‘ Tere Muh me ghee shakkar ‘ , something all of us must have heard at some point in life. This statement itself proves how pious ghee is considered . No havan is complete without ghee being put into the agni.
Ghee has been used for lot of purposes in India. Food being the top most use, then comes spiritual practices , and massage onto skin for glow and strength to bones.
But with time, a lot of oils / fats have moved the ghee away from its position in our lives.
Today people want to use Exta Virgin olive oil , Rice bran oil or Canola . But they shy away from ghee. Reason : It is associated with obesity and cardiovascular issues commonly growing in India.
But is Ghee the enemy it is made out to be ??
Boasting a high degree of purity , it has a very high smoking point. Smoking point of a oil is when it breaks down and starts producing smoke. Its nutritional value starts to degenerate after this point. The lower the smoking point , limited is its role in cooking.
Extra virgin olive oil has a smoking point of 166 degree celcius , which makes it best suited for salads and dressings .
Butter has it at 177 degree celcius but the milk solids start browning at around 150 degree celcius, which is lower than most oils. Ghee on the other hand can withstand upto 200 degree celcius, which makes it a better medium to fry.
Lack of Lactose and Casein makes ghee suitable for lactose intolerant people too.
Ghee is an excellent carrier of Fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, which boost immunity and Vitamin E, which is essential to bone health. It also has vitamin K2, which is the shuttle between calcium and your bones . You can eat as much calcium as you want but it wont strengthen your bones unless it is accompanied with vitamin k2.
SO when our elders said Eat Ghee, it will make your bones stronger , They were on point.
Ghee also contains Butyric acid , which is an anti carcinogenic fatty acid.
And most of all , It has incredible flavor.
Julia child says “ Fat gives things flavor “. I agree.
There is a saying in Marathi ‘ Ati Tithe Mati ‘. Excess of anything is bad. Something so simple but neglected in the case of usage of ghee.
Ghee undeniably is a storehouse of Fat. It is quite low on moisture and has a punch of calories in a small amount too.
A teaspoon of ghee has 112 calories. Which may be far more than a teaspoon of oil.
That’s the reason it needs to be used in control.
At best a teaspoon of ghee is what we can use in our food. But given its nutrition and our sedentary lifestyle , it does its part in that much.
How to Make Ghee:
Collect the clotted cream/top of milk from your pot of fresh milk every time you boil the milk. Refrigerate this cream until you have enough.
Once you have enough cream, add fresh, unflavoured natural yogurt . To around 4 cups of cream, add about 2 tablespoonfuls of dahi (yogurt). Leave this to sour for about 6-7 hours. If you live in a cold place, even 10 hours or overnight will do it no harm. If you live in a Warm area, keep it in the refrigerator.
Transfer all the cream to your blender and add about ½ cup of cold water or some ice. Run at the lowest speed for about 5-6 minutes. You will see the butter and buttermilk separating. It may take a few minutes for the butter to separate.
The water and butter should be chilled to accelerate the process.
Once the buttermilk looks thin enough and the butter has risen to the top, transfer to a bowl.
Now, dip one palm in the bowl and turn once or twice anti-clockwise; this helps the butter to form a ball. Now simple pick up the Butter using your fingers as a strainer and wait for almost all of the buttermilk to strain off. Transfer the butter to another bowl. Refrigerate the butter for sometime if you wish to have White butter.
Now, to make the ghee, simply put the butter in an iron wok or kadhai and boil gently until the solids separate and a clear liquid remains. This process will again take time, and depends on the quantity of butter you have taken.
Once you can see clearly the ghee and milk solids are separate. Let it cool down. Strain and store.
Its definitely worth making it at home . Do give it a try.