Desi ghee, also known asghrita in Sanskrit, has been popular in India for ages.Ghritaor clarified butter is now well-known in many western countries as well.
Desi ghee is not only used in a wide variety of Indian cuisines. It is also a very significant part of Ayurvedic medicine.Desi gheeor clarified butter even has religious significance in India.
Nowadays,ghee is readily available in markets throughout the world including the U.S. and Europe.
While it may sound like a daunting task to makeghee, its recipe is fairly simple and it can easily be made at home.
This article will give you an easy recipe for homemade clarified butter. We’ll also highlight some other pointers like desi ghee benefits and desi ghee uses in Ayurveda.
Read More: Ghee – The Ancient Indian Food Miracle
Desi ghee has a subtle, sweet taste, delightful aroma, and a golden or golden-brown color.
It’s not recommended to consume large amounts ofdesi ghee due to its high caloric density. Consuming it in small quantities however comes with a slew of health benefits.
Ayurveda considersdesi ghee to be asattvic food. It is helpful in managing Vata and Pitta dosha related disorders.
The fatty acid profile ofghee is complex. It contains saturated fats and cholesterol. The exact chemical composition ofdesi ghee can vary depending on the source of the milk used. Generally, cow or buffalo milk is used to makedesi ghee.
Desi ghee is a liquid that solidifies in cold temperatures. It is basically butterfat without the lactose and casein and is thus beneficial for people with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies.
At room temperature, it has a longer shelf life compared to butter. The longer shelf life ofdesi ghee is mainly due to its low moisture content.
It is also full of antioxidants.
Many people prefer cooking withdesi ghee instead of butter since it doesn’t burn as quickly. It has a higher smoking point compared to other oils and butter.
Thus, on heating, it doesn’t break into harmful free radicals. Oil smoke can even be harmful to one’s respiratory system.
Desi gheeor clarified butteris used extensively in Ayurveda.
It is used for numerous applications including the treatment of allergies, skin disorders, and respiratory diseases among many other conditions.
Many Ayurvedic preparations involve cooking herbs indesi ghee. Ayurvedic texts describe howdesi gheeensures the maximum absorption of the medicine into the body’s tissues.
Read More: Ayurvedic Cooking – Everything You Need To Know
It is an excellentanupana(vehicle) or medium.Anupana means a vehicle or medium that gets Ayurvedic deeper into thedhatuor tissues of the body. Desi ghee benefits the body through various mechanisms.
The lipophilic action ofdesi ghee facilitates the transportation of medicine to a target organ and final delivery inside the cell since the cell membranes also contain lipids.
A study that compared different forms of herbs and herb extracts found that the efficacy of Ayurvedic medicines increased when they were used withghee.1
The purity of desi ghee can be determined very easily. Take a solidified ghee sample and place a spoonful onto your palm. If the ghee starts to melt, it is pure.
Alternatively, heat a pan and add a spoonful of the sample. If the color of the sample changes to reddish-brown, it is pure. If the ghee takes longer to melt or turns yellow, it is adulterated.
Preparation Duration:40-50 minutes
Ingredients: 1-2 cups of cream collected from whole milk or regular milk (3.25% fat)
You can use either of these ingredients for makingdesi ghee.
Making Butter From Milk or Yogurt
1. Collect the cream from the milk or yogurt. Since you have to collect this cream over a period of days, adding two teaspoons of yogurt into the cream container will help in preserving it till enough has been collected.
2. Collect this cream until you have enough to fill 1-2 cups. Always keep the cream container in the refrigerator.
3. Defrost the cream you have collected. You may use a microwave for this. You can also keep it out in room temperature until it defrosts. For churning, you can use any blender or food processor.
4. Add the cream to the blender and add around ½ – 1 cup of water and blend the ingredients till the cream smoothens. The continuous churning process will cause the butter to separate and you will see butter bubbles forming on the top of the liquid.
5. Separate this butter from the liquid and collect in a container. Hard-press the butter lumps further to extract more liquid from it.
6. Your homemade butter is now ready. You can use a spoon, spatula, ladle or a wooden whisk called amathani.
MakingGhee From Butter
1. Heat the extracted butter in a deep utensil on a low flame/low-heat till it melts. You want to avoid using high heat as this will burn the mixture and make your clarified butter bitter in taste.
2. When the butter starts melting, bubbles will start appearing. Stir this mixture thoroughly.
3. After 20-25 minutes of slow cooking, the foam formed thus far will settle down and all the moisture will have evaporated by now.
4. The remaining sediment will start turning golden in color. The leftover milk granules will also settle down.
5. Scoop the sediment or strain it through a sieve into a clean container. Throw out whatever doesn’t get filtered.
6. Your homemadeghee is ready for use. Thisghee should have a shelf life of 8-10 months or more depending on the surrounding climate and other factors.
These are the uses ofghritaas described in Charaka Samhita.2
Indications For Administration 3
Desi ghee contains 99-99.5% fats and less than 1% moisture, unsaponifiable matter and traces of charred casein, carotene, and fat-soluble vitamins.
Some findings also suggested thatdesi ghee prepared by traditional ayurvedic methods as compared to commercially prepareddesi ghee contains a higher amount of DHA; Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, which is a major component of retinal and brain tissues and remains important in the prevention of various diseases. Desi ghee has other benefits as well.
Clarified butter or desi ghee has a slew of benefits that have been further substantiated by scientific research. A clinical study done on rats showed that consumption of 10% ghee may increase triglyceride levels, but does not increase lipid peroxidation processes that are linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
In another clinical study, a dose-dependent decrease in serum total cholesterol, LDL, VLDL, and triglycerides was observed; decreased liver total cholesterol, triglycerides, and cholesterol esters; and a lower level of nonenzymatic-induced lipid peroxidation in liver homogenate.
Similar results were obtained with heated (oxidized)ghee. When ghee was used as the sole source of fat at a 10% level, there was a large increase in oleic acid levels and a large decrease in arachidonic acid levels in serum lipids.
A study done on a rural population in India showed a significantly lower prevalence of coronary heart disease in men who consumed higher amounts ofghee.
High doses of medicatedghee decreased serum cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterol esters in psoriasis patients. There were significant improvements in the patients’ psoriasis symptoms as well.
MAK-4, a herbal mixture containingghee, increased the resistance of LDL to oxidation in hyperlipidemic patients and had no effect on levels of serum total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, or triglycerides in these patients.
Other mixtures containing ghee have shown hepatoprotective effects, anticonvulsant activity, effects on enhancement of memory, and enhancement of wound healing.
These positive research findings support the beneficial effects ofghee as described in the ancient Ayurvedic texts.However, these studies are done on a limited number of people under controlled environment and require further investigations.
You should always consult your Ayurvedic practitioner or primary healthcare provider before introducinggheeinto your diet.
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