Notes from Christine:
**Wherever possible use Ghee (Clarified Butter) instead of butter or oil. It’s very medicinal for the body in many ways. (See below) You can buy it from Indian shops but it is much nicer and quite easy to make it yourself. As it forms the base of so many dishes only make it when you are in a happy/pleasant mood with a calm and focused mind. Never make ghee (or anything else for that matter) when you are angry, sad, etc. This energy goes into the ghee and then into every dish it is used for. Do not leave your ghee unattended through this process, use it as an opportunity for a type of meditation!
500 gm unsalted butter, organic is best but not essential
Heavy based, stainless steel medium size saucepan
Fine cloth for straining like muslin, although a fine metal sieve can suffice
· Melt butter over low to medium heat until it starts to gently bubble.
· Turn to low and allow to gently simmer for 20-25 minutes, occasionally stirring with a metal spoon. Only stir the top, do not disturb the milk solids sinking to the bottom of the pot.
· Throughout the cooking process milk solids will foam to the surface and then start to sink to the bottom. A thin film will be left on the top.
· When it is cooked the bubbling will stop and it will slowly become quiet.
· Remove it from the heat now for a lovely golden colour or leave it for a couple of minutes for a slightly darker shade. If you don’t cook it long enough it will mould but if you leave it too long it will burn. The aim is a golden colour rather than brown and a beautiful caramel smell.
· Strain through a light cloth – eg using an elastic band secure a cloth over a pyrex bowl. The pyrex or stainless steel bowls with plastic lids sold in Woolworths and $2 shops are the perfect size for this.
Leave it on the cupboard overnight to harden.
Ghee does not have to be refrigerated.
It is worth taking the time to stand and watch it bubble and take in the beautiful smell as it cooks. Every batch of butter cooks differently due to differing water contents and the state of the cows at the time.
Do not ever use a utensil with water on it to take ghee as this will cause the ghee to mould.
Benefits of using Ghee –
· Ghee is a great aid for digestion and absorption. It is good for all constitutions and can be used in cooking instead of oils because it doesn’t break down when heated.
· Increases and balances our digestive fire or ability to digest
· Improves absorption and assimilation of nutrients
· Nourishes OJAS – the subtle essence / immune system of all the body’s tissues
· Strengthens the brain and nervous system
· Improves memory
· Lubricates the connective tissue and makes the body more flexible
· Has an effect of all seven layers of tissues in the body – lymph, blood, muscle, fat, bone, nerve and reproductive tissue.
· Pacifies the nervous system by cooling and lubricating it…the N.S tends to get dry and hot when we are stressed.
· It is the best form of fat to give the body
· Promotes longevity and reproductive fluid
· Ghee also decreases the desire for eating animal products
People with weight or cholesterol problems should limit its use but will also benefit from a small amount.