Ghee, the non-butter butter

Ghee, the non-butter butter

A pure fat, very easy to prepare at home, a bearer of well-being and taste. Let us be tempted by ghee, clarified butter that combines health with frying!

In some recipes it is irreplaceable and fortunately in recent years it has been rehabilitated , even by dieticians: honor to butter, which must be used well. Butter, which looks the same but is not all the same : great differences, for example, between that of Northern Europe and Southern Europe. There is another type of butter, unknown in our latitudes until very recently and which for some time now has even been found in the refrigerated counters of local supermarkets: ghee (or ghee).

What is it? It is basically the famous 'clarified butter' (better a sort of version of it) that is the butter from which the solid parts of the milk (casein and proteins) and the aqueous part have been removed . What remains is a pure fat, a stable oil with a very high smoke point : 190-200 ° C against the 120-130 ° C of classic butter. That is, it can be subjected to very high heat without burning or releasing toxic substances that are harmful to our well-being.

It is the 'liquid gold' of Ayurveda, the medicinal tradition of India, leader of Asian countries in whose cuisine it is inevitable (and which also uses it externally, in particular for massages). A healing food with many beneficial properties for health. In ayurveda it nourishes the 'digestive fire' and with its softness, greasiness and slowness, it contrasts the 'dry' and fast elements that make us run towards aging . It provides the precious fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K, E) and linoleic acid which helps the 'good' cholesterol and fights the 'bad' one. It also helps cleanse yourself of fat-soluble toxins.

As we said, ghee is ready quite easily nowadays. But it is worth preparing it at home: it is really easy and allows you to check the quality of the starting butter. Don't save! The fact that you throw away a part of it is not a good reason to treat yourself badly: good and organic or biodynamic butter .

Here is the procedure: put the butter on low heat in a saucepan (or in a bain-marie) and heat over low heat removing the solid parts - the foam - which gradually rise to the surface (while the water evaporates). Continue until there are no more and the liquid is completely clear, golden and free from more solid whitish bits. Finally, before putting it in the chosen container, you can filter it with a colander.

The ghee is kept on the fire longer, which gives it a more intense and 'nutty' flavor and a darker color. You can keep it out of the fridge in any glass jar and it lasts a long time, safely many months . Indeed, according to Indian tradition the older it is, the more it does well: there are centenary ghee!

At this point you have a perfect fat to use instead of butter and oil, not only raw (on bread, rice, ...) but cooked, very, very suitable for frying and stir-frying. Vegetables, legumes, meats, but also baked goods, breads and sweets, even shortcrust pastry (about 20% less than the doses indicated for butter should be used in recipes). The quality and taste of food will change, for the better!

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