Nothing can make your dish luscious aromatic like homemade ghee. Homemade as always is fresh, flavorful and way better than store-bought. I am a big fan of ghee. Ghee has a big significance and is a staple food in India.I grew up watching my grandma making butter in olden way by churning with a round wooden spoon, then heating it to make ghee. The word “ghee” kept rumbling in my ears all my life from my grandma, mom, aunts. I even used to steal and eat ghee while my mom was asleep.
Traditional Indian cuisine is never complete without aromatic Ghee. Not only in cooking, ghee is also an excellent all-natural moisturizer, lip balm and used in Ayurvedic medicine. Hindu rituals are performed of pouring ghee into fire.
What is ghee?
Is ghee good for you?
The controversy whether ghee is a good or bad – has been in debate for many years. Ayurvedam recommends dairy and ghee. Though dairy has been accepted as healthy and good calcium source, it is not included in modern diets as vegan and paleo for a good reason. According to a few nutritionists, kids only need mothers milk till they are breastfed – up to 2 years. For billions of years, humans survived without dairy rest of their lives. This suggests dairy product is an unnecessary addition to our diet. Humans do not need dairy to live. More over, with modern genetically modified cow’s A1 quality milk, 1 out of 3 cannot digest milk. With modern low active lifestyle, high calorie ghee is not suitable unless you are physically an active person. You should watch other fats in your daily diet when you consume ghee to limit daily fat intake. Other than these reasons, there are no facts or studies which says ghee is bad for health. There are quiet a few facts which suggests ghee is good for us. Rather I should say it is better than butter, way better than margarine, spreads and mayonnaise.
Advantages of ghee:
- Just like coconut oil, despite high saturated fat content, some studies says ghee lowers unhealthy cholesterol levels. If you are trying to lose weight, it is advisable to watch ghee intake.
- Ghee is ok for those who are dairy (casein, lactose) sensitive.
- Ghee has significant levels of vitamin A, vitamin E.
- Butyric acid in Ghee is said to boost immunity and reduce Inflammation.
- You can make ghee yourself at home with home-made butter or using high quality butter. Rather use A2 quality milk to make ghee. This takes a lot of chemicals off of your diet.
How is ghee made?
Ghee is made by simmering butter over medium-low heat leaving the rich, golden butter fat. When simmered, butter slowly evaporates, the milk solids blackened at the bottom of the pan. When butter milk solids start to brown, turn off heat, cool down and strain to remove browned milk protein. Burnt milk proteins are edible too. It is mixed with little sugar and consumed. Perfectly simmered ghee has fat crumbs on bottle walls, melted ghee inside after cooling down. Even if it doesn’t crumble, it is ok. Buffalo milk butter and ghee is white, cow milk butter and ghee is yellowish brown. This recipe is not from scratch. I will post how to make ghee from scratch soon.
What makes ghee special?
- Ghee has much higher smoke point, than most cooking oils like coconut, canola, olive oil, lard etc.
- Ghee has long shelf-life.
- Ghee has most luscious mouth-watering aroma, which makes the dish instantly flavorful.
- Ghee is used for hot and sweet dishes.
Ghee stays fresh for months even in room temperature. You can extend its life by storing in the fridge. It will harden in low temperatures. For better results, buy high quality, better yet, grass-fed, organic butter. Though dairy isn’t paleo, ghee is paleo. Ghee is ok for those who are dairy sensitive. It doesn’t bother them.
Any easy recipes of ghee?
Skip margarine, spreads and mayonnaise and use ghee as spread for a flavorful, healthy breakfast or snack. Add ghee to rice to instantly make it flavorful.
The problem with modern cow milk.
In olden days, every house had buffalo or cows. Family members milked them every day and butter was made on weekly basis, so is ghee. In newer generation, genetically mutant jersey cows are grown for heavy milk production. Jersey cows produce A1 milk and regular cow produces A2 milk. A1 and A2 quality milk has two different variants of the caesin protein. 1 in 3 cannot digest A1 milk. Research says consuming A1 milk has incidence of diabetes, eczema, asthma and gut problems. In western countries you can buy A2 milk with a little research and extra money. Look for dairy that uses A2 cow breeds such as the Guernsey or the Normande.
- Good quality unsalted Butter - 3 sticks or home-made butter
- Take a thick bottomed pot. Make sure it has enough room for foam. To be clear, It should be more than double size of all butter sticks.
- Add butter sticks to pot. Heat to medium.
- Butter slowly boils and you see foam on top. Let it boil for at-least 50 minutes.
- Depending on you pot whether it is non stick, steel or aluminum, anywhere between 50 minutes to 2 hours, butter will turn transparent.
- Keep watching when it turns transparent. Very quickly it will start turning brown. Immediately turn off stove when it starts turning brown. For this reason, always keep stove on medium. If it is high, it will burn before you realize.
- Let it cool. Before it solidifies, strain into a glass jar.