Pure Ghee or Animal fat...An analysis!
Ghee has been one of the traditional edible items in whole of India, particularly in South India, consumed by both vegetarians and non-vegetarians commonly. However, since recent times, ghee is gradually disappearing from the daily consumption barring festival times.
In the past, cows formed part and parcel of a house as one of the living members. People used to draw milk from the cows and prepare pure ghee without any adulteration whatsoever and so much so, the ghee thus prepared would be so tasty, delicious and sweet-smelling. Nowadays, in the absence of cows at home, people are in the habit of buying packed ghee without minding the adulteration.
Ghee is not an exception for adulteration. One will be highly surprised to learn that chemicals, bone materials, fat of monkey and pig etc. are mixed liberally in ghee, as found and confirmed by the concerned authorities.
Mostly, the ghee packs would carry ‘milk fat’ as one of the ingredients as that of the ayurvedic medicine contents. But in reality, there is difference between milk fat and ghee. The fat obtained from mere milk is not to be termed as ghee at all.
What is ghee?
The actual process of ghee preparation is different. Milk is the main ingredient. Milk should be boiled and allowed to cool for mixing it with a spoon of curd for making it a solid curd. It will become rock-like curd within 6 hours. Again we must add little bit of water and churn it firmly to collect butter. This butter should be heated in a pan to get pure ghee. This ghee will not only be sweet-smelling but also tasty. Alternatively, the fat content from the milk is also prepared as ghee which is not the correct way to do so. The original way of preparing ghee as stated above has lot of medicinal properties but whereas the fat content taken from milk will cause digestion problem.
In practice, if we make curd from 40 lts.of milk and then prepare ghee by way of usual process, we will get just a kilo gram of ghee. Hence, for commercial purpose, the traders adulterate this product to make it viable. After extracting the fat like this, the remaining milk is also put to some use to make saleable edible items in order to earn profit out of it.
In this way, we can use goat’s milk and oxen’s milk also to prepare ghee. But these products do not have any medicinal value at all. Only the country cow’s milk will have medicinal properties. In case we want original milk and ghee in this manner, it is imperative that we procure pure cow’s milk, heat and make curd out of it and later on churn butter from it to get pure ghee ultimately.
Country cows will normally give less milk. But the cows with different body structure, neck, humps and horns will give more milk and the ghee prepared from these cows’ milk will be tastier as well as will have more medicinal properties. It will detoxify the bad elements from our body.
This ghee will do so much to our general health as under:-
Digestion will be better
Growth will be normal
Bones and nerves will become stronger
Good for growth of brain and brain cells
Regularises blood flow
Will promote healthy body matching one’s height and weight
Will avoid cardiac complication
Will avoid joint pain
Omega properties are aplenty in ghee
Contains many proteins and good fat also
How to find out good and pure ghee?
Pure ghee will melt in room temperature itself. We can pour a bit on our palm and keep it for a few minutes and the ghee will start melting immediately if it is pure. It is not possible to find out the purity by its colour. Some people will say that it is pure if the colour is yellowish which is not true. Being yellowish or whitish depends on the quality of the cow and its surroundings.
Care must be observed while melting the butter to make ghee. If it is from country cow, it will be sweet-smelling and the end product will be little sandy. If it is from an ox, it will equally be sweet-smelling but with somewhat greasy. On an average a family will require one litre milk from which they will be able to take out 3 spoons ghee. In cities A2 milk is also available for ghee to be extracted.
How to protect good ghee?
For 2 to 3 months, the same quality and purity can be protected by keeping it under shady space. Direct sunlight should be avoided. If it is used frequently, there is no need to keep it in fridge. All that is required is to keep it in a secure container protected from air.
Getting pure ghee involves an arduous process, for adulteration in ghee is but common.
(This article written in Tamil by Nachal has been reproduced in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)