Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Fats and Oils : Almost pure desi ghee!?

My attempt to this post is not to do the same monotonous 'making of ghee', But I would like to bring to your attention a different dimension of that aspect. In India, two types of butter are commonly known : 'sweet cream butter' made from cream in the milk, the regular butter we get in the stores and 'Makkhan' or 'vennapusa' made from churning the yogurt where regional/local favored cultures of lactobacillus, streptococcus etc are inoculated.You realize that sweet cream butter extracted from fresh cream would have fewer of these compounds.So here makkhan is nothing but 'cultured cream'.The yogurt is churned with much effort ,so much so that the sweet cream butter is called 'anaayaasa' in classical Sanskrit, meaning 'without effort'. To make ghee, the butter is melted down and heated to a point where the moisture evaporates and the milk solids get caramelized. Ghee made from cultured butter is far more superior in taste and health to ghee made from sweet cream butter.For us who live out of India, pure desi ghee can be approximated, not replicated, with European-style cultured butter.

I had used different methods to make ghee after coming to US, I tried the store bought type which I can tell is adulterated. Having access to fresh raw cream, I made ghee the way we do it in India. The results are very satisfying but its hard to keep up with that. I had used organic sweet cream butter, but i was not satisfied with the result until I found a better alternative. I have been using Organic Valley Cultured Butter to make ghee at home. I am very satisfied by the result and highly recommend using cultured butter instead of sweet cream butter. It is a few bucks more than regular butter but far less than store bought ghee and far more superior in quality.

I just want to add a few points on my research regarding ghee to convince you to use ghee liberally.Ghee contains butyric acid, a fatty acid with antiviral and anti-cancer properties. It also is said to aid digestion and nutrient assimilation. Daily intake of ghee sharpens the intellect, and promotes a clear complexion and voice. It is also said to have anti-aging properties and most of all it doesn't have the free radicals like other hydrogenated oils, which cause heart diseases.People allergic to milk protein can safely cook with pure ghee as the offending proteins are removed during the clarifying process.


Making ghee:

organic valley cultured butter

Organic Cultured Butter - 1 pound

Heat the butter quarts in a steel vessel at low. Initially the butter melts.Initially there is a first
effervescence along with a crackling sound but the intensity of effervescence decreases with decrease in moisture content in the liquid medium.Color changes from a cloudy yellow to clear golden color.The final stage of ghee preparation is indicated by the appearance of second effervescence, which is less pronounced than the first one along with browning of curd particles. This stage is further confirmed by appearance of characteristic ghee flavor. Pour through a fine sieve or through several layers of cheesecloth into a clean, dry glass storage jar.In ancient days, betel leaves and curry leaves were usually added to the butter during the clarification process. But it is now recognized that these substances indeed possess antioxidant properties, which will not only improve the shelf life and taste of the product but also they are safe to consume. The resultant ghee has a wonderful aroma and grainy texture. Ghee implies a certain flavor profile, that continues to develop as it is stored for more than a year. So do not refrigerate ghee.

Almost pure desi ghee



Be Nourished!!!

25 comments:

Asha said...

Excellent post Swarropa, good job. I agree, we must have some fat in our diet everyday to keep out skin supple.Tell that to all these dieters!;D
I read that in Banaras, they fried the snacks and made sweets in pure ghee for centuries and even today, they use ghee everyday.Of course, everything should be used in moderation, even those "good" oils.
Ghee looks yummy, my son loves it and eats one or two tsps everyday with dinner!:))
Happy Diwali!

Sirisha Kilambi said...

wow swaroopa...What a great-looking ghee...Looks divine...really :-)) Thanks dear :-) A very Happy Diwali to u and family :-)

Anonymous said...

Ghee looks nice.Thanks for sharing such a nice easy process to make ghee.

sagari said...

yumm ghee looks soo pure

Richa said...

hey, that's some nice piece of info. i use the organic unsalted butter to make ghee and always wondered about the european style butter for the same. will try to look for the cultured one. in it's absence do u find the european style to be better than the regular for ghee? tx

Sig said...

Great post Swaroopa... And Happy Diwali to you and yours

Neelam said...

Thanks Swaroopa, the ghee looks so fresh..homemade ghee is really the best..though I have never tried making myself!

Rina said...

Swaroopa, I can smell the ghee here. Whats life without he that droolly smelling ghee. Love your ghee.

Ashu said...

Happy Diwali Swaroopa!

Namratha said...

Wow, ghee looks awesome,and wonderful info, it sure was 'enlightening' for ignorants like me :)

Happy cook said...

Wow you made ghee.
I learned more about ghee from your post
Happy Diwali to you and your family.

bee said...

a wonderful post. unfortunately, i don't find organic butter where i live, except in the salted form, and i'm not sure if i find organic cultured butter.

Seena said...

Love to read your posts, Swaroopa, thanks dear.

Srivalli said...

good post!..

Mallika said...

I am very fat conscious. But nothing ebats a spoon of ghee in dal or on roti. Thanks and hope you had a fab Diwali!

Latha Narasimhan said...

That was a lot of info on ghee!:) I take out butter at home and make ghee. Ghee from home made butter is heavenly! Lovely post swaroopa!:)

SR said...

Interesting, we went through a similar process. We are now using the Lurpak (Danish) butter. Another choice is Czech Jana butter.

Munna said...

I happened to reach your blog while googling on bajra. Right away I wanted to read more of your blogs. I find that you have very 'wholistic' approach towards food & health. Your article on ghee triggered enough excitement to make me write a feedback to you. I have similar thoughts on food as yours and I practice it like you. I am a strong advocate of ghee from 'cultured' butter and since last year have been liberally eating ghee made out of Organic Valley Cultured butter (from Wegmans). I also successfully made ghee from cultured cream curdled at home.
For peer bloggers: organic valley butter or even Wegman's own butter yields good amount of ghee since it has lower water content than many other brands. So its yield, flavor and quality make up for the extra cost.

cxxd said...

hi,where can i find Organic Valley Cultured Butter.please let me know

Lorelei said...

Thanks very much! Here's another article that describes culturing your own cream and so making your own cultured butter: http://www.cottagesmallholder.com/?p=507
You can use yoghurt, creme fraiche or buttermilk to do this the night before the butter-making.

erinmidwife said...

I tried using this cultured butter but I got virtually no visible milk solids on the bottom, the way I have with plain organic butter. Can you comment on this? Do you see less milk solids?

erinmidwife said...

I am using this cultured butter as well but I hardly see any milk solids on the bottom the way I do with regular organic butter. Can you comment on this? Thanks!

Swaroopa said...

Erinmidwife, sorry for responding so late. I guess you need to let on the heat a little longer for the milk solids to separate.

Anonymous said...

i really loved the post and shared my reading with my mom,i liked desi ghee but was not very convinced abt the benefits

Pure Desi Ghee said...

swaroopa done a good job it is very useful thanks for submitting such a good post