Ghee (clarified butter), essential in any Ayurvedic Kitchen
Ghee is one of the lightest oils, very flavorful and ideal for cooking, as it doesn’t burn easily. In Ayurveda ghee is recognized as a digestive, improving absorption and assimilation of the foods you are cooking. Ghee nourishes and lubricates, helping to keep the body flexible. It helps to clean channels, in order to carry the medicinal properties of herbs to the body’s tissues. Ghee is most beneficial to Pitta and Vata types – Kapha types should use it more conservatively, limiting their daily intake to a teaspoon or two.
To make ghee:
– Place one or two bars of unsalted butter in a saucepan until it boils; then lower the heat.
– When the white foam of milk solids, which will accumulate on the top begins to collapse and thicken, start skimming it off.
– Do not disturb the bottom of the pan, as some of these solids will also sink and can be left in the pot until after the ghee is poured off.
– As the butter continues to boil, keep skimming off the solids on top, and watch the oily portion to see when it becomes clear, also watching the sediment on the bottom to see when it turns a golden brown.
– Be careful this does not burn! When all the water is evaporated, the bubbling sound will stop. When only the clear oil and the golden sediment remain, the ghee is ready.
– Remove from heat, and pour through cheesecloth to strain.
– Store the ghee in an earthenware, glass or metal container.
Ghee doesn’t need to be refrigerated, although it will have a longer shelf life if kept cold. Make sure to keep it covered in order to keep out moisture.