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How To Make Clarified Butter (Ghee) And Its Being a Cure and Remedy

Posted by HealthyMuslim on Monday, April 20, 2009
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Clarified butter (ghee) in the Prophetic Sunnah

Abdullaah Ibn Mas'ood (radiallaahu 'anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) said,"Drink cow's milk, for indeed it is a remedy, its butterfat (ghee) is a cure, but beware of its meat, for indeed its meat is disease" . Related by al-Haakim, Abu Nu'aym and Ibn as-Sunnee and Imaam al-Albaanee declared it Saheeh in Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer (no. 4060).

Suhaib (radiallaahu 'anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam) said, "Drink cow's milk for indeed it is a cure, and its butterfat (ghee) is a remedy and its meat is disease". Related by Ibn as-Sunnee and Abu Nu'aym and declared Saheeh by Imaam al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) in Saheeh al-Jaami' as-Sagheer (no.4061).

Clarified butter (ghee, from grass-fed cows) has thus been described as both a cure (shifaa) and a remedy (dawaa), and thus its health and medicinal uses are characterised in the Sunnah.

What is meant regarding the meat (beef) being "a disease", as has been explained by Muslim Scholars, is that consuming too much of it can lead to disease.

Clarified butter and health

Clarified butter is very easy to make and it is recommended that you do make it at home. One batch can last you at least a few months for cooking purposes.

You should avoid cooking (and frying) with polyunsaturated vegetable oils as they are very easily oxidizable, highly reactive and are pro-inflammatory. This means that they contribute to the development of atherosclerosis and the various factors involved in heart disease, chief of which is inflammation. Other factors include presence of many free-radicals (oxidants), and deficiencies in anti-oxidants in the body.

Ghee contains mostly short-chain fatty acids (around 65%), with only around 10% being long-chain fatty acids. Around 20% are monounsaturated fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids making up just a few percent. With this fatty acid make up, ghee has several benefits for healing and tissue repair. Short and medium chain fatty acids have been shown to aid weight loss, stimulate metabolism, aid digestion, fortify the body's immune processes, and protect against bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. It does not have the negative qualities of polyunsaturated vegetable oils that are highly oxidizable, thereby turning into free radicals, and being pro-inflammatory.

Important Note on Commercial ghee

There is a type of commercial ghee called "Dalda Ghee" or "Dalda Kyo" used mainly in Indian restaurants and Asian households (India, Pakistan etc.). This is actually vegetable ghee and is made of polyunsaturated vegetable oils, or partially hydrogenated monounsaturated fats (which are trans fats). Unfortunately this is not the same as pure ghee, and it has detrimental health effects, and shares the characteristics of pro-inflammatory polyunsaturated vegetable oils and trans fats, which when heated to high temperatures create free-radicals. These are the same factors involved in the initiation of atherosclerosis (blocked arteries) and heart disease.

Historically and natively, such populations never suffered from these conditions despite heavy consumption of ghee in their traditional diets. Coronary heart disease was relatively unknown in these populations until around 50 years ago.

Pure ghee (from milk butter fat) has a very high smoke point, and is made of stable saturated bonds, and thus is not as likely to form harmful free radicals during cooking, unlike the commercial vegetable based ghee and polyunsaturated vegetable oils.

If you purchase commercial ghee (which may be the harmful vegetable ghee), you may be subjecting yourself to the same dangers of pro-inflammatory vegetable oils. It's best just to make it yourself from good quality (organic) butter. Just a half hour of your time is required to make a few months supply.

How To Make ghee

We are going to make a 3 kilogram batch. You need quality (preferably organic) butter from grass-fed cows. This is quite a lot of ghee, at least a few months supply. It will last for a long time in the refrigerator. You may want to start with making use of just one kilogram of butter for your first attempt.

  First place it in a large enough stainless steel pot at a low temperature, enough for it to start melting.
  When it has all melted you will see a foamy like appearance at the top. This is just water and milk solids that have separated from the fat. Keep it on the heat.
  Next, we need to make all the milk solids clump together. We do this by adding two teaspoons of wholewheat flour for each kilo of butter used.
  Keep on the heat and periodically stir. You want it to bubble slightly in order to allow the water to escape from the butter. So adjust the temperature slightly to achieve this.
  You will start to see the golden coloured ghee showing through as the solids begin to fall to the bottom. At the same time, the water content is evaporating away.
  The solids will keep clumping together and falling to the bottom. It should take around half an hour for all the solids to fall to the bottom. At this point the ghee is ready to be poured out into containers. You may also wish to use a very fine sieve of some sort whilst pouring out the ghee.
  Pour it carefully into sealable containers. Leave out to cool at room temperature. The ghee should solidify as it gets cooler. You can then place in the refrigerator.

Congratulations! You now have quality home-made real, pure ghee.

How To Use ghee

You can use this for general cooking purposes and you can also just eat the ghee along with your meals, around a teaspoon per day.

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