Ghee, or clarified butter, originated in ancient India and is commonly used in South Asian cuisine as well as Ayurvedic (Ancient Indian Medical Science) treatments. Ghee is prepared by a long, slow process of boiling butter (which is typically churned from raw milk). The boiling process is carried out until all moisture, milk solids, and other residue can be removed. The taste, color, and texture of ghee depend on the quality of the milk used and the exact process used to make the ghee.
Ghee, when used in moderation, about 2 teaspoons a day, can be very beneficial for health.
There are innumerable benefits to using ghee in your diet and even externally. It has a great flavor and aroma to it. It is also not needed in as large quantities as regular vegetable oil for cooking.
1. Ghee has one of the highest smoke points (485 F) of any cooking oils, which makes it great for cooking food. The high smoke point means that ghee doesn’t break down at high heat and can be safely used in nearly all recipes.
2. Since the perishable components of milk have been removed in the process of making ghee, ghee has a very long shelf life.
3. Ghee aids the human digestive system in secreting acids for aiding digestion, as opposed to several processed oils that in fact disrupt the digestive process.
4. For those who are dairy intorelant, ghee can be a great alternative to butter as it is void of lactose and casein.
5. Ghee is an excellent lubricant for joints and connective tissues. Ghee helps in promoting flexibility and increasing the life of joints in the body.
6. Ghee is an excellent moisturizer and can provide longer relief from dryness than commercial moisturizers.
7. Ghee is a rich source of several vitamins including vitamins A, D, E, and K. Ghee also helps the body absorb vitamins in foods.
Ghee can be used in place of vegetable and other cooking oils to cook food. The best way to get great flavor in your food (typically Indian food) is to heat ghee in a pan for a few minutes on medium heat and then adding cumin seeds into the hot ghee to let them splutter.
Traditionally, in India, a teaspoon full of raw ghee is applied on Indian bread (roti, naan, etc.), and also added in curries like daal (lentils) to enhance taste and texture.Further Reading: