Ghee

Ghee

Overview

Ghee is a class of clarified butter
Clarified butter
Clarified butter is milk fat rendered from butter to separate the milk solids and water from the butterfat. Typically, it is produced by melting butter and allowing the different components to separate by density...

 that originated in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 and is commonly used in South Asian
South Asian cuisine
South Asian cuisine, also known as Desi cuisine, includes the cuisines from the Indian subcontinent. It has roots in South Asia, including practices taken from the Hindu beliefs practiced by the large population found in the region, alongside influences from neighbouring regions and cultures,...

 (Indian
Indian cuisine
Indian cuisine consists of thousands of regional cuisines which date back thousands of years. The dishes of India are characterised by the extensive use of various Indian spices, herbs, vegetables and fruit. Indian cuisine is also known for the widespread practice of vegetarianism in Indian society...

, Bangladeshi, Nepali and Pakistani) cuisine.

The word ghee comes from (, ɡʱrit̪ə 'sprinkled') and has several names around the world (Bengali
Bengali language
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

: ঘী ghee, Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

: ਘਿਉ ghyo, Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

: घी ghī, Gujarati
Gujarati language
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is derived from a language called Old Gujarati which is the ancestor language of the modern Gujarati and Rajasthani languages...

: ઘી ghī, Maithili
Maithili language
Maithili language is spoken in the eastern region of India and South-eastern region of Nepal. The native speakers of Maithili reside in Bihar, Jharkhand,parts of West Bengal and South-east Nepal...

/ Nepali
Nepali language
Nepali or Nepalese is a language in the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family.It is the official language and de facto lingua franca of Nepal and is also spoken in Bhutan, parts of India and parts of Myanmar...

: घ्यू ghyū, Urdu: گھی ghī, gheeo, Marathi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

/Konkani
Konkani language
KonkaniKonkani is a name given to a group of several cognate dialects spoken along the narrow strip of land called Konkan, on the west coast of India. This is, however, somewhat an over-generalisation. Geographically, Konkan is defined roughly as the area between the river Damanganga to the north...

: तूप tūp, Kannada
Kannada language
Kannada or , is a language spoken in India predominantly in the state of Karnataka. Kannada, whose native speakers are called Kannadigas and number roughly 50 million, is one of the 30 most spoken languages in the world...

: ತುಪ್ಪ tuppa, Malayalam
Malayalam language
Malayalam , is one of the four major Dravidian languages of southern India. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India with official language status in the state of Kerala and the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry. It is spoken by 35.9 million people...

: നെയ്യ് ney, Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

: நெய் ney, Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

: నెయ్యి neyyi, , Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

: سمنة samna, Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

: روغن حیوانی roghan-e heivani, , Hausa
Hausa language
Hausa is the Chadic language with the largest number of speakers, spoken as a first language by about 25 million people, and as a second language by about 18 million more, an approximate total of 43 million people...

: man shanu).

Ghee is made by first making butter, and then clarifying it.
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Encyclopedia

Ghee is a class of clarified butter
Clarified butter
Clarified butter is milk fat rendered from butter to separate the milk solids and water from the butterfat. Typically, it is produced by melting butter and allowing the different components to separate by density...

 that originated in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 and is commonly used in South Asian
South Asian cuisine
South Asian cuisine, also known as Desi cuisine, includes the cuisines from the Indian subcontinent. It has roots in South Asia, including practices taken from the Hindu beliefs practiced by the large population found in the region, alongside influences from neighbouring regions and cultures,...

 (Indian
Indian cuisine
Indian cuisine consists of thousands of regional cuisines which date back thousands of years. The dishes of India are characterised by the extensive use of various Indian spices, herbs, vegetables and fruit. Indian cuisine is also known for the widespread practice of vegetarianism in Indian society...

, Bangladeshi, Nepali and Pakistani) cuisine.

The word ghee comes from (, ɡʱrit̪ə 'sprinkled') and has several names around the world (Bengali
Bengali language
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

: ঘী ghee, Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

: ਘਿਉ ghyo, Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

: घी ghī, Gujarati
Gujarati language
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is derived from a language called Old Gujarati which is the ancestor language of the modern Gujarati and Rajasthani languages...

: ઘી ghī, Maithili
Maithili language
Maithili language is spoken in the eastern region of India and South-eastern region of Nepal. The native speakers of Maithili reside in Bihar, Jharkhand,parts of West Bengal and South-east Nepal...

/ Nepali
Nepali language
Nepali or Nepalese is a language in the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family.It is the official language and de facto lingua franca of Nepal and is also spoken in Bhutan, parts of India and parts of Myanmar...

: घ्यू ghyū, Urdu: گھی ghī, gheeo, Marathi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

/Konkani
Konkani language
KonkaniKonkani is a name given to a group of several cognate dialects spoken along the narrow strip of land called Konkan, on the west coast of India. This is, however, somewhat an over-generalisation. Geographically, Konkan is defined roughly as the area between the river Damanganga to the north...

: तूप tūp, Kannada
Kannada language
Kannada or , is a language spoken in India predominantly in the state of Karnataka. Kannada, whose native speakers are called Kannadigas and number roughly 50 million, is one of the 30 most spoken languages in the world...

: ತುಪ್ಪ tuppa, Malayalam
Malayalam language
Malayalam , is one of the four major Dravidian languages of southern India. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India with official language status in the state of Kerala and the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry. It is spoken by 35.9 million people...

: നെയ്യ് ney, Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

: நெய் ney, Telugu
Telugu language
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

: నెయ్యి neyyi, , Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

: سمنة samna, Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

: روغن حیوانی roghan-e heivani, , Hausa
Hausa language
Hausa is the Chadic language with the largest number of speakers, spoken as a first language by about 25 million people, and as a second language by about 18 million more, an approximate total of 43 million people...

: man shanu).

Preparation


Ghee is made by first making butter, and then clarifying it. One begins by boiling cow's milk, then turning off the stove. Once it reaches room temperature, a thick layer of cream
Cream
Cream is a dairy product that is composed of the higher-butterfat layer skimmed from the top of milk before homogenization. In un-homogenized milk, over time, the lighter fat rises to the top. In the industrial production of cream this process is accelerated by using centrifuges called "separators"...

 is formed on top of the milk.

The cream is removed each day and stored in a container and refrigerated. At the end of the week, the collected cream is brought to room temperature and churned using a wooden churner
Butter churn
A butter churn is a device used to convert cream into butter. This is done through a mechanical process, frequently via a pole inserted through the lid of the churn, or via a crank used to turn a rotating device inside the churn.-Process:...

 (kavvam in telugu) or ladle until the butter separates (after approximately 12 to 15 minutes). 3-4 cups of water are added to this and churning continues for a minute or two until the residue is a thick buttermilk
Buttermilk
Buttermilk refers to a number of dairy drinks. Originally, buttermilk was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream. It also refers to a range of fermented milk drinks, common in warm climates where unrefrigerated fresh milk otherwise sours quickly...

. The buttermilk is then strained. The butter (called Maakhan or mukkhan in Hindi and vennapusa in Telugu) is washed in water at least 4-5 times. This thoroughly washed butter can now be used to prepare ghee.

To prepare ghee, the butter is usually melted in a stainless steel
Stainless steel
In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5 or 11% chromium content by mass....

 vessel over medium high heat. The butter begins to melt, forming a white froth on top. It is then simmered, stirring occasionally and the froth begins to thin slowly and the color of butter changes to a pale yellow shade. Then it is to cooked on low heat until it turns a golden color. The residue solids settle at the bottom and the ghee, which is now clear, golden and translucent with a fragrant smell, is ready. The ghee is then filtered, and it will solidify when completely cool. Ghee can be stored for extended periods without refrigeration
Refrigeration
Refrigeration is a process in which work is done to move heat from one location to another. This work is traditionally done by mechanical work, but can also be done by magnetism, laser or other means...

, provided that it is kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation and remains moisture-free. The texture, color, or taste of ghee depends on the source of the milk from which the butter was made and the extent of boiling and simmering.

Religious use


Real ghee is made from cow's milk (गोघृत go-ghṛta) yogurt and has a sacred role in Vedic and modern Hindu libation
Libation
A libation is a ritual pouring of a liquid as an offering to a god or spirit or in memory of those who have died. It was common in many religions of antiquity and continues to be offered in various cultures today....

 and anointment rituals (see Yajurveda
Yajurveda
The Yajurveda, a tatpurusha compound of "sacrificial formula', + ) is the third of the four canonical texts of Hinduism, the Vedas. By some, it is estimated to have been composed between 1400 and 1000 BC, the Yajurveda 'Samhita', or 'compilation', contains the liturgy needed to perform the...

). There is also a hymn
Hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

 to ghee. Ghee is also burnt in the Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 religious ritual of Ārati (Aarti
Aarti
Aarti , also spelled arathi, aarthi is a Hindu religious ritual of worship, a form of puja, in which light from wicks soaked in ghee or camphor is offered to one or more deities...

) and is the principal fuel used for the Hindu votive lamp known as the diyā
Diya (light)
A Diya, divaa, deepam, or deepak is an oil lamp usually made from clay, with a cotton wick dipped in ghee or vegetable oils....

or dīpa (deep). It is used in marriages and funerals, and for bathing mūrti
Murti
In Hinduism, a murti , or murthi, or vigraha or pratima typically refers to an image which expresses a Divine Spirit . Meaning literally "embodiment", a murti is a representation of a divinity, made usually of stone, wood, or metal, which serves as a means through which a divinity may be worshiped...

s
(divine idols) during worship.

In other religious observances, such as the prayers to Lord Krishna
Krishna
Krishna is a central figure of Hinduism and is traditionally attributed the authorship of the Bhagavad Gita. He is the supreme Being and considered in some monotheistic traditions as an Avatar of Vishnu...

, Śiva (Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

) on Janmashtami, Mahā-śivarātrī (Maha Shivaratri
Maha Shivaratri
Maha Shivratri or Maha Sivaratri or Shivaratri or Sivarathri is a Hindu festival celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna Paksha of the month of Maagha or Phalguna...

), and other Hindu festivals, ghee is served in Pañcāmṛta (Panchamruta) along with four other sacred substances: sugar, honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

, milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

, and dahī (yogurt). According to the Mahābhārata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

, ghee is the very root of sacrifice by Bhīṣma
Bhishma
Bhishma or Bheeshma or Devavrata or 'Bhishma Pitamah' was the eighth son of Kuru King Shantanu who was blessed with wish-long life and had sworn to serve the ruling Kuru king. He was one of the most prominent characters of the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata. He was the grand uncle of both the...

. Also, it is used generously in homam
Homam
Homam may refer to:* Homa , a Hindu ceremonial ritual* Traditional name of the star Zeta Pegasi* Heroes of Might and Magic, a series of computer games* Homam , a 2008 Telugu film* Homam-e Tabrizi, a Persian poet...

or yajña since it is considered as food for the Devas.

Ghṛta (ghee) is the Sanskrit descendant of Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 *ghrei-, "to rub," "to anoint," which evolved into Khristós in classical Greek usage, meaning anointed or covered in oil, and was used to translate Hebrew "messiah" ("Anointed"), evolving into Latin Christus and English Christ. Christ" is a title derived from the Greek Χριστός (Christós), meaning the "Anointed One", a translation of the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (Messiah).

Usage in food


Ghee is widely used in Indian cuisine. However, it is mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh
Epic of Gilgamesh
Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Mesopotamia and is among the earliest known works of literature. Scholars believe that it originated as a series of Sumerian legends and poems about the protagonist of the story, Gilgamesh king of Uruk, which were fashioned into a longer Akkadian epic much...

, and is probably Akkadian in origin. In many parts of India and Pakistan, especially in Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bengal, Orissa and many other states, rice is traditionally prepared or served with ghee (including biryani
Biryani
Biryani, biriani, or beriani is a set of rice-based foods made with spices, rice and meat, fish, eggs or vegetables. The name is derived from the Persian word beryā which means "fried" or "roasted"....

). In Rajasthan, ghee is considered to be a must have with Baati
Baati
Baati is a hard, unleavened bread cooked in the desert areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is prized there for its long shelf life and high nutritional content, as well as the minimal quantity of water required for its preparation. It is always eaten with dal. Bati is also known as litti...

. All over north India, people dab Roti
Roti
Roti is generally a South Asian bread made from stoneground wholemeal flour, traditionally known as atta flour, that originated and is consumed in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. It is also consumed in parts of the Southern Caribbean, particularly in Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and...

 with ghee. In the Bharuch district of Gujarat, Ghee is served with kichdi, usually an evening meal of yellow rice with curry, a sauce made from yoghurt, cumin seeds, kari leaves, ghee, cornflour, tumeric, garlic and salt. Ghee is also an ingredient as well as used in the preparation of kadhi and used in Indian sweets
Indian sweets
South Asian Sweets are a unique type of confectionary in Indian, Pakistani and other South Asian cuisines. The Hindi-Urdu word used to refer to sweets and confectionary is mithai. South Asian sweets are made with sugar, milk and condensed milk, and cooked by frying. The bases of the sweets and...

 such as Mysore pak
Mysore pak
Mysore pak is a sweet dish of Karnataka, India, usually served as dessert. It is made of generous amounts of ghee , sugar and gram flour....

, and different varieties of halva
Halva
Halva refers to many types of dense, sweet confections, served across the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Malta and the Jewish world.The term halva ,...

 and laddu
Laddu
Laddu or Laddoo is a ball-shaped sweet popular in South Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh as well as countries with immigrants from South Asia. Laddu is made of flour and sugar with other ingredients that vary by recipe...

. Punjabi cuisine
Punjabi cuisine
Punjabi cuisine is food from the Punjab region of northwestern India and eastern Pakistan. It can be non-vegetarian or completely vegetarian. One of the main features of Punjabi cuisine is its diverse range of dishes...

 prepared in restaurants uses large amounts of ghee. Naan
Naan
Naan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread. It is typical of and popular in South and Central Asia, in Iran, and in South Asian restaurants abroad. Influenced by the large influx of South Asian labour, naan has also become popular in Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states.Originally, naan is a...

 and roti
Roti
Roti is generally a South Asian bread made from stoneground wholemeal flour, traditionally known as atta flour, that originated and is consumed in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. It is also consumed in parts of the Southern Caribbean, particularly in Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and...

 are sometimes brushed with ghee, either during preparation or while serving. Ghee is an important part of Punjabi Cuisine and traditionally, the Parathas, Daals and Curries in Punjab often use Ghee instead of oil, in order to give the food added richness.

Ghee is an ideal fat
Cooking oil
Cooking oil is purified fat of plant origin, which is usually liquid at room temperature ....

 for deep frying because its smoke point
Smoke point
The smoke point generally refers to the temperature at which a cooking fat or oil begins to break down to glycerol and free fatty acids, and produce bluish smoke. The glycerol is then further broken down to acrolein which is a component of the smoke. It is the presence of the acrolein that causes...

 (where its molecules begin to break down) is 250 °C (482 °F), which is well above typical cooking temperatures of around 200 °C (392 °F) and above that of most vegetable oils.

Nutrition


Like any clarified butter, ghee is composed almost entirely of fat
Fat
Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and generally insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are triglycerides, triesters of glycerol and any of several fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on their structure...

; the nutrition facts label found on bottled cow's ghee produced in the USA indicates eight mg. of cholesterol per teaspoon. Ghee is very high in Vitamin A and Vitamin D content. It can be supportive for eye, legs, hands and bone health. Ghee helps the absorption of not only vitamins and minerals but also phytonutrients.

Ghee has been shown in one rodent study to reduce serum cholesterol slightly, but not significantly. Studies in Wistar rats have revealed one mechanism by which ghee reduces plasma LDL cholesterol
Low density lipoprotein
Low-density lipoprotein is one of the five major groups of lipoproteins, which in order of size, largest to smallest, are chylomicrons, VLDL, IDL, LDL, and HDL, that enable transport of cholesterol within the water-based bloodstream...

. This action is mediated
Mediation (Statistics)
In statistics, a mediation model is one that seeks to identify and explicate the mechanism that underlies an observed relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable via the inclusion of a third explanatory variable, known as a mediator variable...

 by an increased secretion of biliary lipids.

Indian restaurants and some households may use hydrogenated vegetable oil (also known as vanaspati
Vanaspati
Vanaspati is the Sanskrit word that now refers to the entire plant kingdom. However, according to Charaka Samhitā and Sushruta Samhita medical texts and the Vaisesikas school of philosophy, "vanaspati" is limited to plants that bear fruits but no evident flowers...

, dalda
Dalda
Dalda is a brand of hydrogenated vegetable oil popular in South Asia. Hindustan Lever Limited wanted to brand it, the trader, who still retained a commercial connection with the product, said it had to be named after his company. HLL wanted to include the letter 'L' in it for Lever , and thus was...

, or "vegetable ghee") in place of ghee because of its lower cost. This "vegetable ghee" may contain trans fat
Trans fat
Trans fat is the common name for unsaturated fat with trans-isomer fatty acid. Because the term refers to the configuration of a double carbon-carbon bond, trans fats are sometimes monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, but never saturated....

. Trans fats are increasingly linked to serious chronic health conditions. The term shuddh ghee, however, is not officially enforced in many regions, so partially hydrogenated oils are marketed as pure ghee in some areas. Where this is illegal in India, law enforcement often cracks down on the sale of fake ghee. Ghee is also sometimes called desi
Desi
Desi or Deshi refers to the people, cultures, and products of the Indian subcontinent and, increasingly, to the people, cultures, and products of their diaspora. Desi countries include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh...

(country-made) ghee or asli (genuine) ghee to distinguish it from "vegetable ghee."

Outside South Asia


Several cultures make ghee outside of South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

. Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

 make a product called samna baladi ( ˈsæmnæ ˈbælædi, meaning "local ghee"; i.e., Egyptian ghee) virtually identical to ghee in terms of process and end result. In Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, niter kibbeh (Amharic
Amharic language
Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. It is the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Thus, it has official status and is used nationwide. Amharic is also the official or working...

: ንጥር ቅቤ niṭer ḳibē) is made and used in much the same way as ghee, but with spices added during the process that result in a distinctive taste. Moroccans
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 (especially Berbers
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

) take this one step further, aging spiced ghee in the ground for months or even years, resulting in a product called smen
Smen
Smen is a traditional cooking oil most common in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is produced using the butter made from the milk of sheep, goats or a combination of the two...

. In northeastern
Northeast Region, Brazil
The Northeast Region of Brazil is composed of the following states: Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, Sergipe and Bahia, and it represents 18.26% of the Brazilian territory....

 Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, an unrefrigerated butter very similar to ghee, called manteiga-de-garrafa (butter-in-a-bottle) or manteiga-da-terra
Manteiga-da-terra
Manteiga-de-garrafa or manteiga-da-terra are terms in northeastern Brazil to refer to a clarified butter product, similar to Indian ghee.-Further reading:...

(butter of the land), is common. In Europe, it is also widely used. For example, Wiener Schnitzel
Wiener schnitzel
Schnitzel is a traditional Austrian dish made with boneless meat thinned with a mallet , coated in bread crumbs and fried. It is a popular part of Viennese, Austrian cuisine and German Cuisine...

is traditionally fried in a version of ghee called Butterschmalz. Among pastoralist communities in East Africa such as the Nandi
Nandi people
The Nandi people are a number of Kenyan tribes living in the highland areas of the Nandi Hills in Rift Valley Province who speak the Nandi languages. They are a sub-group of the Kalenjin people....

, Tugen
Tugen
Tugen may also refer to Tugen Hills in KenyaThe Tugen are a branch of the Kalenjin community and they occupy the districts of Baringo and Koibatek in Rift Valley, Kenya. Daniel arap Moi, the second president of Kenya was from the Tugen branch...

 and Maasai
Maasai
The Maasai are a Nilotic ethnic group of semi-nomadic people located in Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known of African ethnic groups, due to their distinctive customs and dress and residence near the many game parks of East Africa...

communities, ghee and flocculated by-products (Kamaek) from ghee-making were traditionally used as cooking oil.

External links


Ghee- A Short Consideration from an Ayurvedic Perspective, Light on Ayurveda Magazine 2005 http://www.ancientorganics.com/articles.htm