Ghee has always been an integral part of homes in the Indian subcontinent. It is used extensively for cooking and making sweets. Most of us have heard our elders extolling its many virtues in our childhood. Ghee is not only used for daily consumption but also for auspicious and special occasions.
What is Ghee?
Ghee is a kind of clarified butter. It is made by simmering butter until water evaporates and removing the milk solids. What remains behind is the clarified liquid fat.
Ghee symbolises purity since it is almost free from milk solids and is 99.99% fat. It is a staple ingredient in Indian cooking, Ayurvedic medicines, and religious rituals.
Watch Video on : What is Ghee: Types, Benefits, Uses, Methods to Prepare Ghee
Types of Ghee
You will find many types of ghee available in the market. However, broadly, it can be classified by source and feed.
What is Ghee Made From ( Source of Ghee )
Ghee can be made from either cow milk or buffalo milk. However, cow ghee is the most preferred one. Buffalo ghee is also becoming popular due to its higher fat content, vitamin, protein, and lactose than cow ghee. It is suitable for someone who wants to gain weight.
Type of Cow Ghee
Cow ghee can be categorised into grain-fed and grass-fed cows.
1. Grain-fed ghee
Grain-fed ghee is made from the milk of a cow that is largely fed on a diet of grains and other feed that are not grass-based. The milk from these cows might contain residues of steroids and antibiotics administered to these cows. Milk, and therefore, ghee from grain-fed cows is inferior in quality.
2. Grass-fed ghee
Grass-fed Ghee comes from milk produced by cows exclusively fed on grass. Cows are allowed to graze on green pastures. Grass-fed milk has more nutrition and benefits than grain-fed. The ghee from grass-fed milk is superior in quality.
Methods to Prepare Ghee
Making ghee is a multi-layered process. At its very basic, Ghee is made by simmering butter on low heat till water evaporates, and milk solids are separated, leaving behind the clear liquid gold. However, many methods are used to make ghee.
1. Bilona Process
Traditionally, ghee has been produced by using the bilona (wooden churner). It is a manual process and involves churning butter out of curd, with buttermilk as a by-product. The butter is then cooked, where the water evaporates and pure ghee is left behind.
Shahji Ghee makes all its different varieties of ghee by the slow-churning bilona method. It uses cow milk that is boiled and cooled. This milk is then turned into curd by adding a bit of curd and kept at room temperature. Once the curd sets, butter is churned out, which is then cooked to make ghee. You get an unadulterated, nutritious, and pure ghee.
2. Direct Cream Method
In this method, the cream is separated from milk either using centrifugation or by heating milk. The cream is then directly cooked to make ghee. This method is used by many dairy companies since the cost involved is lesser. The ghee, however, is not as rich in nutrients as bilona ghee.
The Best Type of Ghee to Buy
The best ghee you can get is A2 cow milk ghee made from the bilona method. Some of its properties that make it superior include:
- It has no chemical fertiliser or pesticide residue in it.
- The A2 cow ghee is full of health and nutritional benefits.
- It can also be safely consumed by people who have lactose intolerance.
- The cows graze on grass feed and are not given antibiotics or GMOs for increasing milk yield.
Read more on why A2 cow ghee is the best ghee.
How to check the Purity of Ghee
With people becoming more health-conscious, ghee has again made a comeback into the daily diet. With rising demand, there has been an increase in adulterated ghee mixed with vegetable oil, coconut oil, starch, and other impurities. However, there is no need to worry, since there are simple tests to check the purity of ghee.
1. Heat Test
Heat a pan on medium flame. Add a teaspoon of ghee to it. If it melts immediately and turns into a dark brown colour, it is pure. If it takes time to melt and turns pale yellow, it is adulterated.
2. Palm Test
Place a teaspoon of ghee on your palm. If it melts by itself it is pure, otherwise, it is mixed with vanaspati ghee or other oils.
3. Other tests
You can also do the double boiler method to check for coconut oil, sugar test for vegetable oil, iodine for starch, and HCl test for checking impurities added to ghee.
Uses and Benefits of Ghee
Ghee is a super ingredient that is used in food in many ways. However, since it does contain 99% fat, daily consumption should not exceed 1 or 2 teaspoons in all forms. Some common uses of ghee are:
- Ghee is used as a taste enhancer in Indian homes. A teaspoon of ghee is added to the dal or khichdi. It is also used as a spread on the roti.
- Ghee is the most preferred medium for seasoning. It is used as tadka for dal, kadhi, sambhar, and many other recipes.
- Sweets prepared in desi ghee are much-loved delicacies.
- Ghee is also used for frying and sauteeing at high heat.
Do you know that ghee benefits almost every part of our bodies?
“Ghee is an important carrier of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and essential fatty acids”, says a study published on the health benefits of ghee.
It has positive effects on brain and bone development. It also is advised for nourishing skin and hair. It helps in weight management and digestion.
Ayurveda recognises ghee as a preventive food against many diseases. It boosts human immunity and improves heart health, increases appetite, and can be safely consumed by lactose-intolerant people.
Read more on the Health Benefits of Ghee here.
Where to Buy Pure A2 Desi Cow ghee?
In India, it is fairly easy to buy ghee. You can buy ghee from retail shops, the local dairies, or order them online. However, you should be very careful as to which brand you are buying from. You must consume ghee made by a trusted brand. Seek information about the cow breed, the feed used, and the ghee extraction process.
Shahji Ghee makes not only the best A2 cow ghee in India, but it also has the best Gir Cow Ghee, Buffalo ghee, and desi cow ghee. All these are made using the bilona method. You can buy Shahji Ghee from the website here or even on Amazon.
The properties of ghee lend immense health benefits to our health. Coupled with that, ghee is a culinary and sensory delight as well. Include it in your daily diet if you have already not done so. You can get your daily dose of health, taste, and goodness from Shahji Ghee.