Ghee - Shudh Ghee - Clarified Butter

A spoonful of Desi Ghee

Till a few years ago, desi ghee has been branded as an evil by the weight loss industry of the west. Now anything which comes from the west is accepted without any questions or arguments by we Indians. We have not even thought once about the age-old wisdom of our culture and traditions? Thanks to the dieticians and nutritionists like Rujuta Diwekar and proponent of ayurvedic wisdom, desi ghee has been making a comeback to many kitchen shelves in the prominent place. 

Desi ghee is made from pure cow’s / buffalo's milk. It is produced after enormous churning of buttermilk and heating butter at the right temperature, in a traditional method for that aromatic and rich flavour. 

I personally use A2 buffalo milk as it gives thick cream and collects 10-12 days' cream mixed with a spoon of curd. I keep it in the fridge. When sufficient cream is collected (i.e when my bowl is almost full 😀 I pour it into a mixie jar and churn it. Add very cold water once the first stage of butter is formed. It needs a little more churning and then it buttermilk comes out. Now what is left is the butter, ready to be converted into ghee. I use both direct heat ( gas stove or induction hot plate) and microwave to make ghee from butter. 

Let’s talk more about our own desi ghee or just clarified butter as they simply put it in English. In the next few paragraphs, many myths will be busted which are associated with that golden, shining, clear liquid and why it should be made a part of the staple diet!

There is no denying that desi ghee is our own Indian invention. Each tiny drop plays an important role in our religious rituals and also is an integral part of ancient medicine in Ayurveda.

The word ghee is derived from the Sanskrit word ghrit (घृत )- which means sprinkle. Ghee occupies a vital position in Vedic rituals as in marriage rituals, religious customs and varied cuisines across India, Middle Eastern and South-East Asian countries.

Desi Ghee In Traditional Texts:

Hindu Vedic text Yajur Ved (यजुर वेद)  mentions ghee, made from cow’s milk as a sacred ingredient, a must-have in all yajnas as an offering to fire and various deities, during rituals.

Ghee for Yajna
The Mahabharata is incomplete without the mention of desi ghee, as Kauravas were believed to be nurtured as foetuses in a pot filled with ghee, while the stories of little Krishna and his friends drooling over butter, ghee and other dairy products have always remained a delight for the devotees.

Desi Ghee in Cuisines:

We are still fond of using desi ghee in our cooking. South Indians swear by ‘Ghee roast’ crispy dosas, fluffy idlis dipped in freshly brewed ‘neyyi (desi ghee),’ while for North Indians, love their parathas, rotis, biriyani, khichidi and not to forget halwas, laddus with a generous serving of ghee.   

In many Indian families, serving food with freshly melted ghee is a sign of pride, affection and it is a common sight in our families, mothers and grandmothers insisting upon their children to add more ghee to their diet.

Just like everybody else, Desi Ghee also went through few grim years in the last decade but all thanks to the awareness being created by nutritional experts, it is regaining its glory. From being labelled as unhealthy, fatty, a major contributor to weight gain, it is now trending as a superfood.

In case, if you are using store-bought ghee and check the purity, boil a spoonful on high flame and if it turns red, then it is pure.


Desi Ghee in Ayurveda

Ayurveda defines ghee as the by-product of butter without any impurities. Desi ghee effectively deals with various anomalies caused due to pitta dosha such as inflammation according to Sushruta Samhita. It heals both body and mind at the same time.

Another famous Ayurvedic scripture Charaka Samhitaexplains that ghee is hugely recommended for those dominated by Vaat and Pitta doshas. It is prescribed for good eyesight, longevity,  immunity, strength, smooth skin, radiant complexion, memory, intelligence, digestion, better functioning of all sensory organs, and as a balm to heal burn injuries. It can be taken by the old, children and the weak alike.

Why Is Desi Ghee Healthy?

  • Desi ghee is composed of fats of which 62% is saturated fats which play a prominent role in increasing HDL or good cholesterol, reduce LDL or bad cholesterol without harming the lipid profile. 
  • Ghee is also a rich source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 and is loaded with essential amino acids.

Myths & Facts about Desi Ghee


Ghee Promotes Weight Gain.

Ghee Is Not Good For Cardiac Patients.

Ghee Should Be Avoided By Those With Lactose Intolerance.

( Will share a detailed post on these myths along with facts)

Health Benefits of Desi Ghee:

Boosts Digestion.

Regulates Blood Sugars.

Heals Urticaria.

Improves Reproductive Health:

Treats Insomnia:

Melts Belly Fat:

Good For Eyesight:

Stimulates Lactation:

Side Effects Of Desi Ghee

In general, desi ghee is easily digested by normal, healthy individuals and does not present any harmful side effects, when taken in moderate amounts along with rice, roti or bread on a daily basis. Since desi ghee is high in calories and fat content, it is recommended to be taken only in small quantities. When experiencing any health problems related to the kidneys, liver, such as jaundice, it is advised to cut down on the intake of desi ghee. Excessive consumption of desi ghee regularly presents issues of decreased metabolism, surplus body fat and becoming overweight. Moderation is the key to consume this superfood. 

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  1. We have demonised Ghee so much! Thanks to Rujuta, we are welcoming Ghee back into our kitchen

  2. Very True. Rujuta is doing a yeoman service to Indian cuisine.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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