Ghee is the pure butter fat left over after the milk solids and water are removed from butter. It's used widely in Indian cooking, and the word ghee is the Hindi word for fat. Ghee might as well be a synonym for clarified butter, although there is one slight difference.
Like clarified butter, ghee is made by melting butter, cooking off the water and separating the clear, golden butter fat from the milk solids. The only difference is that in some traditions, ghee is simmered for a little while, thus browning the milk solids and adding a slightly nutty flavor to the finished product. Not all ghee recipes necessarily specify the browning of the milk solids, however, so for all practical purposesghee is clarified butter with an Indian name.
Ghee is better for high-heat cooking than butter since it has a smoke point between 450°F and 475°F, as compared with about 350°F for ordinary butter.
Another advantage of ghee is that it has a longer shelf life than ordinary butter and, when stored in an air tight container, can be kept at room temperature.
Ghee can be used in place of butter and is an ideal cooking oil, as it does not burn unless heated excessively. It makes a wonderful body oil for massage and can serve as a base for herbal ointments (for burns, skin rashes, etc.) and can even be used for lamps, with wicks made from cotton balls.
Ghee is a digestive. It helps to improve absorption and assimilation. It nourishes ojas, tejas and prana. It is good for improving memory and lubricates the connective tissue. Ghee makes the body flexible and, in small doses, is tridoshic. Ghee is a yogavahi—a catalytic agent that carries the medicinal properties of herbs into the seven dhatus or tissues of the body. Ghee pacifies pitta and vata and is acceptable, in moderation, for kapha. Persons who already have high cholesterol or suffer from obesity should be cautious in using ghee. Ghee is not to be used when there are high ama (toxic) conditions.
Lab studies have shown ghee to reduce cholesterol both in the serum and intestine. It does it by triggering an increased secretion of biliary lipids. Ghee is alsogood for nerves and brain. It helps control eye pressure and is beneficial toglaucoma patients. Ghee is most notably said to stimulate the secretion ofstomach acids to help with digestion, while other fats, such as butter andoils, slow down the digestive process and can sit heavy in the stomach. Ghee isrich with antioxidants and acts as an aid in the absorption of vitamins andminerals from other foods, serving to strengthen the immune system. A highconcentration of butyric acid, a fatty acid that contains anti-viralproperties, is believed to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors.
Itis good for treatment of burns. According to Ayurveda ghee promotes learningand increased memory retention. While in a healthy person consuming ghee mayreduce your cholesterol or not affect it, it is not advised for people alreadysuffering from high cholesterol.
Itis safer than butter. Now you understand how the Punjabis have tonnes of gheeand still are fitter. It has been used in Indian medicinal practice to helpwith ulcers, constipation, and the promotion of healthy eyes and skin.