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ayurvedic food - ghee Ghee is clarified butter. It is an ideal cooking oil and facilitates the whole process of digestion. It is nourishing to the whole body. Since the protein solids are not used the cholesterol causing factors are dramatically reduced.

ghee can be used in place of butter and is an ideal cooking oil, as it does not burn unless heated excessively. It makes a wonderful body oil for massage and can serve as a base for herbal ointments (for burns, skin rashes, etc.) and can even be used for lamps, with wicks made from cotton balls.

ghee is a digestive. It helps to improve absorption and assimilation. It nourishes ojas (immunity), tejas and prana. It is good for improving memory and lubricates the connective tissue. ghee makes the body flexible and, in small doses, is tridoshic it pacifies pitta and vata and is kaphas should use it in moderation.

Ghee carries medicinal properties of herbs into the seven dhatus or tissues of the body. Persons who already have high cholesterol or suffer from obesity should be cautious in using ghee. ghee is not to be used when there are high ama (toxic) conditions.

Ghee Recipe
You will need:

1 pound unsalted organic butter
a heavy, medium-sized pan

Put the butter in the pan and turn the heat on to medium until the butter begins to boil, then turn the heat down so it keeps cooking but not boiling rapidly. The butter foams at the top and sputter while it cooks. Whitish curds will begin to form on the bottom of the pot. The butter will begin to smell like popcorn after a while and turn a lovely golden color. Keep a close watch on the ghee at this point, as it can easily burn. After a while it will become a clear, golden color. It is done when the moisture has cooked out and the milk solids at the bottom of the pan have turned a light golden brown and the ghee is a transparent golden. You will have to take a clean, dry spoon to move away some of the foam on top in order to see if the ghee is clear all the way through to the bottom. When it is clear and has stopped sputtering and making noise, then it needs to be taken off the heat. Let it cool until just warm. Pour through a fine sieve or layers of cheesecloth into a clean, dry glass container with a tight lid. Discard the curds at the bottom of the saucepan or give them to your pet, they love it.

1 pound of butter takes about 15 minutes of cooking time. The more butter you are using, the more time it will take. Two pounds of butter will fill a quart jar with ghee .

Ghee Factoids:

  • Ghee can be kept on the kitchen shelf, covered.
  • It does not need refrigeration.
  • The medicinal properties are said to improve with age. In fact ghee that is 100 years is said said to have incredible healing properties!
  • Don't use a wet spoon or allow any water (or crumbs) to get into the container, as this will allow mold to grow which spoils the ghee.
  • Since ghee picks up on the energy vibrations that are in the environment, you can play or sing your favorite mantra while it is cooking.

Enjoy!

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©2005 Ayurveda Center of Hawaii