1 January, 2014
Make Ghee, the sacred ingredient
It has been cold. Very cold. The temperature inside the freezer is warmer than the outside temperature. The days very short and very white. Snowfall in the last two months has exceeded that of the whole season . The night seems to come very fast.
I lit a lamp with ghee. Lighting a lamp signifies the passage from ignorance to knowledge. Special days are always marked by lighting a lamp, not by putting it off. Today is special. The first day of a brand new year. It holds promise for the whole year. Ghee or Ghrit is a sacred ingredient because of its purity.
Ayurveda puts ghee as the best cooking medium. It is also known as clarified butter and holds a special place in Indian lifestyle. Clarifying the butter of its proteins , leaves only the fat behind . Ghee has the highest smoking point among other oils.
Ghee can be very easily prepared at home. It is a beautiful dark golden liquid when warm, and changes to a soft fudge like consistency when let to stand. Keeping it inside the fridge will harden it. I recently read that aged ghee matured between ten to one hundred years is called ‘ kumbhaghrit ‘, and that of even older vintage is ‘ mahaghrit ‘. Mature ghee is believed to have rejuvenating qualities.
We use ghee either as a cooking medium or it is added in the end of a recipe along with some spices for a fantastic flavour. This is called “Tadka” or “Chaunk”.
Although the days are short, we just passed the winter solistice. We may not feel it yet but the days have started to be longer. Its like when a new life grows inside you, things will be different down the road. Spring will be here. There is hope.
I wish you, you and you a great new year.
I wish you good health and lot of happiness.
May you always have that smile on your face..
Unsalted butter 1 lb
Take the slab of butter in a deep bottom pan on high heat. Wait till the butter melts and start to boil. Bring the heat down to low and let the liquid simmer. You will notice a layer of scum forming on top. Lift a ladlful of liquid and check the colour .It should be light brown. The house will be filled with a heavenly aroma, something like caramel. Put the gas off. Drain the liquid through a cheesecloth. Discard the solids. Collect the Ghee in a clean, dry container.
Take a deep bottom pan to make ghee. It can spill out pretty fast. Ask me how I know!
Always use dry spoon to take the ghee out from its bottle.
Do not leave the burning lamp unattended.
Please do not multitask, when preparing ghee. Make it into a relaxing chore.
Don’t forget, Ghee is pure fat. It doesn’t take too long to tip the scale to the side that you do not want .