“Two drops of ghee go into the clay Diya, right in the centre, with the cotton bud”, I heard my mother as I tried assembling the pooja thali during Ganesh Chaturthi with my very clumsy hands. “I’ll take over from here”, she came rushing upon realising that I may wreck all her efforts. Why does she have to fuss so much about ghee, when we have plenty lying in the kitchen cabinet, I wondered, and as if, almost on cue, I stumbled upon another can of Ghee that was especially purchased for the upcoming festive season. Can a Indian Household ever have enough Ghee? The answer is no. Do we intend to outgrow this obsession, the answer would again be a firm no.  

Ghee is a kind of a clarified butter. It is made by heating butter and separating the milk and solid portions of the fat. The milk solids settle at the bottom of the pan in which it is being heated, and the liquids that are separated are used as Ghee. Ghee has become name to reckon with in the world of health and fitness owing to its ‘good fats’ quotient. Fast emerging as a Global superfood, ghee has been an intrinsic part of Indian culinary fare, skin and beauty needs, Ayurvedic remedies, religious ceremonies and more.  

The Sacred And Domestic Side Of Ghee

In Hindu scriptures, it is said that when Lord Prajapati sat down to create the world, he rubbed his hands which produced ghee.The act of lending ghee to fire in Havans holds much importance even in modern India. But what we absolutely adore is how the same ghee drops its sacred garb and becomes your absolute best friend in the kitchen, blending well with almost every ingredient it is combined with, elevating the flavour and texture of every dish it is added to.  

Laddos And Ghee: A Marriage Made In Heaven

Indians have long understood the medicinal properties of ghee. Which is what explains the ancient tradition of making ladoos with ghee. Ladoos, are today associated with all things decadent, but back in the day, they were an amalgamation of many Ayurvedic herbs and ingredients, where ghee played a binding agaent. Gondh ke ladoo, a ladoo made with edible gum and ghee are given to new mothers so they get the strength to recover. The halwas and sheeras you are so fond of eating in winter, are also cooked sedulously with ghee, as ghee is said to keep your body warm and fortified. The same is the logic behind the sticky and sensational pinnis of Punjab. Another effective desi home remedy to combat cold is Besan ka sheera, which is again consumed hot and laden with ghee to ease congestion in nose.  

Roti, Ghee Maarke...

When ghee is not endowed with responsibility of healing, it becomes a language of love on our dining tables every day. Your chapatis are slathered over with ghee, not just because they make the chapatis softer, but also richer in terms of flavour. No seriously, trying dunking a plain roti and a ghee waali roti in a subzi and you can tell the difference yourself. In our house, we do not start eating khichdi without a dollop of ghee. And just when our khichdi begins to dry up a bit, there would be someone or the other to pass you the can of ghee without even saying a word. Ghee helps moisten khichdi and makes the rice even more digestible. As a child, when I would act too fussy on the dining table, my grandmother would just mix in some hot rice, ghee and a chilli and make the most instant, comforting dinner for her really annoying grandchild.  

Desi Ghee: The Ultimate Upgrade To Every Indian Dish Ever

Ghee can give an upgrade to any Indian dish or even an accompaniment for that matter. Have you tried mixing it with podi masala before you start tearing your dosas? Try it. Ghee is that missing piece of jigsaw puzzle, one teaspoon in , and everything begins making sense, every dish starts oozing love and comfort. And now that it is getting the due it deserves, we cannot be happier.  

Are you also as fond of ghee? Or would you much rather steer clear of this dairy by product? Do let us know! In the meantime, you can perhaps enjoy the recipe of this chicken ghee roast. A South Indian roasted chicken, thaat feels even more tender and flavourful because of the addition of ghee.