Goodness of Desi Cow Ghee

I bet you’ll agree with me that nothing can add more flavor to Dal Baati Churma like a spoonful of ghee. It not only enhances the taste and aroma of the food but increases its health and nutrition quotient too. 


Ghee has been such an integral part of our traditional daily diet for ages. In India, where there is such diversity of cuisines, that dishes change their character every 100 km, the only thing that probably remains constant is the love for Pure Desi Cow Ghee. People add the versatile desi ghee to their sheer-kurma and on their aloo paranthas with equal fondness.


Ghee is simply milkfat acquired by separating the milk solids. The final quality of ghee depends on the quality of the milk used and the extraction process involved. There are various procedures to obtain ghee (from either cream, curd or butter).


The traditional method of hand-churning curd to extract ‘Ghee’ using a wooden churner is known as bilona. This process involves almost 20 to 25 liters of desi cow milk to procure 1 kg of pure desi cow ghee. Bilona process is a lengthy time-consuming process but the ghee extracted using this process retains optimal nutrients (of milk) and is light and easy to digest. Milk from the desi cow breed is boiled, cooled, and transferred to earthen pots. A spoonful of curd (starter culture) is added to the milk and left at room temperature for roughly 6-8 hours to set into curds. The curd is then churned with a wooden churner to extract Makhan/loni from it. The extracted Makhan (butter) is then simmered so that the water evaporates leaving behind pure ghee. 


Whereas ghee that is processed using commercial methods is quite faster and more economical but the flip side is that the ghee is too heavy for digestion. 


Also, the major difference between the bilona process and the commercial process is fermentation. Bilona/Handchurning is the traditional process in which ghee is obtained from fermented Makhan whereas commercial processes usually use unfermented milk cream for ghee production. Fermentation helps to integrate the beneficial microbes into the product. Also, the rotational churning process allows air incorporation into the mixture boosting the medicinal properties of fat making the ghee light and readily digestible. This actually helps to turn it into the “Fit Fat”. When it comes to the quality of ghee, Desi Cow Milk Ghee made with the traditional bilona process wins hands down. 


In ancient times Ghee was the preferred cooking medium. Our ancestors never failed to give shudh desi ghee its due importance because of the presence of healthy fats. In fact, desi cow ghee is the most revered ingredient in the traditional system of medicine Ayurveda even today. It is known as Ghrita and used extensively for its medicinal health benefits. Suddenly in the last few several decades, ghee was implicated to increase the incidence of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) due to its saturated fat content. Slowly the vegetable oils which were rich in unsaturated fats gained a lot of importance. And unfortunately, the humble ghee somehow got sidetracked along the way. But recent studies have made us realize that all saturated fats are not the same. And the presence of butyric acid, oleic acid, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) along with the right ratio of Omega 6 : Omega 3 in the desi ghee makes it the preferred fat to go for …

Uses of Pure Desi Cow Ghee:-

  • Used in Ayurveda as a base for medicines & ointments
  • Can be used on chapped lips during winters
  • Good for overall health and wellness 
  • Makes the food highly palatable 
  • Ideal as cooking medium because of high smoke point
  • Provides warmth and energy to the entire body
  • Used as a galactagogue by lactating mothers
  • Can be used for baby massage prior to bathing
  • Can be used as a base for homemade creams
  • Used in panchamrut and prasad as offerings to gods
  • Ideal for joint massages during winters
  • Helps to relieve constipation and detoxify the body 
  • Helps absorb vitamin A, D, E and K effectively into body tissues/organs
  • Known to promote vitality and longevity
  • Can be used as an application to heal cracked heels

Ghee is undoubtedly rich and healthy. It enhances the flavour and texture of Indian foods dramatically. The wholesome goodness of this Pure Desi Ghee can be understood only after using it. So what are you waiting for? How about some khichdi with desi ghee tonight?

(Kamna Desai)
Clinical Dietician
Public Health Nutritionist

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