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Amul Salted Butter - India

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

My standard butter, reasonably priced and roughly 50/50 cow/buffalo milk!

Road Cows of Kerala: A Personal History

Amul was the first Indian butter I ever had. When I was 5, my parents took the family back to the Homeland to visit and show us off to every single relative who could be located.

Me, my cousin, brother & uncle with the family cow. Photo by G Elamatha.

We were there for 6 weeks.

We did not locate all the relatives.

I was a picky child and at the time, this butter tasted WEIRD (read: pungent, musky, non-industrialised) to my extremely uncultured and alarmist palate but since my brother and I were busy rebelling against all forms of Indian food, this butter, applied to plain, expensive and difficult-to-procure pasta was tolerable since it was one of 3 things we would willingly eat (the other 2 being bananas and plain rice). Why my mother didn't just leave us there is completely beyond me.

Grass-fed doesn't always look like you think it will.
Road Cows of Kerala: Rickshaw Edition. Photo by Justine Elamatha.

Fast forward to moving to Dubai for work in 2015 with a more developed palate and robust food education, I was fascinated to see this at the local Indian supermarket. Now that I can read, the muskiness made sense- this butter is half buffalo milk!

We have since visited Kerala as a family and many things have change and many things haven't. Namely, family cows are largely still left to their own devices. I complied an entire album entitled 'Road Cows of Kerala' simply by dangling a DSLR out the car window and playing snappety-snap with the local fauna at breakneck speed.

More roadside grazing, this time with buffalo! Photo by Justine Elamatha.
Road Cows of Kerala: Brahmans & Buffalos Edition. Photo by Justine Elamatha.

It was fascinating to see how these bovines still ate grass albeit not the best quality. These days, any non-artisanal butter is likely to be from lactating cows fed a diet of some sort of GMO grains whilst living in some sort of confinement. I guess some of these guys were technically tied up and 'confined' but it certainly doesn't compare with Western industrial milk production.

Road Cows of Kerala: Escapee Edition. Photo by Justine Elamatha.

Amul Butter Appreciation

It's difficult to give this butter an objective score since it's my go-to. The price is right, it's readily available and the flavour I found too pungent as a child is actually very mild. I appreciate the fact that it's half buffalo since they're more difficult to industrially domesticate and that implies that at least the buffalos may still be eating a diet of greenery. Apparently a grass-based diet will also lend itself to a stronger flavour to both meat and milk.

Butter Break Down

Appreciation Date: 25/05/2020

Country of Origin: India

Point of Procurement: Carrefour (Dubai)

Purchase State: Frozen

Price/100 g: AED 3.39

Milk: 50/50 cow/buffalo; Pasteurised

Salt Content: Salted; 2.5%

Ingredients: Milk Fat, Salt, Annatto Extract Colour (E160b).

Declared Possible Allergens: Milk; produced in a factory that also processes tree-nuts, wheat, soybean. (I have a severe tree nut allergy and have never had a hint of a problem.)

Company Website:

Butter Evaluation

In which we discuss our appreciation for Amul Pasturised Salted Butter.

How we score things.
Science, Family Style. Scale and photo by Justine Elamatha

Photo by Justine Elamatha.

Me: I love this butter. Gives depth and warmth to anything you're cooking, great in baking, the right price point and reminds me of childhood.

Girl, 9: I like this one too! This is the one we always have!

Photo by Justine Elamatha.

Me: How's the aroma? I like it. Buttery with something like grass. G9: IT SMELLS LIKE BUTTER

Me: We like the colour? G9: Yes can we eat it now?

Me: Go for it.

Me: Very happy. 4/5.

G9: *Indecipherably talking with mouth full*. 4/5.

Final Rundown:

Only disappointment is the colouring. Seems unnecessary for such a great butter.

Great flavour, light but punchy aroma, excellent price point.


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1 Comment

Hey Justine! Great post! Absolutely love Amul, especially the Salty variant. You got to check out this National Geographic documentary on how this mammoth of a co-op works and its origin. Cheers!

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