below pic, how the cream sets into a thick curd.
Now, transfer this cream curd to a mixer grinder or stand mixer with a whisk option. Here I am using my food processor with dough mixing attachment to mimic a whisk. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of ice cold water. Remember ice cold water is your best friend in this process as we will be using a mixer here which produces heat as against traditional mud pot and wooden churner which cools the cream.
Now, use the pulse function or the lowest setting to churn the cream. You will need to churn the cream for 5-8 minutes with intermittent breaks every 1-2 minutes. You will first see thick cream. Then after a few minutes you will clearly see butter separating and leaving behind thin white buttermilk. You can see the transformation in the below pic.
Now, separate the butter from the buttermilk with hand. Slightly squeeze it in between you fingers to drain the buttermilk and transfer the butter to a vessel containing ice cold water.Wash this butter a couple of times in ice cold water to remove any excess buttermilk.
You now have home made white butter which is good for consumption by itself or the essential raw material for making ghee. Do not discard the buttermilk. It can be used for making mor kozhambu/kadhi or can consumed as is.