Ghee is clarified butter. Although it is prepared completely from butter, its properties, according to Ayurveda, are very different from butter itself. Once of the most obvious differences is that all of the milk protein has been removed. Ghee is pure fat with none of the impurities that may be found in butter. Unlike butter, ghee contains no bacteria and it is not prone to turning rancid, even after storing it for several month outside the refrigerator.
In many cases, ghee is recommended in the diet. Ghee is particularly useful for the Pitta constitution; it helps to digest and absorb food better and makes food tastier, although not everyone will agree. Its benefit lies in the fact that it stimulates AGNI (digestive fire) without upsetting the dhosa. Also Vata, and even Kapha types benefit from ghee.
How to Prepare Ghee
- Place any amount of unsalted organic butter in a deep porcelain, Pyrex or stainless steel pan over medium-low heat.
- During the next 30 -40 minutes, let the water in the butter boil away. Milk solids will appear at the surface of the liquid and at the bottom of the pan.
- Be alert to remove the liquid from the liquid from the heat, as the milk turns golden brown on the bottom of the pan. Otherwise the ghee may burn.
- Strain the ghee while still hot or warm, pouring it through a cotton cloth into a stainless steel or glass container.
- You can store the ghee at room temperature for several weeks and you can keep it forever in the refrigerator.
Ghee can be used in the same way as cooking oil, in place of butter, or as a digestive aid dripped over food.