Posted by: adventuressetravels | March 6, 2012

Where the Buffalo Roam

Cows are almost synonymous with India.  They give food, help with work, and are really a part of the family.   Staying at Narinderjit Singh’s farm in Amritsar, I wanted to see how they milked one of these holy animals.

Much to my surprise, when I followed Ronita, the head housekeeper, to a row of cattle tied to the brick side of the strurdy barn, she walked straight past the furry spotted cows to the last animals.   She and the animal next to here were larger than the other animals, black and had huge dopey ears.  They didn’t look quite like the other

These weren’t cows, Ronita informed me.   These animals were buffalo.

She led a baby buffalo over to the nearest beast and let it drink for a few seconds, just long enough to get the milk flowing, before pulling the young thing away and putting a bucket down.

“Do you want to try?” asked Ronita.

It didn’t look that difficult and I do want to try everything.  Milking a buffalo definitely fits under the heading: everything.  So I leaned in and tried to copy the professional’s efforts.

Unfortunately being a milk maid is harder than it looks.  The few drops that oozed out on my first effort were pathetic.  Pull hard and squeeze the milk down, Ronita instructed.

My second effort produced a thin stream, but nothing like the fountain of milk that flowed when she put her hand to milking.  After another few pathetic attempts, I finally had milk squirting out almost every time I pulled.  Unfortunately the streams of milk seemed to have a mind of their own and landed everywhere but the bucket.  I stepped away and let the professionals get back to work:  I clearly wasn’t cut out for a career as a buffalo-milker.

When Ronita was finished milking the buffalo, she handed me a glass of warm, fresh milk – probably more than I had managed to squeeze from the animal in the entire time I had tried.  The rich, almost smoky flavor was delectable.   Much richer than cow’s milk, it was a treat to sample.   It was hard to believe that this milk wasn’t more popular in other areas of the world.

Fortunately in India buffalo milk and cheese are quite common.   In fact, most of the milk of the milk and cheese consumed in India are actually buffalo milk.  Warm or cold its delicious distinctive flavor adds a little extra something to the meal.  Though milking an actual buffalo to milk may be a little more difficult to find, I recommend trying some of the milk when you’re in India.

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Responses

  1. Do you have video of this.what is is place?

    • Unfortunately I don’t have a good video. It is a resort and restaurant that helps educate about Punjabi culture


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