Ghee is a type of clarified butter that originated in India and is commonly used in South Asian cuisines, traditional medicine, and religious rituals.
Ghee is part of Indian culture and is the healthiest of fats and along with milk and honey this should form part of the daily diet. Ghee is nutritious and can withstand high heat cooking levels without losing any of its values.
When butter, which is churned from milk cream, is melted and simmered and the residue removed, you get ghee. Sometimes spices can be added to give added flavour. The taste, colour and texture of the ghee thus produced depend on the quality of butter and the process of melting it.
Ghee is used by Hindus during ceremonies like weddings, funerals and in temples during g fire sacrifices which are performed at these ceremonies. Apart from this ghee is also used as an accompaniment to meals especially rice and curry in ceremonies in Hindu festivals. Also widely used in Indian cuisine and making many sweets.
In Yarlpanam when curd is churned with water frothy butter floats to the surface. This then is collected and melted to get ghee. In Yarlpanam homes where curd is made for daily use, they make ghee too for their use.
Just put all the butter collected into a wide pan and put the pan on low flame. As the butter is melting, keep stirring. While melting the butter boil with it some clean Murungai leaves or even curry leaves to give additional flavour. Keep stirring until a golden brown liquid separates to the top and some residue left at the bottom. Do not over boil. Line a sieve with some muslin cloth and pour the ghee in it to separate out the residue. Pour out the ghee into a clean dry glass jar and when cool put it away so you can add more ghee in the future times.
As ghee is very pure it does not need to be kept in refrigerator and will keep for many months without losing its freshness. In fact its unique flavours and qualities increase with age. The two things that will degrade ghee are water and sunlight. Therefore store in air tight bottles in a dark area.
Ghee is also made the same way as above from buffalo milk and this ghee is richer than cow ghee due to the fat content in buffalo milk. Generally buffalo ghee is used in making sweets and in cooking. Cow ghee is served with rice and curry.
Clarified butter and ghee.
Traditionally in Yarlpanam and Southern India, ghee is made from curd which is type of fermented milk and this curd is whipped to get the butter which is then melted and simmered to produce ghee.
Whereas in clarified butter the process is different. The water in the milk cream is evaporated and the fat which is clarified butter separates out from milk solids.
It is now proved that ghee has a host of health and cooking benefits and is good for the mind and body. Ghee is a source of fat soluble vitamins like vitamin K and is good for nails, hair and skin.