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The Gifts of Ghee

  • July 26th, 2013
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I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to study Ayurveda with my teacher, Uma Inder, and had learnt the benefits of making ghee.

I can’t go a day without having ghee in my daily regime now!


What is ghee?

Ghee is clarified butter, purified from milk solids and transformed into an Elixir, Golden Nectar. It originated in South Asia, commonly used in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.

I love it because it’s healing, nourishing and sacred!

It’s considered a sacred symbolism of auspiciousness, used in daily rituals of cooking and worship.

As I’ve adopted the Ayurvedic cooking regime, Ayurveda, the ancient medical science of India, they consider ghee as one of the most important ingredient to having a balanced diet and the most ideal fat you can consume because of its short chain of fatty acids that can be metabolized very readily by the body.

The wonderful thing about Ghee also is that it has one of the highest flash points (485ºF), making this oil the best choice for high temperature cooking because of its stable saturated bonds, it’s less likely to form the dangerous free radicals and won’t create peroxides when cooking.


Nutritional and medicinal benefits:

Ghee has a full spectrum of short, medium and long chain fatty acids, both unsaturated and saturated. Ghee is deeply penetrating and nourishing as it passes through the lipid membranes of cells. The absorption of vitamins and minerals from foods that have been cooked in ghee will be drawn deep into the body where they impart the most benefit.


 I love the fact that it’s full of goodness and has many benefits:

Full of Omega 3 and Omega 9 essential fatty acids along with vitamins A, D, E and K

High in natural sources of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). 9 phenolic anti-oxidants and minerals are contained in ghee

Promotes longevity

Stabilizes the ageing characteristics by improving the body

Supports the digestive system

Alkalizing the blood

Enhances energy and sexual vitality

Ideal for the health of skin and eyes

Lubricates connective tissues and joints

Promoting flexibility

Mental functioning – learning, memory and recall

Used as a carrier oil for herbal preparations

Ideal for the body constitutions of Vatas and Pittas



 I was taught the traditional way of preparing ghee, adopting the utmost care, consideration and respect of every ingredients, preferring them to be of high quality and organic where possible.

Therefore I discovered a company called “Pepe Saya” who produces my preferred organic unsalted butter.

I have grown to love and respect Pepe and Merna who produce high quality products with respect, integrity and care. They truly are one of the most professional, honest, down to earth and generous people I have encountered in the food industry.


Background for those who don’t know Pepe Saya Butter:

Pepe Saya butter is made from single origin creams that are procured from Allansford in Victoria and Picton in NSW, the two creams are not mixed together. Each batch of butter is from a single origin (a particular farm), the batch number marks where the cream originates from.

The cream arrives from the farm direct (Pasteurized at farm), is ripened for 1.5 – 2 weeks in the cool-room, the cream is turned into creme fraiche by inoculating with a lactic culture and fermented for 20 hours, an additional 1-2 weeks of ageing is allowed before Churning the creme fraiche into butter, the butter is then washed and hand kneaded until the desired consistency is achieved, packaged and sent to market immediately!

Pepe Saya is in the business of selling fresh butter and the butter is never stored or frozen.


Making Ghee

After a few months of buying butter from Pepe and creating it in my peaceful, love filled, mantra infused kitchen, Pepe had approached me with the interest and desire to assist him and his staff in the process of making Ghee.

As he already has a competent and skilled staff who originates from India, it was easy for them to create their own Ghee as they knew the important component in producing it in a mantra filled kitchen. This sacred ritual is an important foundation for this alchemic process.

We shared in the experience of chanting Gayatri Mantra 108 times together during the making of Pepe’s first batch of Ghee. This is considered by the sages to enhance the essence and healing power of ghee, and this act is also called sadhana.

Sadhana, literally “a means of accomplishing something.”

Traditions that are followed in order to achieve various spiritual or ritual objectives.

It is highly recommended that this ritual is followed through each time in the making of ghee.

What I love about Pepe is that he has shown me how passionate he is for ancient traditions, so I have no doubt Pepe and his team have the same acknowledgement, passion and respect for these sacred ritual.

Pepe Saya’s ghee is different to other ghee I’ve bought and tasted as they have infused their product with Bay leaves, Cardamoms and Cloves – sweet, nutty and caramelized!



Melt 250g Pepe Saya Cultured Unsalted Butter in stainless steel pot, over medium heat  (I use 2kg of butter at a time)

Add bay leaves, cardamom and cloves

Stirring, watching it with all your senses at all times, an act of meditation and connection with this sacred alchemic process. The churning of milk into nectar.

Begin to chant the Gayatri Mantra or chant Om 108 times.

OM clears the way and creates nectar – Rasayana.

Rasayana is a Sanskrit word, (ayana) path of the juice, essence (rasa) or elixir, used to describe chemistry or alchemy. Simply means, that which makes new again or helps restore ones youthful state of physical and mental health as well as expand our state of happiness.

Bring to boil and simmer for approximately 45 minutes to caramelize, while simmering skim the milk solids, foam, that have coagulated and floated to the top, which we all carefully removed.

This process also evaporates most of the natural water content, making ghee light, pure and resistant to spoilage.

Look for the changes in the bubbles, there’s silence when it’s ready, if you add a little bit more time you can create caramel at the bottom, which will give it a caramel flavour, it’s ready when it starts bubbling again. The ghee can be rancid if undercooked. It can take 20 – 30mins, depending on the amount of butter used.

Strain by using cheesecloth to remove any further milk solids, foam at the top and bottom. This foam is considered non-beneficial to our health.

Fill and store in sterilized jars.

Ghee can become more potent with age – deeper healing properties.

Do not refrigerate as you may reduce or eliminate its life-force.


These herbs add more benefits:

Bay Leaves

Contains vitamins A and C, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties

Helps the body’s immune system to fight off infections and diseases

Stress and anxiety reliever


Stimulates digestive system and reduces gas

Can counteract excess acidity in the stomach

Stimulates appetite

Eases stomach cramps


Blood circulation

Stimulate metabolism

Resolve digestive disorders

Anti-oxidant, fighting free radicals and skin damage

Antiseptic purposes, home remedy for infections, wounds and burns 


Where you can buy Pepe Saya’s Ghee:

Direct from Pepe Saya

Urban Food Market

The Essential Ingredient

Grassroots Urban Butchery


Note from Catherine Saxelby, Australia’s leading nutritionist: 

‘Ghee is made from unsalted butter heated to separate and remove the milk solids. It is used in traditional Indian cuisine, and for shallow-frying, roasting potatoes and pan-frying meat without burning. It has a very high smoke point, so doesn’t burn or smoke easily during pan-frying and deep-frying.

It has a nutty flavour, but it’s very high in saturated fat – 66%. A little goes a long way. Just for comparison, canola has less than 10% saturated fat, olive oil around 15%, butter 53%, and margarines 20%.

Therefore, use ghee sparingly as it’s more concentrated in fat than butter. A little is fine for adding a traditional flavour and Indian cooking at high heat and so on. But don’t deep fry in it. And do use Pepe Saya’s great new product, as it sounds like a cut above anything else!


By Jemma Rivera

Jemma is an accomplished yoga, qigong and meditation teacher, workshop facilitator, holistic lifestyle mentor, actress, producer, presenter, speaker, community activist, symposium facilitator and founder and business director of Jing Life.

Jemma facilitates private sessions, classes, workshops, national and international retreats and has been featured at international festivals and major events. Jemma’s passion is to assist mankind in revealing their true nature and authenticity, reach their full potential so they may live an inspired and empowered life – full of passion, peace, purpose and prosperity!




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