Ghee, A Nourishing Kitchen Ritual

Ghee Purvakarma

Ghee is something I would not go with out in my home kitchen. Imparting a depth of flavor and healing benefits, ghee makes each meal deeply nourishing. Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is made by simmering unsalted butter until the milk solids are separated, leaving behind the golden aromatic oil. Ayurvedic texts tell us that ghee is one of the most nutritious, medicinal and healing foods you can eat.  It’s also known as a highly valuable “vehicle” for carrying medicinal herbs deeply into the brain, nerves and other tissues.

Benefits of Ghee

  1. Helps regulate digestive fire( agni)
  2. Replenishes ojas (resilience, vitality and immunity)
  3. Calming effect on the mind and can improve memory and cognition
  4. In the intestines, ghee is converted into butyrate, a short chain fatty acid that both regulates and feeds the intestinal microbes.
  5. Pacifies vata and pitta. Those with kapha imbalance can use in moderation.

Making Ghee

Making ghee is a satisfying kitchen ritual that engages all of your senses and since it calls for your full attention it can be thought of as a grounding kitchen ritual or as a “ghee meditation” as one client called it. Of all the nutritional support I offer, making and cooking with ghee is at the top!

Start with a pound of  the best quality unsalted organic butter.

Medium size sauce pan

Dry clean glass container with a cover

Dry clean spoon and dry clean fine metal strainer

Place butter in a dry, heavy medium sized pan. Turn to medium heat or flame until the butter melts. After the butter melts, it will begin to sputter and crackle. Do not cover the pot. Butter will foam and sputter and begin to turn golden. Heat remains on medium and after about 15 minutes, the foaming and crackling slows down. Stay attuned with the crackling sounds and the aroma.

Keep a close watch and stir gently, moving away the foam on top with a dry spoon. When you see golden brown curds on the bottom of the pan and the sputtering has slowed, take pan off the heat.

The ghee will begin to smell nutty and look golden in color—then it’s done. Don’t let it burn!

Let cool to just warm.

Pour it through a fine dry metal sieve into dry glass or ceramic container with a lid. Ghee will become solid and opaque when cool.

One pound of ghee will take about 20 to 30 minutes of cooking time.   Ghee does not need refrigeration and becomes more medicinal with age. Enjoy this ancient ritual of making ghee.


Gina Mastroluca, Portland, Maine

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