Ghee – How To Make The Ayurveda Health Food
Ghee is clarified cultured butter and it is somewhat revered in Ayurveda as one of the healthiest substances around. I am sure Weight Watchers would likely disagree given the fat content but Ayurveda has little time for such a narrow focus on health as ‘reduce fat at all costs’.
Ghee actually has a very good balance of fats – about 65% saturated, 25% monounsaturated and 5% polyunsaturated. It also has a very high smoke point (485 degrees Fahrenheit) which makes it excellent for cooking. Oils that start to smoke release free radicals which damage your cells. Cook with Ghee and you keep yourself safer on the inside. As if this was not enough, Ayurvedic knowledge says that Ghee strengthens the digestive fire and considered medicinal for the pitta dosha.
How to make Ghee?
1. Put 1 pound or 1/2 kilo of unsalted, cultured butter in a heavy pot with a rather thick bottom and high sides. (If you have access to raw cow’s cream, you can make your own yogurt and then butter first).
2. Melt the butter over medium-low heat. When the melted butter starts boiling, it begins to foam and sputter a lot. Continue cooking (at a simmer) with the butter uncovered over medium-low heat. Cook it slowly, if you are in a rush you are likely to burn it.
3. While simmering, small white curds appear on the surface, and the amount of foam decreases. The solids progressively settle on the bottom of the pot. Pay attention to the sputtering; the melted butter should simmer in a way that you hear constant regular sizzling and spitting sounds.
4. As the butter ghee continues simmering, you’ll see that it becomes more and more transparent.
5. From time to time, use a wooden spoon to gently stir the surface of the boiling butter to better check the transparency of the melted butter. Don’t go deep with the wooden spoon; the purpose is not to stir but to check if the clarified butter is taking the lovely golden color so characteristic of ghee.
6. When the clarified butter has a golden transparent color and there is very little foam left on the surface, the ghee is ready. All solids should have settled in the bottom by now.
7. Take it off the heat at once as it can burn easily. You’ll notice a sweet popcorn-like smell, and that the sputtering and crackling has calmed down. After the butter has melted, the cooking time is about 30 minutes, depending on the heat source and the kind of pot you use.
As soon as it turns a beautiful golden color and begins to smell like popcorn, remove the ghee from the heat immediately. At this stage it can burn very quickly.
8. Let it cool a little bit. If you want to, you can strain the ghee by pouring golden liquid through a fine sieve or clean tea strainer into an earthen or glass jar. Discard the brownish curds at the bottom of the pot. Alternatively, you can line a large sieve with 2 or 3 layers of clean cotton cheesecloth to strain the clarified butter.
Source: Cure Joy – click here for the full article