27 August 2012

Making and Using Ghee

Ghee is traditional Indian clarified butter that has many applications in Ayurveda.  It is said to be good for the skin, the immune system, and the digestion.  Ayurveda believes that all root causes of disease come from improper or poor digestion.

There is a Vedic fire ceremony using ghee.  You burn dung and ghee together while meditating and chanting.  It releases off many toxins in the mind.  I've done it a couple of times before and I always seem to have a clearer mind afterward.

In cooking, it has as many applications as butter or oil does.  Basically, ghee is a purified form of milk fat.  When you remove the milk solids and the watery foam, what you are left with is a butterfat that is pure and healthier than what you started with.  Constantly purifying and clearing out impurities through the process of making ghee ensures that impurities are minimized in you!

I made ghee recently and it took about 30 minutes.  The color change is something to look out for, as you want a golden color, not too yellow, not too brown.  Golden brown is about as far as you want to take it.  Kind of like making a roux or a risotto, you want to keep an eye on the pot at all times and adjust the flame as necessary.  Say a prayer or your favorite chant as you do it and stand in tree pose.

Go for the unsalted version and something fancy or organic. Treat yourself!!!

 Melted butter, note the foam on the top
 Some recipes call for straining it after the butter melts, but I like to skim the foam off the top as I go.
 Most of the foam is gone, but some milk solids are on the bottom.  Place a sieve or strainer over a glass jar and pour!

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month on the shelf, refrigerate afterwards

This is a great alternative to using regular butter and you can make a bunch of it to have on hand.  Next time you reach for the butter,  use ghee instead!  

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