Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ghee/ Clarified Butter ....... Home made from scratch

Certain things clearly intimidate me ..... one such thing was making ghee/ clarified butter from scratch. But finally I overcame my fear by facing it.I grew up in a kitchen where everything was made from scratch. I fondly remember my grandmother making ghee in an era when there was no hand blender or mixer-grinder. Those days she used a wooden hand blender called "Gholona" in odiya. Making ghee from milk cream was more of a ritual those days. There was a special vessel which was strictly used to making ghee, an old discolored aluminum pan. The aroma of freshly made ghee would fill the entire house and sometimes the neighbor's too. I remember scrapping the light brownish color milk solids from the bottom of the pan. Aai (Grandma) and myself loved this residue called "korua". We would take a generous helping of the korua and mix it with a bowl of puffed rice with some sugar. It tasted delicious to say the least. I have not had this for a very long time. 
Ghee is widely used in Indian cooking.The use of ghee in Indian cooking has been well documented in Ayurveda. 

Food Facts

Ayurveda recommends one teaspoon or less ghee per meal.Ghee can actually help to increase HDL, the good cholesterol.  Some additional reasons to use ghee when preparing your food are:
• Digestion (helps absorb and assimilate nutrients)
• Improves memory
• Helps increase flexibility by lubricating the connective tissues
• Carries the medicinal properties of herbs into tissues (yogavāhi)
• Stimulates the liver to produce fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K

Milk cream - 2 cups
Curd - 7-8 tsp
Making Ghee from Scratch
Making ghee from scratch, begins with the collection of milk cream. When milk is boiled and cooled down, a layer of milk solid called cream/ malai is formed. You need to collect this for about a month and keep it refrigerated till you collect a decent amount (about 2 cups).
Day -1
When cream is collected, remove the cream from the refridgerator a night before and keep it in room temperature. Mix about 7-8 teaspoons of curd to the cream and blend well till curd and cream is incorporated evenly. Let it sit in room temperature for a day. The curd will help ferment the milk solids. 
Day -2
Now take about 2 cups of water (not very cold but room temperature) in a tall mixie jar. Add about 4-5 teaspoons of the cream n curd mixture and pulse it for few seconds. You will notice the butter floating on the water. Extract this butter and keep in a heavy bottom Kadhai/Wok. Repeat process till you extract all the butter. 
Now switch on the flame and keep the wok on medium flame. The butter will start melting and forming a foam. After about 20- 25 minutes you will see golden color ghee separated from the solids. Switch off flame and let it cool down completely. 
Strain the ghee to separate the milk solids. Store in a clean n dry bottle/ can at room temperature.


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