If there is one thing in Ayurvedic cooking that cannot be missing, it is ghee! The clarified butter has great advantages over other fats and can be used not only for frying and deep-frying but also for all health purposes. But: What exactly is Ghee or clarified butter? Everything about the use of ghee, whether pure fat is healthy or unhealthy and much more you can find out here. Of course, we also have a recipe for you to make ghee yourself.
Ghee in English: What is Ghee-Butter?
Ghee means nothing else than clarified butter. The clarified butter has almost 100 percent fat content, rich yellow color, and a somewhat firmer consistency. The smell is more intense than with unclarified butter. During production, the water evaporates completely and animal protein and lactose settle. But just a moment – pure fat? Can that be healthy?
Is Ghee Healthy or Unhealthy?
Ghee is the healthiest of all types of fat that we can use in everyday life. This is because the result of the production process contains 70 percent saturated fatty acids. Contrary to the long-held thesis that saturated fatty acids are unhealthy, we know today that the exact opposite is true.
Ghee is also healthy because it contains vitamins D, E, and A. However, we have to say that you would have to eat a fair amount of ghee to cover your entire daily requirement. Ghee is not just ghee: the quality of the butter plays an important role.
Is Ghee Vegan?
Making clarified butter without butter – that’s where even Ayurvedic cuisine reaches its limits. Ghee or clarified butter made according to a traditional recipe is not vegan, as it is necessarily made from animal fat. However, more and more health food stores are now offering vegan ghee. Alternatively, you can use high-quality coconut fat instead of ghee – vegan Ayurvedic cuisine is happy to help with alternatives of this kind.
Effects and Possibilities for Ghee Application
In Ayurveda, ghee is highly valued, and with good reason! Because the golden yellow fat can be used wonderfully for various purposes, be it for cooking, medical treatment, or skin care.
Ghee Is Pure Butterfat for Cooking
One of the main reasons why ghee is so perfect for cooking is the fact that, unlike other fats, you can heat it without any problems.
The fatty acids remain stable up to temperatures of 180°C, so you can use ghee to sear meat, fish, or vegetables. No dangerous trans fatty acids are produced, which can cause cardiovascular diseases, among other things.
Also: Ghee is easily digestible and gives your food a pleasant, mild buttery taste. Exactly for this reason it can also be baked well with ghee.
However, ghee is still pure fat, so don’t overdo it – just as Ayurveda teaches for every area of life anyway.
Ghee for Your Health
If you cook with ghee, your digestive fire, the Agni, will be pleased. It is promoted by the Ayurvedic clarified butter. Ghee also helps to regenerate the stomach, for example after gastrointestinal inflammations.
Overall, ghee has a purifying effect and detoxifies the body, as it binds and eliminates toxins in the body. There is even medicinal ghee: the butter is mixed with medicinal herbs and simmered for up to 4 days. The herbs should be able to work even more intensively. By the way, it is said that ghee can even lower cholesterol levels.
By the way: You can even use ghee against dry eyes. Simply heat 2-3 tablespoons of it in a bain-marie and, with the help of a thermometer, make sure that the temperature does not exceed 33°C. Bathe your eyes in liquid ghee twice a week for 10 minutes at a time and the annoying itching and scratching should soon be a thing of the past.
Ghee for Skin and Face Care
Whether internal or external inflammation: with ghee you can do a lot. For example, the anti-inflammatory effect of clarified butter helps to prevent scars and blisters or reduce redness. If you have psoriasis, you can also use ghee for care.
Ghee or clarified butter can also be used in the normal care routine, for example, the fat is good for removing make-up in the evening. And ghee can be used to provide a little wellness before bedtime. Massage the soles of your feet with ghee. This is supposed to make for better sleep. You can find more massage oils in our online store.
In the morning you can try oil extraction. Take some ghee in your mouth and pull it through your teeth again and again for 20 minutes. You must spit out the ghee immediately and brush your teeth with a separate toothbrush. This is because the fat removes toxins from your mouth and throat, which you should logically not swallow again. By drawing oil you prevent caries and inflammations. In Ayurvedic hygiene, the use of oral care oil is especially recommended.
Ghee: Advantages of Indian Cooking Fat
In principle, the advantages can be summarized in three main points:
- Ghee can be heated up high: While liquid butter or other oils burn protein when heated high, this does not happen with hot ghee. Even at temperatures well over 100 degrees, the fatty acids remain intact and do not oxidize. This prevents the formation of free radicals, which are considered generally unhealthy.
- Ghee lasts for a very long time: While butter eventually becomes rancid, ghee can even be kept unchilled for weeks.
- Lactose intolerance? No problem with ghee: The lactose content in ghee is so low that ghee is also eaten by people who are lactose intolerant.
Use Ghee as a Medicine?
The ayurvedic purification therapy Pancha-Karma has two phases: First, a so-called pre-cure, and then the main cure takes place. During the pre-cure, waste products and toxins are dissolved – the remedy for this is pure butterfat ghee. After this pre-cure, the first complaints can subside, and lightness, and zest for life return.
This shows that ghee has a positive effect because it binds toxins and the body can successfully eliminate them. This is good for the digestive tract because ghee has a regenerating effect, especially in the stomach.
Where Can I Get Ghee Clarified Butter?
You have become curious and now you would like to find out for yourself what ghee is all about? Then you now have two options: You can buy the ghee or invest a little time to make ghee yourself.
Where Can I Buy Ghee?
Making high-quality ghee takes time. If your schedule is already full enough or you are not yet completely confident in the production process, you can buy the finished ghee quickly and easily in many health food stores.
Making Ghee Yourself: The Recipe
It is not that difficult to make ghee yourself. For this you need:
- Organic pasture butter / sweet cream butter
- A wide pot, ideally made of stainless steel
- A sterile preserving jar with swing stopper or a screw jar
- A cotton cloth or a coffee filter
Another important ingredient: Patience! You should allow at least one hour for the production of ghee and not be distracted during this time.
- Cut the butter into pieces and put them into the pot. They mustn’t be too high in the liquid state in the pot
- Let the butter melt at low heat without turning brown.
- Increase the heat briefly until the butter comes to a boil.
- Reduce the heat again and let the butter simmer for about 30-40 minutes. Depending on the amount of butter, it may take longer – patience is required here, don’t rush things!
- Always skim off the protein foam that forms on the surface. The ghee is ready when there is no more foam and the fat has a clear color.
- Remove the pot from the stove and let the ghee cool down for a few seconds. Meanwhile, place the cotton cloth over the opening of your preserving jar.
- Pour the ghee through the cloth into the glass. Alternatively, you can use the coffee filter to strain the ghee.
- Close the glass well. If you have a screwed glass, you can turn it upside down for a short time. This creates a vacuum that makes the ghee last even longer.
Making ghee yourself is not magic. You may need one or two tries before you are completely satisfied with the result, but practice makes perfect. And then all that remains is to try out all the positive effects of ghee on your own body – you will certainly not regret it!
Ghee use: Possible in every recipe!
Whenever a recipe says something about frying, roasting, and baking, you can use ghee instead of the different types of oil or butter. Just test if and when you like the use of ghee.
Ghee is also used in Ayurvedic breakfast and can be easily integrated. Simply stir a tablespoon into the porridge, this can give especially Vata types a high-energy start to the day. For all those who like a light breakfast with fruit: It can be sautéed in a pan with a little ghee, so it is easier to digest. Good luck!