For centuries, bilona ghee has been produced and consumed in India. However, while the traditional method of making this aromatic elixir was slow and elaborate, requiring great manual time and effort, the modern method is quick and mechanized. But the nutritional value of ghee is largely lost in the modern process.
So, what is the traditional method and why are people going back to it? Here you will find out more about the traditional method or the Bilona method of making ghee and why is it superior to your regular processed ghee.
What is Bilona Ghee?
Bilona method owes its name to the wooden beater i.e, “Bilona” which has been used since ancient times for churning out butter from the curd. You may be having a smaller version at your home or may have seen your grandma using one to make mango shakes and lassi.
Ghee made from bilona method is called bilona ghee. so what is bilona method, let see...
Bilona ghee is a revered food in India due to its traditional preparation method and numerous health benefits. The process of making bilona ghee involves churning curd made from cow's milk in a clay pot using a wooden churner called a "bilona."
This labor-intensive method separates the butterfat from the milk solids, which are then removed. The remaining butterfat is simmered over a low flame until it transforms into a rich, golden, and flavorful ghee and that is called bilona ghee.
In Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine, bilona ghee is considered a sattvic (wholesome) food and is known for its digestive and healing properties. It is believed to help boost the immune system, promote overall well-being, and even help with weight loss.
The traditional preparation method of bilona ghee is still practiced in many parts of India, and it is highly valued for its purity and taste.
Nowadays we have the facility of a food processor or a mixie Yes, the mixie makes the lassi faster than your grandma, but wasn’t grandma’s version tastier, having more fiber and nourishment? Similar is the case with ghee too.
The old method gives the real desi ghee (according to Ayurveda), which is much superior to normally processed ghee in taste, aroma, and nutrition. All Shahji Desi ghee is produced using the Vedic bilona method.
What is Traditional Bilona Method? Step-by-step guide about bilona method.
Stage 1: Boiling A2 Milk
First milk is collected from cows or buffaloes and the milk is boiled. This is done because milk was fresh and raw, and may be having impurities. Then this milk is allowed to cool till it has just enough warmth for making curd.
Stage 2: Putting Curd in milk
When milk is cooled down to curd making temperature, the whole of it including the malai (that is creamy layer) is poured into earthen pots. To convert the milk into curd, a spoonful of curd or curd starter called jamawan is added to it. Overnight the milk turns into curd.
Stage 3: Churning of Curd
Now comes to the actual Bilona Stage. The curd formed in earthen pots is poured in a bigger earthen or wooden pot in which we have the wooden Bilona with rope wrapped around it and the free ends are handheld to make the bilona turn back and forth in order to churn the curd clock-wise and anti-clockwise so as to make butter. The Bilona goes on churning out butter from the curd, which is scooped out leaving the buttermilk or whey.
Stage 4: Separate Makkhan and buttermilk
In the last stage, butter is transferred into another pot and heated to make Ghee. Since the Vedic ages wood was used to make a fire for slowly heating up the butter to make the milk solids separate from ghee.
The Bilona ghee method essentially requires heating on a low flame and the clarification process is long. In the end, the milk solids turn reddish brown and settle at the bottom. Clear bilona ghee is afloat above.
Noteworthy is the fact that more cow milk than buffalo milk is taken up to make the same amount of ghee. Also, the amount required in the commercial method is almost half to make - say a liter of Ghee in the traditional method. Despite the cost and manual effort involved in the Bilona method, the nutrition is preserved and the same is lost in the commercial method.
The commercial or industrial method makes ghee mostly either by the cream of milk (Malai) or through butter from motor churned raw milk of grain or grass-fed jersey cows or buffaloes. This is because the demand for bilona ghee is constantly increasing. Desi cow breeds like Gir and Sahiwal don’t give as much milk as do hybrid cows as buffaloes.
Watch Video: How to make Bilona Ghee?
Why is Ghee Market Growing?
Approximately 30% of milk produced in India goes into the production of Ghee as per a Research report in 2015. The market value of ghee in India was Rs. 2374 billion in 2020. Globally, the ghee volume was almost 6.1 million tonnes in 2020.
Increasing awareness about the benefits of ghee regarding immunity from diseases is propelling its demand in India as well as globally. Additionally, the increasing population and growing food industry are contributing to ghee’s demand. At the global level, cow’s ghee dominates the bilona ghee market because it is considered Ayurvedically most effective.
Why Bilona Ghee is Costly?
Do you ever wondering why bilona ghee price looks high but actually it is not high according to their quality and health benefits. Bilona ghee is totally man made process in which 1 litre of ghee is made from 25-30 liter of A2 cow milk and that is the reason which make bilona ghee expensive.
Also Read - Buffalo Ghee Vs Cow Ghee - which is better?
Bilona Ghee Price depends upon 2 things:
1. The type of animal
because of the variation in fat content, milk produced, and cost of milk. There is a difference between the normal hybrid cow or buffalo ghee from the A2 ghee price of Desi Cow and Gir cow. It will be clear from the table that due to more time and effort needed in collecting milk for ghee in the case of A2 cows, the price of their ghee is more for A1 cows as well as buffaloes.
Most brands like Amul don’t prefer Indian cow breeds as they are not that productive. Moreover, the ghee available in packets may be either mixture of hybrid cow and buffalo, or it may even be adulterated. A1 cow ghee is generally priced between Rs. 500-800 and A2 cow bilona ghee price is between Rs. 900-4000 per liter. Buffalo ghee is around Rs. 400/ltr. If it is adulterated it may even be priced around Rs. 250/ltr.
2. Cost of feed to the producer
Once the type of animal is selected, the price depends on the cost of feed, that is whether charitable goshalas are feeding the animal or the farmer himself has arranged the feed (grain or grass fed or even left for free grazing on grass). If a farmer makes effort, the cost of ghee to him is more.
Bilona Ghee Used in Ayurvedic Medicine
Bilona churning is a 3000-year-old technique mentioned in our Vedas and Epics. As the world is struck by the Covid pandemic and fungal infections, People are moving towards indigenous techniques and medicines, and food. Awareness is increasing regarding the advantages of Bilona Ghee over normal ghee.
Also Read - A1 Ghee Vs A2 Ghee: What is the Difference?
Health Benefits of Bilona Ghee
1. Bilona Ghee has more anti-oxidants and vitamins
The nutrition contained in Bilona Ghee is more as compared to commercially produced ghee. It contains a better amount of vitamins Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K. Vitamins A and Vitamin E are antioxidants together with Butyric acid which is also there in Ghee.
2. Bilona Ghee Contains essential fatty acids
Bilona variety of Ghee preserves essential Omega-3 (DHA), Omega-6 (CLA), Omega-9, and Butyric fatty acids in better amounts than available in processed ghee.
3. Bilona Ghee has Anti-cancer properties
Antioxidants like Vitamins A, E, and Butyric acid which fight free radicals and help against cancer are more in Bilona ghee as compared to normal ghee.
4. Improve Better cognitive skills and growth
DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid is vital for memory and the development of understanding skills in children. So bilona ghee, especially cow bilona ghee is recommended for growing kids.
5. Bilona Ghee Keeps heart healthy
Grass-fed cow Bilona ghee like Shahji’s Premium cow ghee has more CLA or conjugated Linoleic Acid and it reduces bad cholesterol levels and increases good cholesterol. Vitamin K2 reduces the chances of any blockages which might be caused due to calcium deposits in arteries. Therefore, consume pure desi bilona ghee for a healthy heart.
6. Better against inflammation
Bilona ghee has more Butyric acid which acts against gut inflammation. The Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids which are there in more quantity in bilona ghee, reduce swelling.
7. Bilona Ghee Keeps Hormonal balance
Bilona Ghee being nutrient-rich, is recommended for balancing hormones. Bilona ghee effectively helps in targeting thyroid problems as also menstrual issues in women.
8. Bilona Ghee improves digestive health
Butyric Acid, which Ghee has, is vital for digestive health, colon, and intestine. Bilona ghee having more of this short chain fatty acid effectively curbs intestinal diseases and helps to prevent colon cancer.
Ghee made from Malai is digested with difficulty and so isn’t good for little ones. If you indulge in Desi ghee online shopping, check out our preservative-free, trans-fat-free Shahji bilona ghee products which are easy on the stomach.
9. Recommended in weight loss diet
The DHA and CLA in bilona ghee help to lose weight because they increase metabolism, thus helping burn unwanted fat.
10. Bilona Ghee has Healing property
Bilona ghee is an ayurvedic healer of skin problems like swelling, cuts, wounds, dryness of skin, and sunburns. It is also good for frizzy hair issues.
11. Bilona Ghee Detoxifies body
Bilona Ghee balances Vata, pitta, and Kapha in our body and removes body toxins because Butyrate in it helps the stomach lining.
12. Can bilona ghee taken by lactose intolerant
Since milk solids have been removed, bilona ghee, especially cow ghee can be consumed by those who have lactose allergies.
13. Bilona Ghee Improves eyesight
Vitamin A is in greater amount in bilona ghee. Ghee from Gir cows is especially known for its benefits to the eyes.
14. For Physical activities,
Buffalo bilona ghee is especially good for people who are into intense physical activity and those who want to gain weight. See the Online ghee price for our product Shahji Premium Desi Ghee (Noni).
15. Tastier and more fragrant
The Bilona ghee variety preserves all the original ghee taste and aroma. it is traditionally made and butter is cooked on low heat. The clarification process is long and slow and this is why when you smear your rotis with bilona ghee, the taste and smell are heavenly and hunger simply grows!
16. Non-toxic ghee
Ayurveda always recommends cooking on low flame because high heat destroys nutrition and makes things toxic. Bilona ghee is made on low flame and hence the quality of ghee is preserved and it remains non-toxic.
17. Bilona Ghee has beneficial A2 properties
A1 and A2 are beta-casein proteins found in milk. A2 is more in desi cow milk and the bilona ghee made from desi cows is very beneficial for its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-oxidant properties. A2 ghee is helpful against allergic rhinitis, sneezing fits, and runny nose.
18. Bilona ghee strengthen teeth and bones
Vitamin A is vital for bones, while Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in bone and teeth development too. Similarly, Vitamin K presents more in bilona Ghee also helps in the absorption of calcium and is good for bone and teeth. Knee massages using bilona ghee help knee joints.
19. Higher smoke point
Bilona ghee has a high smoke point and like other oils doesn’t break releasing free radicals at higher temperatures. So, it is good for frying, sautéing, etc.
20. Bilona ghee Improves immunity
This ghee is especially good in these times of corona, back fungus, and the horde of other diseases which have struck our species because of the great amount of nutrition it contains. Its Ayurvedic properties help in combating diseases and maintaining bodily immunity.
Read more -
- Bilona Ghee Vs Normal Ghee: Which is better?
- What Is Bilona Ghee And Its Benefits?
- Vanaspati Ghee Vs Desi Ghee: Which Ghee is Better?
- Gir Organic Vs Two Brothers Vs Shahji Ghee
- What is the Bilona Method? - Shajighee
In this fast-paced era, people hardly have time to make bilona ghee at home. Many people do make ghee from malai but that is not as beneficial as the hand-churned bilona ghee which Lord Krishna’s mother used to make for Him.
It may be tastier than your average machine-generated ghee from raw milk, but if you want to enjoy that rich nutty, creamy taste of true Desi Ghee, you must try out our bilona ghee once.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is bilona ghee?
It is a type of ghee made by churning the curd using a wooden churner called bilona.
What is the difference between normal ghee and bilona ghee?
The one basic difference between normal and bilona ghee is that bilona ghee is made from curd but normal ghee is made from the cream.
Why is bilona ghee costly?
Bilona ghee is costly because the milk from which this ghee is formed is limited. The Indian desi cows give only 12-15 litres of milk per day but 25-30 litres of milk is required to make 1 litre of ghee. Due to the limited supply of milk and ghee made from the bilona process, this ghee is costly.
What is the bilona method of making ghee?
Bilona is a method of ghee-making in which curd is churned by using a wooden churner called bilona. From this churning process, butter is obtained. To make ghee, this butter is heated over a low flame until all milk is solid and water content fully evaporates. After this, the golden liquid left behind is pure ghee.
Which ghee is better from curd or malai?
The ghee made from curd is better because the ghee made from curd is more nutritious and contains more vitamins and health benefits because it’s made through the bilona method in small batches in earthen pots.