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Ghee – An Ayurvedic Healing Food

Print version of Ghee – An Ayurvedic Healing Food

Guest blogger, Claudia Davila shares with us the healing properties of the glorious ghee and how to make ghee with organic butter in her second article on Ayurveda and Wellness.

Ghee – An Ayurvedic Healing Food
by Claudia Dávila

“It is promotive of memory, intelligence, vital fire, semen, vital essence (ojas), kapha, and fat. It is curative of Vata, Pitta, fever and toxins.” — Charaka, author of ancient Indian Ayurvedic text, Charaka Samhita.

Home made ghee - an ayurvedic healing food
Image by Claudia Davila

Ayurveda teaches that ghee is a medicinal food that is excellent for good health when used in cooking or added to foods. It is one of the most ancient and “sattvic” foods known, healing to all doshas: best for Vatas, soothing for Pittas, and balancing for Kaphas in moderation. Please read my first article on Ayurveda to learn about the three doshas. For cold, dry, stiff and airy Vata types, ghee adds heaviness and lubrication to the body in the joints and in the digestion. Ghee is cooling and soothing for the fire-based ailments of Pittas, such as fever, acidity, and inflammation. For all three doshas, ghee helps memory and is a healthy fat that is good for the liver and immune system, though Kaphas should consume it in moderation as it also helps build body mass.

You can read more about ghee at the Ayurveda Holistic Community website or by googling “health benefits of ghee”.

When buying ghee, or any dairy product, look for organic. All toxins like to settle in body fat, and especially mammary glands, which makes it important to choose organic animal products like milk and butter, otherwise they tend to be the most laden with impurities like pesticides, herbicides and other toxins found in air, water and feed.

The other day I spoke with someone who cooked magnificent, healing ayurvedic food, and she said she made her own ghee and that it’s really quite simple. I believed her so I thought I’d try it myself, using organic butter of course! Here’s how I make my own ghee in less than half an hour.

HOW TO MAKE GHEE WITH ORGANIC BUTTER
1 block organic, unsalted butter

Place the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot and melt on medium-low heat. Adjust the heat until it begins to bubble nicely, without going too hot. Foam will begin to accumulate quite a bit on the top, and the melted butter will be very opaque. Stir occasionally for 15 minutes until the foam starts to reduce and break up, and the milky butter begins to look like clear, golden oil. When there’s a bit of brown sediment beginning to form at the bottom of the pan, the ghee is ready. Be careful not to burn it during these final minutes of cooking. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.

Meanwhile, sterilize a jar and its lid in a pot of boiling water, then remove and dry with a clean towel. Then, when the ghee is cooler, gently pour into the jar through a fine metal sieve, with or without cheesecloth lining it. You only want to get the golden liquid oil and not the sediment at the bottom of the pot. Store closed; no need to refrigerate. Use as you would butter or oil, in soups, cooked vegetables, stir into cooked rice or lentil dishes, or spread on toast and tea biscuits.

HOW TO MAKE GHEE WITH CREAM OF YOGURT
Sailaja shares her method of preparing ghee from homemade butter (called makhan in Hindi and vennapusa in Telugu).

Boil one liter of milk and turn off stove. Once it reaches room temperature, add a tsp of yogurt to the milk, place lid and ferment overnight. Next day, curd forms with a thick layer of cream.

Cream of yogurt or dahi (skin above yogurt) is removed each day and stored in a container and refrigerated (sometimes a little bit of yogurt also comes along with cream while removing the cream off the top of yogurt). At the end of the week, the collected cream of dahi (from cow’s milk) is brought to room temperature and churned using a wooden churner (kavvam) or ladle till the butter separates (churning could take 12-15 mts). Add 3-4 cups of water to this and continue to churn for a minute or two and the residue is a thick buttermilk. Strain the butter milk. Wash the butter (called vennapusa in Telugu) in water at least 4-5 times. This thoroughly washed butter can now be used to prepare ghee.

To prepare ghee, melt the butter in a stainless steel vessel over medium high heat. The butter will begin to melt forming a white froth on top. Now on simmer, stir occasionally and you will find that the froth will begin to thin slowly and the color of butter changing to a pale yellow shade. Continue to cook on low heat until it turns a golden color. The residue solids will settle at the bottom and the ghee which is clear, golden and translucent with a fragrant smell is ready. Filter the ghee which will solidify when completely cool. It can be stored at room temperature for 3 months or even more. Its best to prepare less quantity of ghee and finish it within a few days before preparing the next batch. That would be the best way to experience the real taste of ghee.

Step by step photos of ghee making with cream of yogurt (curd, dahi, perugu):

Cream of dahi (yogurt)  Home made butter (makkhan, venna)
cream of yogurt and home made butter
Home made butter melting  Makhan melting on simmer
stages of butter melting and changing color
Butter melting to form ghee  Home made ghee, neyyi
clear, translucent and fragrant ghee, neyyi

Images: Sailaja

Claudia’s first article – Introduction to Ayurveda

Ghee – An Ayurvedic Healing Food Recipe

Prep time: min
Cook time: min
Main Ingredients:

Guest blogger, Claudia Davila shares with us the healing properties of the glorious ghee and how to make ghee with organic butter in her second article on Ayurveda and Wellness. Ghee – An Ayurvedic Healing Food by Claudia Dávila “It is promotive of memory, intelligence, vital fire, semen, vital essence (ojas), kapha, and fat. It […]

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By • May 12th, 2008 • Category: All Recipes, Ayurvedic Cooking - Ayurveda Recipes, Guest Blogger, How To Cook, Indian Milk Recipes

  • http://www.cooking4allseasons.blogspot.com Srivalli

    beautiful post..and very informative…thank you!..never knew any of those details!

  • http://chatkhor.blogspot.com Swati Raman

    such an informative post.. dont know when i will start making my own ghee.. mom in law has spoilt me…

  • http://thebuddingcook.blogspot.com/ TBC

    You have described it so well using step by step pics of the process, Sailu.

  • http://eminentlife.blogspot.com Shri

    Very informative.My husband always wants me to make ghee,but i haven’t tried it.May be i will try it soon.Thanks for sharing.

  • Madhavi Ramachandra

    My granny used to put fresh curry leaves while cooking ghee – this gives a very good aroma.

  • http://rbcuisines.blogspot.com/ ranji

    oooooooooooooooo… i can smell the ghee here:)…lovely post..great step by step instructions.

  • http://foodieshope.blogspot.com Asha

    I love homemade ghee, make it regularly here and have a post to go, don’t know when I am able to post it. Photos look great, I do get good quality butter here but not organic. My ajji made organic ghee at home, of course in her house!:))

  • sreevalli

    good post sailu! Every body is looking at the fat content of ghee only and forgetting the fact that it’s good..if taken wisely.

    Happy mothers day!

  • http://spice-club.blogspot.com Cham

    Lovely steps for making ghee from scratch… I make ghee at home with the store bought butter, i think i can never do it from scratch :( Very informative post about the ghee facts.

  • malinee

    hi sailu garu,
    happy mother’s day. information abt ghee is really nice and informative. many don’t know by using ghee we can have so many plus points. i also know only few, that it is better for the joints, in our relatives also i saw that they don’t use oil in their food for which the doctor asked them to start using oil for knee joints. after reading ur article i have good knowledge abt it. thank you for ur post. if u have any information abt the benefits from til oil can you post for us?

    Happy Mother’s Day, Malinee garu. I will try to do a post on Sesame oil.

  • http://www.divya-dilse.blogspot.com Divya Vikram

    very informative..

  • http://teluguruchi.blogspot.com/ Uma

    lovely post.

  • http://soupsnsnacks.blogspot.com Anjali J.

    i havent tasted home made ghee ever since i came here. nice entry.

  • http://www.samaithupaarkalaam.blogspot.com Kalai

    Very informative post! :)

  • http://franlife.blogspot.com Claudia

    Great feedback from everyone, thanks for all your comments! Sailu’s step-by-step photos are indeed excellent, and I shall have to try making ghee from cream of yogurt now :-)

  • http://siri-corner.blogspot.com Siri

    Great post ..:)

  • rohini

    Excellent post especially when accompanied with the photo’s. I learnt to make ghee at home from my mother in law using butter and it tastes and smells so much better than the store bought ones. My MIL taught me to add 1-2 Tbs of buttermilk at the end of the making process (remember to do this only after the heat is switched off, and use a large pan for even a small amount as the ghee froths up). This greatly enhances the flavor of ghee and also separates the brown sediments. Hope this tip is helpful.

    Thanks for the tip, Rohini.:)

  • http://www.tangerineskitchen.blogspot.com rachel

    Very informative post.. we add curry leaves during the process for a certain lovely flavour.

  • http://rinasrecipes.blogspot.com/ Rina

    Lovely, informatic post on ghee, sailu. Appreciate your effort.

  • http://currybazaar.blogspot.com Jyothsna

    Good post, Sailu. I’ve never made ghee at home, this should help.

  • ashna

    i like payasam recepie to make it more tasty add condensed milk sabu dana[sago] and coconut milk

  • sriman

    nice to know different ways to make ghee, i am just wondering, with respect to ayurveda which method should be using to prepare the ghee? both will have same properties ?

  • Nagesh

    Hi Sailu

    Need a help from you. Do you know any tip on how to keep the ghee always in liquid form (means it should not become solid). I use ghee for “devudi deepam” daily twice. But the ghee is always in very solid form and I need to heat it every time. I dont want to heat it every time, so tell me if you are any tip (chitka) that can keep the ghee always in liquid form. I read about this in Eenadu (Vasundhara) long back, but I dont remember. Please help. I am writing from Chennai.

    Thanks
    Nagesh

  • dipti

    hi

    very nice post, We normally call that “makhan” and try to make that with havey cream it comes out very nice.

  • Fara

    An unusual theory…hearing it for the first time…we indians should look more into ayurveda for a more holistic living.

  • Jessie

    I am looking to purchase some natural ingredients for my skin from india, can someone let me know of a website that sells indian ayurvedic, Termeric, Organic Honey, Besan, sandlewood Powder, . please let me know by emailing me at islander5191@yahoo.com, in subject line please refernce Indian Ingredients, Thanks

  • Chandana

    Dear Sailu,

    You’ve an awesome site. I’ve been using your recipes for a while now. One tip: My mother would add a pinch of fenugreek seeds(menthulu) to the ghee, for aroma. It also stays fresh longer that way I guess.

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  • rati

    hi sailu, i am trying to make ghee with home made yogurt (full fat) and churning it in the food processor using dough /plastic blade for 10-15 mins. but i couldn’t see the buttermilk separating from the butter. it is still like liquid yogurt. (in this process i didnt added ice water first).
    Also i tried adding 2 cups yogurt mixing with ice water 1-cup in food processor have tried with both blades dough plastic and steel sharp grinding blade for 10-15 mins. but it is still like liquid yogurt with froth. pls help guide..till your reply comes i am keeping that liquid yogurt in fridge.
    Appreciate your reply.. thank you.

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