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1 January, 2014

Make Ghee, the sacred ingredient

Posted in : How To, Kitchen, Lifestyle on by : Ratna

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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.

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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.tutorial session-201

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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.

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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”.

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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..

Recipe;

Ingredients;

Unsalted  butter      1  lb

Method;

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.


Inside  Scoop;

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 .

By Ratna.

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