Friday, September 12, 2014

100th post: Ghee ( Clarified butter)



This is my hundredth post! I truly cannot believe that I have completed 100 posts on my blog!!! That too in less than nine months! To many bloggers out there, this may not be a big deal... But for me, it is! I never thought I would come this far! Like I have said before, blogging is hard work. Hats off to all the wonderful food bloggers out there who take the time to take pictures of their food and write about it. For me, as a working mom, it has been really hard to take the time to do my posts. I have had to stay up late after the kids have been cajoled into bed, wake up during the wee hours of the morning just to complete a post or to post something on time. The good part of it is the appreciation I have received from family and friends, recognition by many different organizations, making new friends with the wonderful people from the blogging world and last but not the least the immense amount of learning that occurs on a daily basis, in more ways than one!

I have given much thought to what I would write about for my hundredth post. I finally decided to go with something that is part of basic cooking skills: ghee or clarified butter. This is such an integral part of Indian cooking. Ghee that is sold at premium rates in stores like Trader's Joe, Whole Food etc. Did you know that ghee can be easily made at home?? All you need is butter! As simple as that. For time immemorial, ghee has been made at home in Indian households. I remember my mother collecting cream from boiled and cooled milk, storing it in the fridge, churning it and making butter and then converting that butter into ghee.

Let me share this simple method of making this liquid gold at home that is totally natural without any added preservatives or chemicals in it.



Servings: yields approzimately 700 ml of ghee.


Ingredient:


Unsalted Butter( sweet cream butter): 3 lbs

Method:


Take the butter in a thick-bottomed pot. 



Heat it on medium heat until it is completely melted.









 Once it melts, reduce the flame to the lowest possible and let it boil.



 It will start frothing. Continue boiling, stirring in between until the frothing stops, generally around 30-40 minutes. 





The liquid now is golden with a slightly dark residue at the bottom. Stop boiling at this point. Switch off the flame. 





Boiling any further will burn the milk solids that has separated and settled at the bottom .This will turn the color of the ghee brown instead of golden. 

Once the ghee has settled down/ cooled down a little, strain and pour it in a airtight container of your choice to be stored, ideally a glass jar of some kind. 






The dark residue will be left behind.






Can be stored at room temperature. Remains fresh for a month.I am bringing this to all my wonderful friends at Angie's Fiesta Friday. This week's co-hosts are Andrea@cooking with a wallflower and Sylvia@superfoodista.I look forward to these parties ...it is so much fun.If you haven't yet been there you should try it!

Cooking made easy:


Many people suggest the addition of clove, cinnamon stick, beetle-nut leaf during the last stage of ghee preparation to make it more aromatic. I sometimes add it. It is not a must. My mother sprinkles a little buttermilk when the bubbling has stopped and it has turned golden.  This also is supposed to make the ghee very aromatic.

Tip for healthy living:


For time immemorial, ghee has been use in everyday  Indian cooking. However over the years, people have shied away from ghee believing it to be fattening and rich in cholesterol thereby leading to heart-issues. Today how here butter is being promoted, ghee too is being promoted. Like anything else, anything when consumed in moderation does not cause ill effects on the body . Too much of anything is bad for the body. My kids are vegetarian an picky eaters. Hence I make sure I use ample amount of ghee in their food.
References:
http://www.ancientorganics.com/about-our-ghee/
http://creationbasedhealth.com/benefits-ghee-clarified-butter/
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/15-amazing-benefits-of-ghee.html

Food for thought:


The fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion. Arnold H. Glasow