Ghee is a quality of clarified butter that originates in India and is an important part of the Indian cuisine. Good quality ghee adds a great aroma flavour and taste to the food. According to the ancient Ayurveda, small amount of ghee is the best cooking oil. Ghee is full of nutritive qualities and Ayurveda considers it a Rasayana, a regenerating and longevity promoting food.
Method of Preparing Ghee:
In order to prepare ghee, first the milk is curdled. The curd is then churned until it leaves behind the butter. The butter is then heated on a low flame until a layer of white foam covers the surface. With this, the process comes to an end and liquid obtained after filtering is pure ghee. Ghee can be stored without refrigeration unlike butter. However, it should be kept in airtight containers to prevent bacteria formation.
Uses of Ghee in Cuisines:
Whether it's a side dish or main course, ghee is widely used in innumerable Indian cuisines. In some of the states of India like Punjab, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal to name a few, rice is traditionally prepared or served with ghee. In the Rajasthan state ghee is consumed with baati and in West Bengal, people relish kichdi with a spoon of ghee. Then people from all over India sometimes consume roti, naan or paratha with ghee and sugar. Ghee is also used in the preparation of various Indian sweets.
Health Benefits of Ghee:
Ghee increases appetite and helps to improve absorption and assimilation.
It strengthens the brain and nervous system and improves mental functioning, which includes learning, memory and recalling.
It lubricates the connective tissue.
It helps to control eye pressure and is beneficial to glaucoma patients.
It stimulates the secretion of stomach acids to help with digestion.
It strengthens the immune system.
Importance of in Ghee Hinduism:
Ghee holds tremendous importance in Hinduism. Ghee is considered as a sacred requirement in Vedic yajna and homa (fire sacrifices), through the medium of Agni (fire) to offer oblations to various deities. From ancient days, fire sacrifices are thought to be auspicious for ceremonies such as marriage, funerals, etc. Ghee is also important in the worship of divine deities.
(Last Updated on : 19-03-2014)
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