Introduction to Ghee Processing

A gourmet cooking and ritualistic ingredient, ghee is clarified butter that has been slowly heated until all the moisture evaporates and the milk solids settle on the bottom. This heating makes ghee more versatile than ordinary butter for high-heat cooking because it doesn’t burn as quickly. It also gives ghee a rich, nutty flavor that enhances many foods, such as rice, bread, and vegetables. The word “ghee” is an English version of a Sanskrit term meaning clarified butter and boiled butter. In India, where most ghee is produced​, it’s called “ghi.” Gee whiz –– now we know where the term “ghee whiz” comes from. Ghee generally has a smoke point of about 450°F (232°C). This means ghee won’t burn until it reaches this temperature. And ghee doesn’t break down like other oils at high temperatures, so you can cook foods longer in ghee than in oil without worrying about destroying nutrients or ruining the flavor. This makes ghee ideal for deep-frying and sautéing. Most ghees are made from raw cream that isn’t homogenized, pasteurized, or processed in any way before it’s churned into butter. Some cooks say that these steps affect ghee’s taste and consistency, but others say ghees made this way are indistinguishable from ghees made by traditional methods. In ghee production, raw cream is allowed to ferment slightly, which gives ghee a nutty flavor and scent. Ghee may also be made from ghee-flavored butter oil produced while making gourmet butter such as fish sauce butter and truffle ghee. Butter oil has a higher percentage of beneficial fatty acids than most other oils or butter. It is popular with people on restricted diets because it contains little lactose or casein. A gourmet ghee producer in northern Thailand now adds green tea leaves to its ghee manufacturing process, producing earthy-tasting ghee found with chefs in Europe and America. When ghee was first introduced in the U.S., it was available only in Indian gourmet markets, but today ghee can be found in many ethnic grocery stores and gourmet shops. Ghee’s popularity has skyrocketed in America over the last few years, along with an increasing fascination with South Asian cooking.  Thanks to ghee’s growing popularity, here are some gourmet ghees you might find interesting:– green tea ghee: Handmade from green tea leaves added during the ghee-making process, this ghee is earthy and slightly grassy. Green tea gives it a unique taste that works well on fish or vegetables. Use it sparingly until you get used to it because of its intense flavor. Ghee with black truffles: Made from a ghee base, this gourmet ghee contains pieces of Italian black truffle. It has a high fatty acid content and a fabulous gourmet taste that works well on bread or rice. Salmon Ghee: The ghee base is enhanced with pieces of smoked salmon. It has an intense smoky flavor and beautiful color. Use it to add extra flavor to vegetables, fish dishes, and potatoes. Apple Ghee: This gourmet ghee is made with apple combined in the ghee-making process. The result is a pale yellow gourmet butter that tastes like apples cooked down in brown sugar and spice, which adds terrific to savory dishes such as pork or steamed vegetables. Ghee with Black Cumin Seed: Pieces of black cumin seed add a nutty flavor to ghee, giving it a traditional Indian taste. The ghee can be used in curries and vegetables, meats, bread, and rice. The gourmet ghees described above are only a few examples of available Gourmet Products. If you’re interested in trying ghee or branching out into cooking with ghee, visit your local ethnic grocery store to see what they offer. Ghee can be stored in a ghee crock, a ceramic jar designed to maintain the ghee’s quality. The lid keeps out dust and allows ghee to “breathe,” while ghee dripped down the sides of the jar intensifies ghee’s flavor. Gourmet ghees should be kept in a cool dark place or refrigerated. While ghee is no health food, it does have some nutritional value. It contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to prevent obesity and lower blood cholesterol. When buying ghee, look for brands that carry information on their labels indicating that they include CLA in their products. In addition to its culinary uses, ghee has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to treat various conditions, including digestive problems and skin disorders. Ghee is also used as an ingredient in cosmetics, and ghees made from ghee or ghees flavored with various ingredients are sold as health ghees. It does not, however, have FDA approval as a medical treatment. Because ghee contains milk solids, it can quickly spoil if not properly stored. Spoiled ghee will smell sour or rancid and should be thrown out. Ghee’s shelf life is generally short —up to six months —and its quality begins to deteriorate after that period. It takes about one hour to make ghee from three sticks of butter. It is best to use ghee within one month of making it. For more information about Food and Beverage Marketing Servicesclick here. Get connected with us on LinkedIn –  

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