1.31.10 Ghee Whiz

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I’ve heard that all kinds of people send you free products when you have a blog. I guess they’re hoping for a good review. I don’t have advertising on this site, but if I did it would have to be for a resource I wholeheartedly endorse. And if you ever see me touting a product or service here, it won’t be because I’m getting any recompense. That said, I recently received a free sample pack from Pure Indian Foods and I am truly impressed with this family-run company. It specializes in organic ghee, a product they have been making for 5 generations—since the great-great-grandfather launched his business in northern India in 1889! In case you aren’t familiar with it, ghee is essentially clarified butter—butter with all the milk solids removed. This takes out the casein and lactose, making it much more tolerable than butter for those with dairy issues.

Ghee is a lovely, clear golden color and has a delicious, nutty flavor. You’ve undoubtedly eaten it in Indian cooking. Because of its low moisture content, ghee is shelf-stable (keep it in the cupboard for 2-3 months, in the fridge for up to a year) and has a higher smoking point than butter. Pure Indian Foods makes its ghee with organic butter from the milk of grass-fed cows produced only during the spring and summer, ensuring that it is full of the nutrients from fresh, green grass. It’s high in fat-soluble vitamins and contains naturally occurring conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and vitamin K2. Made according to the Vedic system, the ghee is produced only on days when the moon is waxing or full! Pure Indians Foods uses only glass jars, no plastic. I love this company! In addition to plain, the ghee comes in 6 delectable flavors and I’ve had some fun coming up with ways to use them.
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pure indian foods ghee sitting atop all my latest cookbook gifts
I roasted some garnet yams (whole, pricked with a fork, at 350 degrees for an hour) and stirred in a tablespoon of Digestive ghee (cardamom, cinnamon and ginger). I whirled a spoonful of Indian Dessert (fennel, cardamom and saffron) into my toasted-fennel-seed-spiked carrot soup. I mixed the other half of that head of roasted garlic (remember?) with a couple of tablespoons of Italian ghee (oregano, rosemary and thyme) and spread it under the skin of a chicken before roasting. I scrambled eggs in Provence (savory, thyme, tarragon and lavender). And I’m dreaming up ways to use Garlic and Niter Kibbeh (cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, tumeric and nutmeg). Any of these would be wonderful stirred into rice, pasta or potatoes, or as a "tarka" (butter or oil simmered with spices) to finish dals.

The Pure Indian Foods website offers a number of interesting suggestions here. They also posted this quote from the Indian philosopher Charvak (3,000 B.C.): "As long as you live, live happily. Beg, borrow or steal, but relish ghee." That pretty much says it all, no?


Ooh, just what I need is ghee; I am lactose intolerant and love to use butter in my so-called cooking. I'm ordering some today! I can't reproduce everything you speak of in recipes, but I can certainly try.
Vivian on January 31, 2010 at 6:38 am —
I know you gave me a container of plain ghee, but I still haven't used it. This post may have done the trick though...I love the pasta and roasted chicken ideas though...off the topic, but how do you like that Well-Preserved book?
Lisa on January 31, 2010 at 7:00 am —
I really enjoyed looking through and reading the book but haven't actually made anything from it. It was one of the contenders on Food52's "Piglet" contest and Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune sort of eviscerated it. Check out her review here.
laura on January 31, 2010 at 8:25 am —