Drinking Chaas for the first time in six years!
What is Chaas?
Chaas is often described as a yogurt drink. It's usually made of 4 ingredients - yogurt, water, salt and cumin. It is popular in the Indian states Gujarat and Rajasthan, where it is drunk with the main meal.
Before I shifted to a vegan diet in 2008, I used to drink Chaas quite often. Mum made her own yogurt at home and we'd make Chaas from it. However, after becoming aware of how the dairy industry works, there was no compromise. I had to shift to a vegan diet and therefore Chaas was out!
Was there an alternative? Could we make vegan Chaas?
I didn't really know about many vegan products when I made the shift. Alpro products were advertised heavily, so I started to use their milk and tried their yogurt too. Alpro 'Simply Plain' yogurt isn't what it says on the container! It's not plain. It has a sweetness to it. So when I made Chaas with it, I wasn't happy with the outcome!
After that I gave up. I guess it wasn't that important to me, otherwise I would have made the effort to try making it with another brand, like Sojade.
Tasting a delicious vegan Chaas for the first time in six years!
Suraj and I were invited to a diamond wedding anniversary celebration. The couple are very dear to us. They are kind, generous and selfless. Whenever we've met for dinner, they have gone out of their way to make a gourmet vegan meal which would include many dishes! Sheer indulgence! So, when they invited us to their diamond anniversary celebration, we knew we'd be catered for.
They had also invited Mahersh and Nishma who own Shambhus vegan catering and they made the vegan options for the four of us. This is when I tried Chaas for the first timing after trying to make it with Alpro.
At first I was silent and then I was so excited, I couldn't wait to find out how she made it. I then fleeted between feeling content, excited, surprised and confused about why it was such a big deal! I had forgotten how often I drank it before and that I'd tried to replicate it and then gave up. Suraj and I then worked out that I hadn't enjoyed Chaas in over six years!
The secret ingredient to make vegan Chaas
The secret was in the yogurt. The yogurt that they used was Tesco Free From Natural Yogurt. Everything else was the same!
So I've got the yogurt and made the Chaas and loved it! So much, that I made it and just had it on its own. No meal needed!
How to make vegan Chaas for one person
- Start by putting 3 tablespoons of vegan yogurt in a jar
- Add a mug of water and whisk/blend
- Add salt to taste
- Add a pinch of roasted cumin seeds which have been ground into a powder
- Mix and taste
- If it's too thin, add some some yogurt and if it's too thick, add some water
Variations of Chaas
- I like to add some finely chopped coriander on the top.
- Some like to add a little mint.
- I've also made it by adding blended coriander and chillies and that was delicious!
- Others add ginger
The take home point
I guess the biggest take home point is that it's possible to find a way to veganise everything!
"Today, I marvel at the vegan foods in the supermarket, at the cruelty-free clothing choices in stores, and at the fantastic alternatives to dissection in schools, the modern ways to test medicines without killing rabbits and beagles, the many forms of entertainment involving purely human performers."