Ghee (often called “liquid gold”) is clarified butter. It is a truly wonderful food which has been used in Ayurvedic medicine and Vedic cooking since ancient times. Not only does it make food taste delicious but it has very impressive health benefits. It has the ability to protect the gastrointestinal tract, can balance cholesterol levels and boost your energy. It is said to reduce inflammation in the joints and eliminate certain allergies. It is even reputed to protect us from various chronic diseases along with strengthening the immune system and preventing certain types of cancer. Some great reasons to include it in your cooking!
It can be used like butter to melt over your potatoes or rice or spread on your bread. It also increases the flavour of your herbs and spices when they are fried in it. Ghee can always be used as a substitute for cooking oil and because it has a high smoking tendency it is the oil of choice for shallow and deep frying.
Ghee is a little expensive to buy but a lot cheaper to make yourself!
The following recipe was given to me by Maladhar dasi who, having raised 9 children, has a wealth of knowledge on how to produce healthy food economically, easily and quickly.
Ingredients – Makes 850 mls ghee
1 kg butter (preferably unsalted and organic)
Heavy bottomed pot
On very, very low heat melt the butter. Don’t let it get too hot or white froth will appear on top. (this is not a big problem as it can be skimmed off but much easier not to have to deal with it).
When all the butter is melted the butter milk will remain at the bottom of the pot and clear yellow ghee will float on top. Pour the ghee into a container without disturbing the milk.
When cold cover the ghee and it is ready for using.
The milk can be put in a container in the fridge and when cold the top layer of ghee hardens and can be scraped off and used as butter while the butter milk is great in baking. If you use salted butter the milk is too salty to use.
It’s delicious, easy to make and worth a try!
By Vrndavan Dasi
Founder and Principal of Veda Yoga Teacher Training