I don’t ever recall hearing the term safhed makhaan or white butter growing up, so I was really curious when I came across this recipe when I was researching how to make Sarsoon ka Saag aka mustard greens.   I found that white butter is traditionally made from the cream that rises when you boil milk (malhai), and still contains the buttermilk. The butter is slightly tart tasting and only last for about a week Where as butter is “rinsed” free of any buttermilk, thus containing a longer shelf life.

I do recall when I lived in Karachi about 30 years ago (wow!), my mom making butter, especially her churning for what seemed like forever, but I am unclear if she made white butter or butter. I am also unclear if white butter tastes different if its made the traditional way from the cream that is collected when boiling milk known as malhai (which some people like my dad like to eat with chapati) versus store bought cream. Technically malhai is cream, but it comes from milk that has been boiled—does store bought cream come from boiled milk as well? I don’t know if this is the case now, but 30 years ago when I lived in Karachi the milkman came to your door daily. You handed him your pot and he poured the amount of milk you requested. Then you would pasturize it yourself by bringing it to a boil. The layer of cream on top (malhai) was collected to make butter or enjoyed with a paratha or chapati.  There are a lot of questions on my part, but I do know in the U.S, I can use store bought cream to make safhed makhaan  or butter (thank again to Chawla!). If anyone has any insight please share.

This butter took literally 5 minutes to make and the slight tartness really took my Sarsoon ka Saag to the next level. This splurge was  worth the effort and the extra calories!

Safhed Makhaan/White Butter Final

Equipment Needed: a food processor or a hand mixer/blender & a strainer
Time: 10 mins
Ingredients:  8 oz COLD heavy cream & 2 T of ice cold water
Store: In the fridge sealed tight. Remember white butter only lasts about 1 week.

Hold on to you container! Start whipping on low and work up to high speed (if you have a 2 speed hand blender). Your cream starts looking like fluffy whipping cream in a minute, and begins to look ugly shortly after. Keep going you are on track!  To get to butter (image on right) it took me 4 mins.

IMG_1376Almost Butter

Butter and ButtermilkSafhed Makhaan/White Butter

After you get to butter, the cream will turn slightly yellow (my pics look slightly more yellow due to my lighting). At this point see if you have liquid in the bottom of your container (image on left) you are almost done (If not, keep going for about another minute). It took me 5 minutes, to see the milk of the butter aka real buttermilk. You now have butter! Add a SMALL amount of ice water, hold your container and whip again on low to harden the butter and help it clump together. Strain. You will have about a cup of buttermilk. Add your white butter to a dish of choice and add a few more tablespoons of buttermilk to the top. Your done!

Enjoy with:

Sarsoon ka Saag, Parathas,  Chapatis, Toast or anything else you can think of…

Leftover buttermilk: I drank a little and add the rest to a soup to make it creamy and slightly tart.

To make butter: To turn this into butter, you need to “rinse” the butter. After your strain out the buttermilk, add your butter back into the mixing container, add a little more ice water. On LOW mix together (careful it splatters) . Dump out water and repeat until your water runs CLEAR. Your butter will now last as long as butter does.  (If you want to make salted butter, add salt prior to whipping).

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