Mamta's Kitchen

Lassi 2 Or Maththa, A Savoury Yoghurt Drink, Traditional Style

Namkeen Mattha or Chach

Mamta Gupta


Mattha is a refreshingly cool, savoury drink, an end product of making butter from yoghurt/dahi. In the days when people kept cows or buffaloes in their back yard for their family's milk requirements, surplus milk was first made into yoghurt and then churned with hand churners, to take the butter out. The liquid left over from this process was/is called mattha or buttermilk. Any surplus mattha was distributed amongst neighbours and servants. I remember my mum making fresh butter/mattha most mornings, because my parents kept a cow or a water-buffalo until we moved to a big city. These days, it can be made by simply diluting the skimmed milk yoghurt with water and beating/blending it. Maththa is very good for soothing an upset stomach because it has lactobacilli, the good bacteria of the stomach and it is lower in fat than yoghurt, easier to digest. Serves 2


  • 1 cup of yoghurt (low fat is better)

  • 2 cups of water

  • 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

  • A pinch of black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds, dry roasted and coarsely ground*

  • A few ice cubes

  • 2 tall glasses


  1. Heat a griddle or tava and dry roast cumin seeds until brown and give a distinctive aroma of roasting.

  2. Put all ingredients, except ice, in a liquidizer and give it a quick whiz.

  3. Place 2-3 ice cubes in each glass and pour lassi over it.

  4. Serve with straws.

  5. *Instead of adding dry roasted seeds, you can temper the maththa with 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds crackled in a teaspoon of hot oil.


  • This drink goes particularly well with Aloo Paratha.

  • If cultured buttermilk is available, it can be used to replace yoghurt and water. Originally, this drink was always made from low fat cultured butter milk.

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