Ghee, or clarified butter, is a staple in most Indian households. Not only is it used to cook hearty dishes and as a topping on rice and khichdi, it is also used in many religious ceremonies. As we were growing up, my grandmother’s, mom’s and aunts’ primary goal was to fatten us up with the command, “Ghee khaa!” (Eat Ghee!) Even in my 40’s, Ba (my husband’s grandmother) reminds me that we must feed our bodies ghee because, after all, we are a machine that needs to be well-oiled.
In fact, ghee does have many note-worthy benefits. In terms of medicinal use, it works wonders to soothe a sore throat or to calm a cough. When any of the kids in our family have a cough or complain of a sore throat, our go-to is to give them a concoction of 1 teaspoon hardar (turmeric), 1 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon ghee. It’s miraculous! Nutritionally speaking, ghee is rich in fat soluble Vitamins A, D, E and K. Ghee also has a higher smoke point than other common oils such as olive oil, making it a safer alternative when sauteing or frying foods.
Ghee is made by melting and simmering unsalted butter on low heat with minimal disturbance until the simmering butter is literally clear (get it, clarified butter). We take it one step further by allowing the milk solids that have fallen to the bottom of the pot to brown very slightly. This gives the ghee a grainy texture and a slightly nutty flavor. The clarified butter is then strained into a glass jar using a cheesecloth. The result is a clear, fragrant, nutty ghee that has a high smoke point, long shelf-life and is rich in nutrition.
Visit my YouTube Channel (Warrior In The Kitchen) to check out my video “How to Make Ghee“