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Ghee
Butterschmalz-3.jpg
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy3,690 kJ (880 kcal)
99.8 g
Saturated64,9 g
0.2g
MineralsQuantity %DV
Potassium
0%
6.5 mg
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

Ghee (Sanskrit: Ghṛta) is a class of clarified butter that originated in ancient India. It is commonly used in cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, Middle Eastern cuisine, Southeast Asian cuisine, traditional medicine, and religious rituals.

Description

Ghee is typically prepared by simmering butter, which is churned from cream (traditionally made by churning the top most layer of dahi which is also called Bilona method), skimming any impurities from the surface, then pouring and retaining the clear liquid fat while discarding the solid residue that has settled to the bottom. Spices can be added for flavor. The texture, color and taste of ghee depend on the quality of the butter, the milk source used in the process and the duration of time spent boiling.

A dosa in India served with ghee.
Ghee (Sanskrit: Ghṛta) is a class of clarified butter that originated in ancient India. It is commonly used in cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, Middle Eastern cuisine, Southeast Asian cuisine, traditional medicine, and religious rituals.

Description

Ghee is typically prepared by simmering butter, which is churned from cream (traditionally made by churning the top most layer of dahi which is also called Bilona method), skimming any impurit

Ghee is typically prepared by simmering butter, which is churned from cream (traditionally made by churning the top most layer of dahi which is also called Bilona method), skimming any impurities from the surface, then pouring and retaining the clear liquid fat while discarding the solid residue that has settled to the bottom. Spices can be added for flavor. The texture, color and taste of ghee depend on the quality of the butter, the milk source used in the process and the duration of time spent boiling.

A dosa in India served with ghee.
Bottled ghee, Fiji.

Etymology

The word ghee comes from Sanskrit: घृत (ghṛuta-, IPA: [ɡʱr̩tɐ]) 'clarified butter', from ghṛ- 'to sprinkle'.[1]

In Hinduism and Buddhism

Traditionally, ghee (Sanskrit: गोघृत, go-ghṛta) is always made from bovine milk, as cows are considered sacred, and it is a sacred requirement in Vedic yajña

The word ghee comes from Sanskrit: घृत (ghṛuta-, IPA: [ɡʱr̩tɐ]) 'clarified butter', from ghṛ- 'to sprinkle'.[1]

In Hinduism and Buddhism

Traditionally, ghee (Sanskrit: गोघृत, go-ghṛta) is always made from bovine milk, as cows are considered sacred, and it is a sacred requirement in Vedic yajña and homa (fire rituals), through the medium of Agni (fire) to offer oblations to various deities. (See Yajurveda).

Fire rituals are utilized for ceremonies such as marriage, funerals, etc. Ghee is also necessary in Vedic worship of mūrtis (divine deities), with aarti (offering of ghee lamp) called diyā or dīpa and for Pañcāmṛta (Panchamruta) where ghee along with mishri, honey, milk, and dahi (curd) is

Traditionally, ghee (Sanskrit: गोघृत, go-ghṛta) is always made from bovine milk, as cows are considered sacred, and it is a sacred requirement in Vedic yajña and homa (fire rituals), through the medium of Agni (fire) to offer oblations to various deities. (See Yajurveda).

Fire rituals are utilized for ceremonies such as marriage, funerals, etc. Ghee is also necessary in Vedic worship of mūrtis (divine deities), with aarti (offering of ghee lamp) called mūrtis (divine deities), with aarti (offering of ghee lamp) called diyā or dīpa and for Pañcāmṛta (Panchamruta) where ghee along with mishri, honey, milk, and dahi (curd) is used for bathing the deities on the appearance day of Krishna on Janmashtami, Śiva (Shiva) on Mahā-śivarātrī (Maha Shivaratri). There is a hymn to ghee.[2]

In the Mahabharata, the kaurava were born from pots of ghee.[3] Finding ghee pure enough to use for sacred purposes is a problem these days for devout Hindus, since many large-scale producers add salt to their product.[citation needed] Ghee is also used in bhang in order to heat the cannabis to cause decarboxylation, making the drink psychoactive.[4][5]

In Buddhist scripture, stages of dairy production are used as metaphors for stages of enlightenment. The highest-stage product, sarpir-maṇḍa, is theorised to be ghee or clarified butter.[6]

Culinary uses

Ghee is common in cuisines from the Indian subcontinent, including traditional rice preparations (such as biryani). In Maharashtra, polis or Indian breads are accompanied with ghee. For example, 'Puranpoli', a typical Maharashtrian dish is eaten with much ghee. In Rajasthan, ghee often accompanies baati. All over north India, ghee tops roti. In Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, ghee tops dosa, and kesari bhath. In Bengal (both West Bengal and Bangladesh) and Gujarat, khichdi is a traditional evening meal of rice with lentils, cooked in curry made from dahi (yogurt), cumin seeds, curry leaves, cornflour, turmeric, garlic, salt and ghee. It is also an ingredient in kadhi and Indian sweets, such as Mysore pak and varieties of halva and laddu. Indian restaurants typically incorporate large amounts of ghee, sometimes brushing naan and roti with it, either during preparation or just before serving. In the state of Odisha ghee is widely used in regional Odia cuisines such as 'Khechedi' and 'Dalma'. Particularly the satwik type of food prepared in most temples in Odisha uses ghee as a major ingredient for their culinary skills. Ghee is widely used in South Indian cuisine for tempering curries, in preparation of rice dishes and sweets. South Indians have a habit of adding ghee to their rice before eating it with pickles and curries. South Indians are one of the biggest consumers of ghee. The people from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh especially use ghee for preparation of savoury and sweet dishes alike. Ghee is important to traditional North Indian cuisine, with parathas, daals and curries often using ghee instead of oil for a richer taste. The type of ghee, in terms of animal source, tends to vary with the dish; for example, ghee prepared from cow's milk (Bengali: গাওয়া ঘী, gaoa ghi) is traditional with rice or roti or as a finishing drizzle atop a curry or daal (lentils) whereas buffalo-milk ghee is more typical for general cooking purposes.

Ghee is an ideal fat for deep frying because its smoke point (where its molecules begin to break down) is 250 °C (482 °F), which is well above typical cooking temperatures of around 200 °C (392 °F) and above that of most vegetable oils.[7]

Flavor

The main flavor components of ghee are carbonyls, free fatty acids, lactones, and alcohols.[8] Along with the flavor of milk fat, the ripening of the butter and temperature at which it is clarified also affect the flavor. For example, ghee produced by the clarification of butter at 100 °C or less results in a mild flavor, whereas batches produced at 120 °C produce a strong flavor.[Ghee is common in cuisines from the Indian subcontinent, including traditional rice preparations (such as biryani). In Maharashtra, polis or Indian breads are accompanied with ghee. For example, 'Puranpoli', a typical Maharashtrian dish is eaten with much ghee. In Rajasthan, ghee often accompanies baati. All over north India, ghee tops roti. In Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, ghee tops dosa, and kesari bhath. In Bengal (both West Bengal and Bangladesh) and Gujarat, khichdi is a traditional evening meal of rice with lentils, cooked in curry made from dahi (yogurt), cumin seeds, curry leaves, cornflour, turmeric, garlic, salt and ghee. It is also an ingredient in kadhi and Indian sweets, such as Mysore pak and varieties of halva and laddu. Indian restaurants typically incorporate large amounts of ghee, sometimes brushing naan and roti with it, either during preparation or just before serving. In the state of Odisha ghee is widely used in regional Odia cuisines such as 'Khechedi' and 'Dalma'. Particularly the satwik type of food prepared in most temples in Odisha uses ghee as a major ingredient for their culinary skills. Ghee is widely used in South Indian cuisine for tempering curries, in preparation of rice dishes and sweets. South Indians have a habit of adding ghee to their rice before eating it with pickles and curries. South Indians are one of the biggest consumers of ghee. The people from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh especially use ghee for preparation of savoury and sweet dishes alike. Ghee is important to traditional North Indian cuisine, with parathas, daals and curries often using ghee instead of oil for a richer taste. The type of ghee, in terms of animal source, tends to vary with the dish; for example, ghee prepared from cow's milk (Bengali: গাওয়া ঘী, gaoa ghi) is traditional with rice or roti or as a finishing drizzle atop a curry or daal (lentils) whereas buffalo-milk ghee is more typical for general cooking purposes.

Ghee is an ideal fat for deep frying because its smoke point (where its molecules begin to break down) is 250 °C (482 °F), wh

Ghee is an ideal fat for deep frying because its smoke point (where its molecules begin to break down) is 250 °C (482 °F), which is well above typical cooking temperatures of around 200 °C (392 °F) and above that of most vegetable oils.[7]

The main flavor components of ghee are carbonyls, free fatty acids, lactones, and alcohols.[8] Along with the flavor of milk fat, the ripening of the butter and temperature at which it is clarified also affect the flavor. For example, ghee produced by the clarification of butter at 100 °C or less results in a mild flavor, whereas batches produced at 120 °C produce a strong flavor.[citation needed][8]

Versus clarified butter

Several communities outside the Indian subcontinent make ghee. Egyptians make a product called samna baladi, meaning "countryside ghee" identical to ghee in terms of process and result, but commonly made from water buffalo milk instead of cow milk, and white in color. Also, during the process, the darkened milk solids are considered a delicacy called morta which is a salty condiment used sparingly as a spread, or as an addition on Indian subcontinent make ghee. Egyptians make a product called samna baladi, meaning "countryside ghee" identical to ghee in terms of process and result, but commonly made from water buffalo milk instead of cow milk, and white in color. Also, during the process, the darkened milk solids are considered a delicacy called morta which is a salty condiment used sparingly as a spread, or as an addition on fava dishes. Regular samna is also made from cow milk in Egypt and is often yellowish.

Ghee is also used by various peoples in the Horn of Africa. Tesmi (in Tigrinya language) is the clarified butter prepared in the country of Eritrea. The preparation is similar to that of ghee but the butter is oftentimes combined with garlic and other spices found native to the area. In Ethiopia, niter kibbeh is used in much the same way as ghee, but with spices added during the process that result in distinctive tastes. In North Africa, Maghrebis take this one step further, aging spiced ghee for months or even years, resulting in a product called smen.

Preparation methods