Ghee seems to be the hottest new ingredient for us all in the Western World, but it is used in the kitchen and Ayurvedic medicine on the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years.
] Ghee is often considered a kind of clarified butter, but they are not identical, says Alakananda Ma, president of the National Ayurvedic Medicine Association, to SELF. "Ghee is similar to clarified butter in that it does not contain milk solids," she explains. "When making clarified butter, however, you'll put the butter under pressure as soon as it separates." With Ghee, she says the butter should continue to cook until the milk solids turn golden brown and sink to the bottom of the pan ̵
Traditionally, ghee is used in religious practices and in Ayurveda medicine.
Nita Sharda, RD, Founder of Carrots and Cake Balanced Nutrition Consulting tells SELF that ghee is widely used in Indian traditions beyond the kitchen. "We light a candle when we pray," she explains, "19459117] I remember how I married and threw Ghee into the fire."
Ma says that Ghee is used in this way because of its importance to the ancient Vedic religion, in which cows and their gifts are worshiped: manure, urine, milk, quark, and ghee. "The old Vedic religion focuses on fire ceremonies," she adds, "and Ghee has always been the most important sacrifice that makes the fire burn bright."
In Ayurveda, ghee is often used as food and medicine, explains Ma. "As food for daily use, ghee is taken with meals for anyone who craves food," she says. As a medicine, it is often made with various herbs to improve a variety of disorders, from bad eyes to sperm production.
It is believed to have many health benefits and is generally considered harmless for lactose intolerance
Although Ghee is often claimed to improve heart health and reduce inflammation, there is not enough research to date Vandana Sheth RDN, CDE, Owner of a Los Angeles based nutritional counseling practice and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says SELF. However, since it contains no milk solids or lactose, it is generally considered safe for those who are lactose intolerant . One thing to keep in mind: as the milk solids are hand-pulled in homemade ghee, it may contain traces of lactose. Mass-produced ghee uses much stricter practices that guarantee a completely lactose-free product. Therefore, anyone who is really sensitive can opt for one of these options instead. The nutrient profile of the ingredient is slightly higher in fat and calories than butter, as it is more concentrated. Sheth recommends using it in moderation and as a substitute for something else such as butter or olive oil.
It is great for cooking all types of kitchens.
Sharda says it is known to appear in daal (a kind of lentil soup). , Chana masala (stewed chickpeas) and saag (mixed and steamed spinach and broccoli). She says it's also great on fresh, hot Roti or Naan (do not try to drool). Lately, she says she has used it in non-Indian recipes and loves it. She says she can give everyone from roasted vegetables like green beans to popcorn a nutty and buttery taste (without lactose!). And it has a smoke point of 480 degrees F, which means it can cook at a much higher temperature than butter without burning, which only has a smoke point of 350 degrees F.
And it's super easy to do!
Here I try the process with tips from Priya Krishna, the author of the upcoming Cookbook Indian . Use what I've learned, and you know how to make your own ghee at home – it'll make your whole house smell like butter!
You do not need fancy equipment – just a pot, a slotted spoon or pan, and some unsalted butter.
Set the pot over medium heat and add as much butter as you like – there is no limit. Little by little, white bubbles begin to form which, according to Krishna, are the milk solids. Remove the white bubbles with a spoon or fork or whatever you have nearby. I've used a ladle with holes, but you can really use any tool to get your work done. At this point, the liquid should make a soft, bubbling sound.
While cooking the butter, place a coffee filter or cheesecloth over a bowl or a liquid beaker – this is what you use to strain the filter's remaining milk solids. After about five to seven minutes, the sound changes from bubbling to crackle. This means that the water has almost completely evaporated. The liquid clears and you see how brown solids form on the bottom of your pan. Once this is the case, remove the pan from the heat and pour the liquid through your filter. The filter is loaded slowly, so be patient. After the liquid has passed completely, put it in a glass container with lid, allow to cool and seal. Since the water has been removed, it can be safely stored at room temperature where it solidifies.
And that's it! Use your homemade ghee in these simple recipes.
With some ghee, this classic Indian dish made from lentils, broth and lots of salmon, some ghee spices taste much more authentic. The recipe is available here .
Roasted vegetables with caramelised onion puree
Roasting vegetables with ghee gives them a deliciously rich and nutty flavor. The recipe is available here .
Not only is this cheeky chickpea recipe much better than the pre-made frozen varieties I would find it in the store, it's also the perfect way to top your ghee use. The recipe is available here .