Skip to main content

How to Make Buttermilk From Dahi or Homemade Yogurt

Rajan loves cooking dishes from his native Indian cuisine. He enjoys sharing his favourite recipes with his online readers.

Learn how to make traditional buttermilk.

Learn how to make traditional buttermilk.

Buttermilk in Two Ways

Buttermilk is the liquid remaining after making butter. There are two ways to make butter. One is using homemade malai (fresh milk cream) and the other is using full-fat dahi (homemade yogurt).

When butter is made from homemade fresh milk cream, it entails skimming off the cream layer from the boiled milk and preparing butter from it. As a limited quantity of milk is purchased each day for consumption at home, this requires collecting the skimmed-off cream layer from the cold, boiled milk every day until you have enough to make butter and buttermilk.

The other method is the traditional one in which homemade yogurt is used to make butter, and the liquid remaining after removing the butter is buttermilk. Since this is a real buttermilk recipe, we will be using dahi to make it.

Buttermilk can be used to make Kadhi or can be drunk as chaas by stirring in some roasted cumin seed powder, sendha namak/rock salt, and black pepper powder to make a refreshing summer beverage that is very cooling. Buttermilk is also used in cooking and baking.

Please note that only raw unpasteurized milk should be used to make dahi or yogurt at home if you wish to make buttermilk. Milk is a complete food. To learn about the various health benefits of milk, please read my article.

Cook Time

Prep timeReady inYields

30 min

30 min

2 to 4 servings


  • 500 milliliters raw, unpasteurized full fat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon jamun or yogurt starter, in winter more of the jamun should be used than in summer
  • 500 milliliters chilled water as needed only in summer, in winter you will need hot water
  • 8 to 10 ice cubes, only in summer


  1. Boil the milk and let it cool down till it remains just a wee bit hot.
  2. Add the jamun, the yogurt starter, to the milk & stir it in. Cover the milk and let it sit undisturbed overnight for the milk to set into dahi.
  3. Next morning whisk the dahi with a hand mixer or blender for a couple of minutes.
  4. Now add some chilled water and whisk till the butter separates out; about 5 minutes.
  5. Add some ice cubes and stir till the butter firms up a bit.
  6. Remove the butter and strain out the remaining liquid.
  7. Buttermilk is ready. Refrigerate it and use it as needed within two days.
  8. Check out my traditional buttermilk recipe video to see how it has been prepared.