Ghee has been hailed for centuries as the best cooking fat. However, the art of making ghee extends far beyond its role as a simple cooking ingredient. It can be recognized as a sacred ceremony that carries ancient wisdom and significance. Celebrated in Vedic culture as a symbol of nourishment and health, ghee holds a revered place as the “food of the gods” according to Vedic texts. Its versatile nature allows it to be utilized both in cooking and as a potent therapeutic medicine.
In the kitchen, ghee surpasses other cooking oils in its ability to withstand high temperatures, reaching up to 485°F without losing its integrity. Unlike many oils that become carcinogenic when overheated, ghee remains stable and safe. You can also substitute ghee for butter in both sweet and savory recipes.
Preparing ghee is a simple yet meticulous process. After years of accidently burning ghee by making it the standard way on the stovetop, this oven version has become my preferred method.
Two pounds of unsalted organic butter
Clean, dry cheesecloth
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Place the butter in a Dutch oven or a similar heavy-bottomed, thick-walled pan.
- Place the pan, uncovered, in the oven and allow the butter to melt slowly without disturbing it.
- As the butter melts, a layer of foam will form on the surface, while pale gold solids will settle at the bottom of the pan. The ghee is ready when the butter oil is a clear amber color and the solids on the bottom are a consistent golden brown. If the solids become black, you have scorched the ghee and sadly will have to discard it.
- The duration of this process depends on the quantity and quality of butter used, with one pound taking approximately an hour.
- Use a clean, dry spoon, or a fine-mesh skimmer to remove the foam from the surface.
- Carefully ladle or pour the clear ghee through a strainer lined with a clean linen towel or several layers of cheesecloth, ensuring the solids at the bottom remain fairy undisturbed. Discard the strained solids.
- Pour the strained ghee into a clean, dry, glass container. Once the ghee has cool to room temperature, seal it tightly.
STORING & USING THE GHEE
Ghee possesses remarkable longevity and can be stored on your kitchen shelf or cupboard in a sealed jar, eliminating the need for refrigeration. The medicinal properties of ghee are believed to enhance with age. However, it’s crucial to follow a few guidelines to maintain its purity and prevent spoilage:
- Always use a clean, dry utensil when scooping out the ghee. Avoid using wet or dirty spoons, as moisture and contaminants can promote bacterial growth and spoilage.
- Ensure no water comes into contact with the ghee during the preparation, storage, or usage stages.
- Seal the jar tightly after each use to prevent oxidation and maintain its freshness.
- Ghee if kept in an airtight container, free of moisture, away from light, it does not expire. If it smells rancid it has gone bad otherwise it is good. The therapeutic quality of ghee is enhanced when it is aged. There is ten and hundred year ghee that is used medicinally.
THE BENEFITS OF GHEE
Digestive Aid: Ghee stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes, enhances nutrient absorption, and helps soothe inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Incorporating ghee in your meals can aid in alleviating digestive disorders such as bloating, indigestion, and acidity.
Nourishing for the Body: Ghee acts as a vehicle for transporting nutrients to the deeper layers of the body. Ghee is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins A, D, E, and K, and beneficial antioxidants. It nourishes the body’s tissues, supports healthy cell function, and enhances overall vitality.
Boosts Immunity: The high concentration of butyric acid and medium-chain fatty acids in ghee has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that fortify the immune system and protect against infections.
Promotes Mental Health: Ghee is considered a “sattvic” food in Ayurveda, known for its calming and grounding effect on the mind. It promotes neuron communication and supports brain chemistry.
FULL MOON GHEE
In addition to the benefits of ghee, making ghee on the full moon is believed to amplify its potency. When full moon ghee is made, it is common to chant the Maha Mahamrityunjaya mantra, connecting you to the wisdom of ancient tradition and infusing your ghee with added healing vibrations.
oṃ tryámbakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhíṃ puṣṭi-vardhánam
urvārukam íva bandhánān mṛtyor mukṣīya mā ‘mṛtā́t
Here are additional benefits of full moon ghee:
Lunar Energy Infusion: According to Vedic wisdom, the full moon is believed to possess heightened energy and influence. When ghee is prepared during this auspicious time, it is believed to absorb the positive vibrations and lunar energy, enhancing its therapeutic properties.
Emotional Balance: The full moon is known to have an impact on our emotions, sometimes intensifying them. Full-moon ghee is considered soothing and grounding, helping to stabilize emotions and promote emotional well-being during times of heightened sensitivity.
Spiritual Significance: Making ghee on the full moon is seen as an act of reverence and devotion. It is an opportunity to connect with nature’s cycles and align oneself with the cosmic energies. This practice encourages mindfulness and gratitude, fostering a deeper spiritual connection.
Enhanced Medicinal Properties: Full-moon ghee is believed to possess an intensified healing potential due to the enhanced energy absorbed from the lunar cycle. It is considered particularly beneficial for nourishing the mind, body, and spirit.
Energetic Cleansing: The full moon is associated with cleansing and releasing stagnant energy. Full moon ghee is thought to carry this purifying energy, aiding in the removal of toxins and blockages from the body and mind.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease.