Shital's-Kitchen: Traditional, Old Fashioned Butter

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Traditional, Old Fashioned Butter

Butter making is an art and science. It's not magic, but the experience of churning cream to obtain soft, smooth, fresh, butter is magical! Born in India, it is instilled in us that milk, cream, butter, yogurt, butter milk are the part of our life, and good for health. Lord Krishna, Himself was a cow herder, and was surrounded by thousands of cows. Freshly churned homemade butter was his favorite treat. You would find pictures of this charismatic young boy with a mouthful of fresh butter. Pots of butter were hung high to prevent it from being eaten by This young, notorious boy. Offerings to Lord Krishna are based on milk, butter and their products. Freshly prepared butter mixed with sugar  forms a delicacy called Makhan Misri!

A decorated pot symbolizing pot full of butter is hung high during Janmashtami, celebrating Lord Krishna's birth.

A miniature silver butter churner to show the traditional churning process of making butter.

Churning butter is a part of our culture and tradition, and is done in every family.  After so many years, I was introduced to an organic, full fat, delicious milk by my friend. Straus Family creamery supplies this milk which I can say I am addicted to. I just love my cup of milk now! Another great part of buying this milk is that it comes in glass bottles just like we had in India. The bottle can be returned back to the store easily. As soon as I get the bottle, I empty the entire 1 1/2 liters in a big steal, heavy bottom container and bring it to a boil on low heat. I allow it to cool and refrigerate it. The cream from the milk floats on top and sets well when cooled. I skim the milk and collect the fresh cream in a glass container which is covered and stored in the refrigerator. In around 8-10 days I am able to obtain more than a cup of fresh cream. 

Here is the butter making process:
Add 1 tsp. yogurt in the cream (collected from milk or using store bought heavy whipping cream), and let it set for few hours. Transfer fermented cream in a large container. You can also use room temperature cream without fermenting it with yogurt to make butter. I used a traditional butter churner. This is placed in between your palms. While the palms are rubbed it produces a back and forth motion that separates the fat from the milk. In no time I could see the chunky fat developing from the cram. Continue till the milk and fat is separated well.

You can now remove the soft, smooth butter from the milk.
Add few ice cubes and a cup of ice water the solidify butter to ease out the removing process.
Use the left over butter milk to drink or to add to curries.

Fresh, organic, yellow, cows milk butter!
It is ready to be served or to turn to clarified butter or Ghee.
Will post pictures of Clarified butter in my next post.

Serve fresh, soft, butter with bread or toast with some sprinkled sugar.

I prepared this flat bread called Thalipeeth, made of wheat and other millets with few spices.
A traditional way Indians enjoy fresh butter is with a warm, crisp, flat bread!

If you have never tried making butter before, please do.
This is simply a magical moment!!


  1. Where do you get this milk? Can we get it in trader's joe or costco?

    1. This milk is from Whole food Market. You get this at Sprouts Market too.

    2. Is this unpasteurized milk? After boiling how many days it will last? Do we need to finish whole milk in one day?How do u store this milk? Do they deliver it to your doorstep or you need to pick it up every day?If you boil the same milk few times, will you get a cream?
      Sorry for asking so many questions. I am so excited I was looking for this recipe long time. Hats off to you for such hard work. I like your blog. I often visit your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. ....Pallavi.

    3. Hi Pallavi, This is pasteurized milk but non homogenized, which means the fat is not processed to mix into the milk so that we get malai. Milk fat by nature can start to float on top but because most processed milk in homogenized, we do not obtain malai from that milk. This milk is available in glass bottle, which has to be returned to the shop so recycling becomes so easy and safe for environment. I buy it easily from whole foods. There are some online places that deliver too :) Yes you boil the milk and it gives a lot of malai. From 1 bottle I get almost 1/2 to 1 cup malai. You are most welcome to ask me as many questions and doubts you have. I am excited about this milk. I just boil in a steel utensil and cover and store in the fridge. 1 bottle is around 1 1/2 liter so I use it for 4-5 days. For larger family you might use 1 bottle in a day or 2. But it stays just fine out of the bottle in the fridge for a week or more. Thanks for checking my blog. I will put the picture of the Straus milk bottle on Shital's Kitchen facebook page.

  2. What do we do with leftover butter milk?

    1. I use it to make kadhi or to make dokla. You can make khandvi or use it for gravies too.

  3. Can we use this milk to make curd? Does it give thick curd?