Suncokret's 2017 Visiting Teacher Blog Series, Part 2
“Ghee is the elixir of life. It increases ojas in the body and makes the mind sattvic – tranquil and peaceful. A sacred food from Mother Cow, ghee maintains the health of our maternal memory. Perform the Ghee-making sadhana as a meditation. Feed, feast, and nurture body, mind, spirit with the aroma and sounds of this golden nourishment.”— Maya Tiwari founder of Wise Earth School of Ayurveda
There is nothing more meditative and relaxing to me than to touch nature with my own hands and so I’ve always been interested in anything to do with cooking and food preparation from childhood. It’s no wonder then, when I was introduced to cooking from a sadhana perspective in Ayurveda, specially at times of distress years ago, that I started consuming Ghee (purchasing from my then Ayurveda Teacher, Matthew Remski, who made top quality wholesome Ghee). Making Ghee, especially on a full moon, is a ritual that I have followed for years that has helped me in my mind/body health tremendously.
Ghee is not merely food or oil but an alchemy; a conveyor of esoteric nutrients, if you will. If you approach Ghee-making as regular cooking, the result will be less than desirable!
Far from a recent food “trend,” Ghee is ancient food and medicine; It pushes nutrients in our food further into our tissues and helps assimilate them. So think about it as a sacred digestion optimizer! It adds “Ojas” (or immunity) to our body. It can be used as a skin nourishing oil, too. Apply to the little finger and oil inside your nostrils for a refreshed and hydrated breath.
The latest trends toward buying Ghee from a health food store at a high cost is disturbing in so many ways: The benefits of taking Ghee start from the moment you start making your own ghee and not just when you ingest it; The healing starts from the moment you set your intention on gathering your ingredients (whether growing your own or purchasing them); For this reason, I highly recommend that everyone participates in the whole spectrum of this nutritious and sacred food by making their own and it is easy to make!
For me personally, making Ghee has symbolized transformation. When I make Ghee, each time I observe and I remember my own personal transformation. As the butter melts, boils, bubbles and makes sounds, I too am reminded of the most challenging parts of my journey in the past five years. After all, I left a successful corporate style career in engineering to dedicate my life to helping others heal. The path was full of unexpected turns and twists and what kept my feet on the ground was performing simple rituals of cooking, and especially preparing Ghee.
The one trick I find while making Ghee that will determine if we make good ghee or not (as it always varies dependent on the quality of butter and other factors) is to ONLY make Ghee and not multitask; every single time I cooked Ghee alongside another dish, it turned out to be a waste and the end result was not good Ghee! Focus, concentration and a meditative atmosphere is required: another reason I don’t purchase but make my own Ghee as I simply do not know what state of mind the maker had during their preparations.
I hope this post serves as inspiration for you to make your own Ghee with me. We will be making Ghee on our select retreats this summer at Suncokret which will be wholesome experience within this beautiful retreat setting.
View upcoming events with Bahareh Hosseini:
9 - 15 July
16 - 22 July
23 - 29 July
10 - 16 September
17 - 23 September
Instructions on Making Gee at Home:
Start with a clean and organized kitchen; Ensure your countertop and stove are are clear of all except the following items:
2 sticks of organic, preferably butter from grass-fed cows (250 grams is a good amount)
1 medium size heavy stainless steel saucepan
1 stainless steel spoon
A Cheesecloth or Sieve
A glass storage jar (mason jar)
Wash the saucepan, spoon, and storage very well and ensure no detergent is left on them; Better yet, use boiling water to sterilize all equipment.
Melt the butter in the saucepan over a low flame. This is important because otherwise it will burn before it becomes ghee! Continue to heat until it boils gently and a foam rises to the surface. It will begin smelling like popcorn. No stirring of the melted butter or the foam; Let the ghee cook gently until the foam thickens and settles to the bottom of the pan as sediment. Over time the sounds of popping will slow down and get fewer and far between. When the ghee turns a golden color and begins to boil silently, with only a trace of air bubbles on the surface, it is done. Once it is cool, pour the liquid into a clean glass jar through a cheesecloth or a sieve, making sure that the sediment remains on the bottom of the pan. The sediment may be eaten as a snack mixed with Indian guar; Sucanat or brown sugar!
The jar of Ghee you have just made is shelf stable so no need to refrigerate; It will solidify and keep for days months or years; In fact old Ghee is therapeutic in that it gains potency as it ages.
Here’s a video for you as well: http://bit.ly/2m9NRsh
Ghee Recipe Inspiration from Wise Earth School of Ayurveda and Living Ahimsa Diet Book by Maya Tiwari~ More info: http://wiseearth.com/
This post is labeled Part 2 in Suncokret's 2017 Visiting Teacher Blog Series. See the series introduction page here.
Learn more about Bahareh - See our 2016 interview with her here!