There are so many misconceptions related to white butter or makkhan. But this ancient and traditional food is a must on your plate. Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar, a long-time advocate of white butter, says that white butter, though the food of gods, butter remains amongst the most misunderstood fats, along with milk and ghee. What’s makkhan? “It’s freshly churned butter from milk, an essential step before ghee. The churning itself makes the makkhan special in terms of molecular gastronomy, not just in terms of its unique, ‘melt in an instant’ texture, but it also nutritionally equips it with many special properties,” she explains. According to Rujuta, white butter retains the potency of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K and E, therefore making it a powerful anti-oxidant. Then there is the Wulzen factor, a hormone-like substance only found in freshly churned butter that has the capacity to prevent joint stiffness and ensures that your bones store more calcium.
“Freshly churned white butter is relished across India with regional delicacies that are fibre- and mineral-rich, mostly coarse grains and legumes, be it makai roti in Punjab, thalipeeth in Maharashtra, ragi adai in the South or namak chai (barley, salt and butter tea) in the Himalayas. The reason here is fibre and the Glycosphingolipids, a type of fatty acids found in white butter, which works at protecting the gastrointestinal tract from infections or just from slowing down. Gassy, bloated, burpy? That spoonful of makkhan may just do the trick for you.”
For making makkhan at home: Bring 2 cups heavy whipping cream to room temperature and then whip it with a blender till it becomes frothy and thick. Then mix it for another 2-3 minutes. This is when the butter will start to curdle. Add ice cubes along with 1/2 cup of water and start mixing. When you blend it further, you will see the fat (white butter) separating from liquid (buttermilk). Separate the butte from the liquid through a sieve. Rinse butter/fat under cold water to get rid of the buttermilk residue. Store.