Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Desi Ghee (Clarified Butter)

Ghee is clarified butter with its milk solids and water removed.

Typically it is produced by melting butter and allowing the different components to separate by density. The water evaporates, some solids float to the surface and are skimmed off, and the remainder of the milk solids sink to the bottom and are left behind when the butter fat is poured off. The components that are not butter fat are usually discarded.

Texture, color, or taste of ghee depends on the source of the milk from which the butter was made. In India, Ghee is usually made with water buffalo’s milk as it tends to be whiter than cow’s milk

It occupies an important position in South Asian and Middle Eastern Cuisines.

According to Ayurveda - India's nutritional sciences, Ghee (clarified butter) used in moderation is the best oil for cooking. One needs less ghee (half or two-thirds) as compared to oil to achieve the same goals.

It has following advantages:

  • The ayurvedic texts say that ghee helps balance excess stomach acid, and helps maintain/repair the mucus lining of the stomach. It stimulates the digestion (Agni) better than any other oil.
  • Increases immunity from disease or Ojas as it is known in Ayurveda.
  • Ghee is said to promote all three aspects of mental functioning -- learning, memory and recall.
  • Clarified butter has a higher smoke point than regular butter, and is therefore preferred in some cooking applications, such as sautéing.
  • It increases the medicinal properties of spices when spices are sautéed in it.
  • According to Ayurveda - it is more alkaline than other oils and this results in a smoother skin tone and makes one look younger.
  • Ghee balances both Vata (the dosha that controls movement in mind and body) and Pitta (the dosha that controls heat and metabolism).
  • Ghee balances both Vata (the Ayurvedic mind/body operator that controls movement in mind and body) and Pitta (the operator that controls heat and metabolism).
  • Like aloe, ghee is said to prevent blisters and scarring if applied quickly to affected skin.
  • Eating ghee is also believed to enhance virility and sexual potency.
  • Excessive consumption of ghee is known to cause bromhidrosis. It is a type of body odor known as foot odor.

Ghee does not require refrigeration if you keep it dry; for example, don't dip a wet spoon into the ghee jar.

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