Ghee – Recipe for ayurvedic ghee

Ghee is highly regarded in ayurveda and is considered to both detoxify and rejuvenate at the same time. It is made by cooking down butter until the liquid evaporates and the milk solids sink to the bottom of the pan. The end result is the most refined end product of milk. The best ghee comes from cows that have been grazing in grassy pastures. Expect seasonal variation in the color and taste when cows switch to a diet of hay, legumes and silage in the winter months. In Ayurveda, ghee is used as a carrier for the nutrients in herbs and to lubricate the intestinal tract and all the tissues inside the body….but you can use in everyday cooking because it tastes great!


Yield: 16 ounces

1 pound organic unsalted butter
2 quart, heavy bottom sauce pan
16-ounce clean, DRY glass container with lid
1 fine mesh sieve
1 large spoon, clean and DRY
Cheese cloth

In the saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and bring it to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and gently simmer uncovered as the water content evaporates. Milk solids (small white curds) will form and fall to the bottom of the pan and begin to turn brown. Skim the froth from the top using a dry spoon and discard. The ghee is done in about 25-30 minutes when:

  1. The sputtering ceases
  2. The ghee is clear
  3. The color is golden
  4. It smells like popcorn.

Immediately remove the ghee from the heat and allow to cool (~ 15 minutes). Place a sieve lined with cheesecloth over the glass jar. Slowly pour the ghee into the sieve, straining out the curds. Cool to room temperature. Cover and store at room temperature.

VPK: Ghee is considered tri-doshic; it is especially good for vata who can benefit immensely from the lubricating qualities; it’s cooling energetics make it suitable for pitta; kapha can tolerate in moderation.

Variations: try using cultured butter

 About: Ghee gives a distinctive flavor to Indian cooking. Because the milk solids have been removed, it has a higher smoking point than butter. Ghee should not be used when there is high ama, high cholesterol, obesity or fever.

Ghee is the most refined end product of milk. When making ghee, there is a concentration of all the qualities of the milk (including antibiotics, hormones (rGBH), chemical pesticides, etc.). So it is best to use organic butter when making your ghee.

Moisture allows for bacteria to grow and will spoil the ghee. So be sure to use clean, dry utensils when scooping out the ghee and avoid moisture contacting the ghee. If you store ghee in the refrigerator, condensation may form from bringing the jar in and out of the refrigerator; this condensation can spoil the ghee.

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