Ayurvedic cooking is unthinkable without ghee. What is ghee and why is it so healthy? Ghee is clarified butter, meaning that you seperate the oil from the milky part by heating up butter. Preferably you should use unsalted butter and if possible from grass-feeding and happy cows. I have not found organic and unsalted butter in the grocery store here in Sweden, but maybe you can ask yor nearby farmer. Due to the fact that the milk protein is filtered and thrown away, it can be used for lactose intolerant people.
What are the health effects?
Ghee is used for various ailments internally and externally. Internally, you can use ghee in small amounts daily to prevent constipation. You add one tsp of ghee to warm water and drink it after brushing your teeth. Externally, ghee is often used for dry skin and to calm the mind for a good sleep. You can just massage your feet and hands with warm ghee before going to bed. For dry mucous membranes in the nose, you can take a drop on a finger and sniff it up through the nostrils. You can also take a drop to lubricate tired and dry eyes. If you use if for dry eyes please do it in the evening and keep in mind that it may burn a little at first. Ghee should not be hot, rather body temperature.
Ghee is so fine in structure that it penetrates deeper into the tissues as no other oil is able to do, and therefore ghee is also used in panchakarma treatments. Medicated ghee,herbs soaked in ghee, is used to transport specific herbs to the deeper tissues and target cells to aid healing. During my ayurvedic massage treatments, I can feel a big difference in how quickly ghee penetrates the skin compared to olive or sunflower oil. I usually fry my vegetables and other food daily with claridied butter. Try it yourself and feel the positive effects.
How to make ghee?
You take ½-1 kg unsalted butter in a stainless steel one-liter measure. Put it in the oven, top and bottom heat, at 50-80 degree celsius. You leave the butter in the oven until the milky part seperates from the golden yellow oil. It takes about 90 minutes. Impurities and milk proteins settle to the bottom. Take it out and filter the golden butter through a coffee and throw away the milky part. In Sweden, where it is cold nearly all year around, ghee can be put at a place at room temperature, but if you will not use it for a couple of weeks, it is better to put it in the fridge. So simple!