I am a big fan of ghee. A couple of dollops of ghee poured at the end of any dish give it a royal taste. When I came to US, I was a little worried about how to get good ghee in this butter land. As the saying goes if there is a will there is a way. I figured there is a little Indian store close to my place which sells ghee, but I had a doubt about the purity and whether those will really have that old familiar smell of ghee. So, I took the job in hand and prepared ghee or clarified butter at home.
As a kid I have seen my mom preparing ghee at home. For days she used to take out the skim from the milk and store it. Then she heated those skims over low flame and pure ghee was produced.
Unlike mom, I’m not that patient type. If something comes to mind, I need that instantly. So, preparing ghee from milk skim was out of question. Plan B was to prepare it from unsalted butter. The keyword here is unsalted. You can prepare it from salted butter, but then there will be more residues and the taste will definitely be different.
While preparing the ghee always take care that the residues are not getting burnt, so as soon as the butter takes a frothy texture lower the flame to low and do not stir it.
How to make Ghee
- 2 bars of unsalted butter
- Heat the unsalted butter over medium heat
- Gradually turn down the heat to low as the butter starts frothing
- As the butter turns a darker shade of brown, take out of flame and let cool for 5-7mins. Do not disturb it, and let the sediments get settled at the bottom of the vessel
- With a muslin cloth strain the ghee and pour in sterilized container
Ghee in the History Book:
Ghee had been used in Indian cuisine as well as in rituals since ages. It is the fifth element of panchamrit, the Sanskrit word for five elixirs. Not only in Indian culture ghee is used in many other cultures including Egytian, Ethiopian and French.
A spoonful of ghee contains about 8mg of cholesterol, which is much less than that of butter. Being a saturated fat, ghee is easily digestible. It stimulates the stomach acids to help with digestion.
Though not significantly, but ghee reduces the bad lipids (LDL) from blood. Ghee is also a very good antioxidant and helps in absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods, feeding all layers of body tissue and serving to strengthen the immune system.
Large quantities of ghee will definitely have an unhealthy outcome. But, as ghee contains conjugated linolenic acid which helps in losing weight, especially belly fat, and has been known to slow the progress of some types of cancer and heart disease.