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Never Heard of Ghee? Read on to Learn More about this Real Butter Derivative!

Never Heard of Ghee? Read on to Learn More about this Real Butter Derivative!

Never Heard of Ghee? Read on to Learn More about this Real Butter Derivative!


Dave Jobes, Ph.D.

What is Ghee?

Ghee (pronounced [gee] as in ‘gear’) is well known throughout India as it is a very common component of the diet in that region. Ghee is what is called “clarified” butter, meaning the milk solids and liquid fats are separated to remove many of the milk proteins, so ghee contains less lactose than full butter, for instance. For people who are lactose intolerant, but like the taste of butter (and who cook with it), ghee could be a viable alternative to regular butter, saving them from the intestinal discomfort associated with lactose-containing products.

Ghee is now commonly found in your local grocery store here in the US and you can even find organic ghee. Since it is quite stable on the shelf, you’ll tend to find it in the regular grocery aisle, and not in the refrigerated section, like real butter.

Ghee  Ghee on spoon

Uses of Ghee

Not surprisingly, ghee is often used for cooking, since it imbues a nice flavor to foods, and also has a high smoking/burning point so can be used for frying, broiling, and sautéing, which occur at high temperatures. You might be surprised though at some other uses for ghee:

1)    Wound healing: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16546334

2)    Control of seizures: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27011723

3)    Antimicrobial activity: https://innovareacademics.in/journals/index.php/ijcpr/article/viewFile/13898/5724

4)    Dementia/Memory improvement: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5976976/

5)    Organic fertilizer: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29203350

Cleary there are many potential uses for ghee!

Cooking with Ghee

There are far too many recipes to list here so instead I’ve added a link (https://www.bonappetit.com/ingredient/ghee) to Bon Appetit who have put together a large list of recipes ranging from chicken and pasta to fish and salads. Much like butter, ghee is quite versatile and useful for cooking, so you are really only limited by your imagination!

Additional Reading:

If you’d like to read more about the history of ghee, here are some additional resources for you to explore:

1)    History of ghee in India: https://www.goyajournal.in/blog/the-untold-story-of-indian-ghee

2)    Ghee in the US: http://www.forbesindia.com/article/think/a-brief-history-of-ghee-in-the-us/41767/1

3)    Ghee in the Indian diet: https://www.alimentarium.org/en/knowledge/ghee

4)    Short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARvxtw4gkqU