Ghee

Actually one of the healthiest butters is ghee. Clarified butter is butter that has been melted over low heat and allowed to bubble and simmer until most of the water has been evaporated. The cooking process is usually extended for a longer period of time with ghee, eliminating more of the moisture and also causing the milk solids to caramelize for eventual removal from the ghee through strainers. The highest-quality ghee is obtained when the long-simmered butter is allowed to cool and only the top-most layer is skimmed off.

Ghee, although a type of clarified butter, differs slightly in its production. The process of creating traditional clarified butter is complete once the water is evaporated and the fat (clarified butter) is separated from the milk solids. However, the production of ghee includes simmering the butter along with the milk solids so that they caramelize, which makes it nutty-tasting and aromatic.

ghee

When comparing ghee to butter in terms of health, one reason for the more favorable past research record of ghee versus butter might be the increased amount of medium- and short-chain fatty acids in ghee. Butter contains about 12-15% of these medium-chain and short-chain fats, whereas ghee contains about 25%.

At levels under 10% of total calories, ghee appears to help lower cardiovascular risks, especially when other fats consumed during the day are exclusively from plants or plant oils. The benefits of butter at moderate levels do not yet have the same level of research backing as ghee. However, there is increasing research interest in butter as having some unique potential benefits of its own, particularly in relationship to its vitamin K and vitamin D content. This content may vary, however, depending on the diet and living circumstances of the dairy cow.

According to Ayurveda, ghee is traditionally made in a way rather different than clarified butter. To make real ghee, one must obtain raw milk, then boil it, let it cool to 110°F (43°C), and add curd (Indian yogurt) cultures. After letting it set, covered at room temperature for around 12 hours, the curd is then churned using ancient methods to obtain this specific type of cultured butter. This butter is finally used to simmer into ghee.

Ghee is the main ingredient in some of the Ayurvedic medicines. It is particularly good for constipation and ulcers.
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Ghee is widely used in Indian cuisine. All over India, rice is sometimes traditionally prepared or served with ghee (including biryani). In Rajasthan, ghee is eaten with baati. All over north India, people sometimes dab roti with ghee. In Bengal (both West Bengal and Bangladesh) and Gujarat, ghee is served with kichdi, which is an evening meal (or dinner) of rice with lentils cooked in curry made from yogurt, cumin seeds, curry leaves, ghee, cornflour, turmeric, garlic, and salt. Ghee is also used to prepare kadhi and used in Indian sweets such as Mysore pak, and different varieties of halva and laddu.

Punjabi cuisine prepared in restaurants uses large amounts of ghee. Naan and roti are sometimes brushed with ghee, either during preparation or while serving. Ghee is an important part of Punjabi cuisine and traditionally, the parathas, daals, and curries in Punjab often use ghee instead of oil, to make them rich in taste. Different types of ghees are used in different types of cooking recipes; for example, ghee made from cow’s milk (Bengali: গাওয়া ঘী gaoa ghi) is traditionally served with rice or roti or just a generous sprinkle over the top of a curry or daal (lentils), but for cooking purposes, ghee made from buffalo’s milk is used generally.

Ghee is an ideal fat for deep frying because its smoke point (where its molecules begin to break down) is 250 °C (482 °F), which is well above typical cooking temperatures of around 200 °C (392 °F) and above that of most vegetable oils.

As with all oils, intake of these should be minimal – no matter it’s claims of health benefits.

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