Let’s make ghee today!
25 minute ghee making with Lisa Snowden.
-4 sticks (1 lb) of quality, unsalted organic butter, yielding 2 cups ghee.
-Metal mesh strainer
-clear glass cup (drinking glass) Or modify the recipe with ease. Today I’m using 6 sticks of butter to yield 3 cups of ghee.
Set a timer for 25 minutes.
Get the clock going! Place butter into a med.-large heavy pot on MED heat. Use a pot without a non-stick coating. No lid is ever necessary during ghee making as you want to remove all the water from the butter via evaporation. Keep stirring until the butter has completely melted.
At 20 minutes left on the timer, the butter is melted. Turn heat toward LOW, almost to LOW. We want to cook the butter just until it gently boils. We begin to hear a sizzle from the bottom of the pan. Don’t let it burn; Use a metal spatula to scrape and stir.
At 17 minutes left, the butter is foaming, sizzling and we are moments away from the gentle boil. Keep an eye on it, stirring and scraping often. Just don’t let it burn.
By 13 minutes left the butter is gently boiling, heat on LOW. See my 5 second video on Instagram demonstrating.
Mantra This cooking period is lovely to offer vibrational intention into the food items, and the yoga and Ayurveda tradition calls this mantra.
The vibrational sounds sets an intention into the food, in this case to nourish our bodies, minds and essentially assist in keeping us on our best path in life. If you are a mantra newbie, perhaps reciting “AUM” is essential – Universal Sound. The, “maha mrityunjay mantra is ancient with deep significance to the constant healing needs of the world and those within. Here is a link to Yoga International article by Rolf Solvik, President and Spiritual Director of the Himalayan Institute. He explains the great significance of this ancient vibrational recitation of Sanskrit syllables. Within the article, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait has an audio feature explaining how to recite this mantra.
Rolf says, “Along with the Gayatri mantra it [maha mrityunjaya mantra] holds the highest place among the many mantras used for contemplation and meditation.” Regardless of how you choose to pay respect for the food and its nourishment to your body, we have these practices to draw ourselves closer to the source of that which nourishes. The cows, the farmers and the humbling notion we all need to take a moment to think beyond ourselves.
Back to Ghee making! You’ve been stirring and mantra-lovin’!
Now we have 5 minutes left on the timer and this butter is now a golden-brown, and smelling of hot butter-like fresh popcorn! White curds are separating (very good!) and we want to keep an eye on the ghee because when the curds turn from white to light brown then we’ll remove this from the heat and allow cooling. TIP* Remember I said we are removing all the water via evaporation? Take a clear glass and turn it over, upside down overtop of the ghee. Place the brim just overtop of the ghee and wait for the glass to collect evaporation. If you are collecting evaporation, the ghee is not finished.
Is your 25-minute timer complete, but your ghee is not? No worries! Don’t let it burn- keep the heat on low. Since this varies from one stovetop to the next, look for the ghee to gently simmer. Stir occasionally, and gently. When ghee is complete, we need to place the 2 layers of cheesecloth into mesh metal strainer. Run the ghee through the cheesecloth and mesh strainer. Sometimes I use just the strainer without cheesecloth and that is fine for day to day cooking while other times I want the ghee incredibly smooth, so I include cheesecloth, too).
STORE in airtight container away from moisture to prevent spoilage. Use clean, dry spoons when serving ghee. Does not need to be stored in refrigerator and ghee is said to improve with age.
Don’t be afraid to mess up this ghee-making process once or twice before feeling comfortable. At the beginning, I would begin smelling the ghee I made after a few weeks. I was a little nervous I left moisture in there and spoilage was in the future. This is why the glass trick is so helpful. You KNOW when the water moisture is out. Enjoy and have fun bringing Yoga & Ayurveda into your household!
Follow Lisa Snowden on her urban, travel filled-life where her goal is to, “Feel at home – Everywhere I go.” Using Ayurveda and yoga lessons, she keeps herself cool and grounded with the right tools. Her Ayurveda Yoga Life lessons will help you keep grounded, too, despite the busy, dare we say AIRY Nature of our lives in the world we live in. Calendar of Upcoming Teachings – coming soon. Responses and comments are welcome via Lisa’s Ayurveda Yoga Life page on Facebook.
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