Ghee is clarified butter and highly valued in Ayurveda. It is used therapeutically because it is a yogavahi, which means it carries the medicinal properties of herbs into the 7 tissues of the body. This means that the absorption and assimilation of the medicinal properties and nutrients of whatever herbs you use when you cook with ghee will be greatly improved.
A lot of people have issues with adsorption. They may even be eating a really healthy diet but if they have problems with absorption then all those good nutrients will be of little benefit. So how do you know how well you are absorbing nutrients? Have a look at your tongue! The tongue is used as a form of diagnosis an Ayurveda and can tell a person a lot about their body, especially their organs. Just as the eye is a map of our internal functions in iridology, so too is the tongue. If there are teeth marks (scalloping) along the edges of your tongue than you are not absorbing or assimilating your nutrients as well as you should. The deeper the marks the weaker your assimilation is. So if you do feel you are not getting the best out of your food then consider switching to ghee for your cooking.
Some other benefits of ghee include:
- improved intelligence
- improved memory
- lubrication of connective tissue
- balancing of agni (digestive fire)
- pacifies vata and pitta
- it tastes great!
Ghee is really easy to make and stores in the cupboard for ages. It makes all food taste so much better. I pretty much use it for all cooking where oil is required.
How to make Ghee
What you need:
- a block of organic unsalted butter
- a saucepan (a heavy one if you have it)
- a sieve or cloth for straining.
I think it's really important to use organic butter. As with all products that are animal based organic is always the best option. Animals are given so many chemicals these days to make them grow faster, fatter or whatever and when you eat something from an animal treated that way you in turn eat all those chemicals.
What you do:
- Put the butter in the pan and place it on medium heat until the butter melts.
- Reduce the heat and continue to cook.
- Do not cover.
- Gently stir occasionally.
- After about 12- 15 minutes it will start to bubble and splatter a bit then it will go quite.
- It will start to smell like popcorn and will have foam on the top. When the foam has started to brown the ghee is done.
- Take it quickly off the heat so it does not burn. (If it has a nutty smell and is brown then it is burnt)
- When it has cooled but is still warm and in a liquid state pour it through a sieve or clean cloth into a clean jar.
So there you have it - simple, delicious ghee.
* As you can imagine being made from butter it is fattening and should be avoided by people who have issues with their weight.
It is also advised that anyone suffering from high cholesterol be cautious of using ghee.
People suffering from high ama are also advised to avoid ghee until ama has cleared