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So, yes, all fermented grape juice can technically [and truthfully] be made into wine. But the skill in producing the wine you and I can ferment in our cellar, and that employed by a master vintner on grapes partaking of an enviable terroir? The results?
Interesting you mention this analogy as this thought was racing through my mind several posts ago. The ghee making basics are quite simple but attempting to home make any desi ghee under the presumption that the result would be in any way comparable to a true quality desi ghee is just absurd as the home winemaker who dreams his initial attempts will render a high quality result.

Based on what Gautam states, I'm convinced it is not possible to duplicate any of the quality desi ghees nor even produce a similar quality ghee as an amateur home ghee maker. A very significant committement of time and money, study, and experience would be required before expecting a truely comparable result.

Gautam recommended Vriandan (sp?) as the closest desi ghee generally available in the US but my interest in tasting some of these benchmark ghees is quite high. I'm curious how we could arrange to obtain a small sampling of several of these truely original desi ghees?. Would it be possible to arrange with an Indian merchant to package up and send a few small jars of them?

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1. For good quality ghee for ordinary kitchen use like frying etc., NAFED or any of the tinned ghees [careful, not vegetable 'ghee'] from India , or VRINDAVAN from USA are just fine. Indeed, they are quite acceptable for ordinary table use as well. These ghees can also be used to finish off dishes. These 2 types are probably available here.

2. For very good quality ghee meant only for table use, e.g. sprinkling over steaming hot rice, potatoes etc. : I have been away too long but say in Kolkata, several vendors now sell table quality ghee in small [50 gram, 100gram?] plastic pouches. Will try to find out, or members should request true cognoscenti like EPISURE to chime in with their expertise on Kolkata + Bangalore 's best brands. These may already be available in the US or can be easily brought back by returning travelers with no leakage or fuss [AFAIK].

3. For truly excellent desi ghee, my strategy for northern India is limited to Rajasthan, and that too to Sikar district: If you know someone with rural roots, ask him to bring you some. Now that is not practicable, I realize. New Delhi must have reputable merchants selling the pure stuff, as must Mumbai/bombay, Bangalore, Chennai/madras.So please let me defer to the real experts for sound advice on sourcing:

BBHASIN

MONICA BHIDE

SUVIR SARAN

EPISURE [southern India, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai]

PEPPERTRAIL [southern India, esp. Kerala]

NICHIRO [omnipresent, :laugh: just teasing you, N-san!]

Warm regards

gautam

Edited by v. gautam (log)
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Well - I can not find ghee today as I called around locally and learned this is day tree of Diwali so everyone is out partying. Learn about ghee and now Hindu holidays. This is quite the thread!

Guess I'll wait a couple days until things get back to normal and one can buy a decent tin of ghee. :-)

1. For good quality ghee for ordinary kitchen use like frying etc., NAFED or any of the tinned ghees [careful, not vegetable 'ghee'] from India , or VRINDAVAN from USA are just fine. Indeed, they are quite acceptable for ordinary table use as well. These ghees can also be used to finish off dishes. These 2 types are  probably available here.

2. For very good quality ghee meant only for table use, e.g. sprinkling over steaming hot rice, potatoes etc. : I have been away too long but say in Kolkata, several vendors now sell table quality ghee in small [50 gram, 100gram?]  plastic pouches. Will try to find out, or members should request true cognoscenti like EPISURE to chime in with their expertise on  Kolkata + Bangalore 's  best brands. These may already be available in the US or can be easily brought back by returning travelers with no leakage or fuss [AFAIK].

3. For truly excellent desi ghee, my strategy for northern India is limited to Rajasthan, and that too to Sikar district: If you know someone with rural roots, ask him to bring you some. Now that is not practicable, I realize. New Delhi must have reputable merchants selling the pure stuff, as must Mumbai/bombay, Bangalore, Chennai/madras.So  please let me defer to the real experts  for sound advice on sourcing:

BBHASIN

MONICA BHIDE

SUVIR SARAN

EPISURE [southern India, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai]

PEPPERTRAIL [southern India, esp. Kerala]

NICHIRO [omnipresent, :laugh:  just teasing you, N-san!]

Warm regards

gautam

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Can't add much to v.gautam's excellent dissertation except admit that I have learnt a lot from this topic.

As he says, terroir plays an important role in defining the organoleptic properties and in that respect I find Ghee from the dairy farms of Coimbatore(Southern India) to be different and aromatic. Ghee from the Belgaum(Maharashtra/Karnataka) area is quite famous but I prefer the former. I'm not sure what process they follow, though.

I have witnessed the cultured cream-ghee method only at an artisanal dairy near Bombay run by a husband-wife team. I had forgotten about it until I read Gautam's reference and was able to connect to the different (and rare! ) procedure.

I usually make food in the normal way but cut back on prescribed oil quantities and instead add a little Ghee before serving. Sometimes I spray a little warmed Ghee using an oil mister.

Edited by Episure (log)

I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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As Episure wrote, I also don't have more to add to v.gautam's excellent dissertation. I learned a lot from v.gautam' s posts.

Separation of cream from milk is seldom done in South India. In the tropical heat of South India, milk is a highly perishable commodity. Fresh milk is always boiled before use. Before the days of refrigeration, the only way to use leftover milk was to ferment it daily to make yogurt. Yogurt is churned in the morning to separate butter from buttermilk. Butter is melted and cooked over medium heat to remove all of the moisture and milk solids. In Kerala this the way ghee is made at home. When the milk from grass-fed cow is used to make the yogurt, the ghee has distinct yellowish color and pleasant fragrance.

I have always used home made ghee in India and in the US. Here I make it from good quality unsalted butter (in Texas I use Braum's or Land o'Lake's butter). I cook it over mdium heat until all of the moisture has evaporated and the milk solids have separated. Then strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove the milk solids.

Ammini Ramachandran

www.Peppertrail.com

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Peppertrail, Episure,

I should clarify my remarks: what our American friend was asking was: where and what brand of excellent ghee could he purchase from Indian sources in India, perhaps by mailorder.

I have been away too long and simply do not know. However, some years ago, did see people from Kolkata bring small plastic pouches of fairly good quality table ghee as gifts for their children. Don't remember the brand. though.

I wonder if you both would advise Windtrader where/how he could lay his hands on the Asli desi ghee from India, say :

1) the Coimbatore type you favor

2) perhaps our mutual friend S.....cy in Mumbai/Belgaum or you could advise on reputed vendors of the pure desi stuff [Maha/Gujrat style] and whether it is feasible to be mailordered to the US

BTW, here is a question i long wanted to ask you: you know the famous Buffalo culture and Dairy Temples of the Nilgiri tribe whose name escapes me at the moment, what types of milk products do they make?

Another thing i forgot to mention is that in traditional India, cooking the butter over a fire of twigs and dried cowpats [and remember the Indian cowdung contains a lot of lignin material unlike American cowdung, and so burns with a very fragrant smoke] helps it to pick up just the slightest smoky hint, a hallmark of the countrymade asli [pure] ghee.

Nepal too produces fantastic buffalo ghee, and the Gurungs situated just outside Pokhara make this fantastic snack out of rice paste squeezed into flat, concentric circles and fried in their incredible ghee.

The buffalo are fed on forest grass and leaves at altitudes of over 6000 feet, and this murrukku-like rice snack is beyond belief. Marketing this item might endanger the already stressed Himalan midhills, but hopefully some sustainable solution might be found, because this could be an indigenous cash earner, adding much-needed value to local agriculture?

Sorry to hassle you both. But one for Bharatmata.

Warmest and most Respectful regards.

gautam

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The search for quality ghee in the US continues.

This is what I found on the shelves of a few Indian stores along University in Berkeley. A few others are available from North American based online shops; they are listed a the end.

Interesting that ALL North American distributed or manufactured product say "clarified ghee", even those labeled "pure desi ghee". The imported products do not use the term clarified butter in the labeling. Emails with the Punjab Milk Foods Inc, manufacturer in Surrey Canada, confirm that adding "clarified butter" to ghee labels is a marketing essential to ensure the consumer at large understands the essential material content of the jar.

A couple of other notes: The NAFED mark was not found on any products but a couple of the imported ones do have an AJMark insignia which also implies grading with notation such as grade E-10.

It's been quite a learning experience and I'm back on the right track to find and purchase quality ghee rather than that home made stuff. A quick taste test of what I made and what I bought brought out the differences as discussed in this thread.

Gautam - Thanks for all your insight and knowledge on the subject! You are the expert and all the information I gathered echoed and confirmed your statements.

If anyone else knows of an excellent ghee please do post the specifics.

EDIT - I found this link to a review of various organic and Vedic Organic ghees.

http://blog.freeradicalfederation.com/arch...ison_Table.aspx

Vijaya Pure Ghee

Andhra Pradesh Dairy Development Co-operative Federation Ltd (APDDCF)

Hyderabad

AJMark

"special grade"

$4.50 500ml can

comment from grocer that this was popular in the South

Dynamix

Pure Cow Ghee

Dynamix Dairy Industries

Pune, Maharasthra

AJMark Ghee – special grade E-10

$4.50 500ml can

Amul Ghee - both 200ml packet and larger can

Nanak

Pure Desi Ghee

Canadian

14 oz (414 ml) $4.99 clear plastic jar

Verka

Pure Ghee

Calfornia ?

14 oz (414 ml) $4.99

qualityproduct.net

Punjas

Pure NZ Ghee

750 ml $5.99

New Zealand

Mohan

Ghee

glass jar

VRINDAVAN

8ox $9.99

www.kalustyans.com

Edited by windtrader (log)
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Windtrader,

Just as Amul brand serves a cooperative of dairy farmers in Gujarat state in the westernmost part of India, Verka does the same in Punjab.

The Amul story, Operation Flood and Kurien Verghese make fascinating reading about progress, hope, development etc. Since the ghee story already lead you to learn something about Indian festivals, here is another thing for a rainy day, if you wish!

Verka is a famous brand in Punjab: MILKFED-PUNJAB MILKFED NETWORK:http://milkfed.nic.in/mfed.htm

The Punjab State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Limited popularly known as MILKFED Punjab, came into existence in 1973 with a twin objective of providing remunerative milk market to the Milk Producers in the State by value addition and marketing of produce on one hand and to provide technical inputs to the milk producers for enhancement of milk production on the other hand.

Although the federation was registered much earlier, but it came to real self in the year 1983 when all the milk plants of the erstwhile Punjab Dairy Development Corporation Limited were handed over to Cooperative sector and the entire State was covered under Operation Flood to give the farmers a better deal and our valued customers better products.Today, when we look back, we think we have fulfilled the promise to some extent.The setup of the organisation is a three tier system, Milk Producers Cooperative Societies at the village level, Milk Unions at District level and Federation as an Apex Body at State level. MILKFED Punjab has continuously advanced towards its coveted objectives well defined in its byelaws.

GHEE (AGMARK)

Boudine Test Neg.

B.R.reading(40 degree C.) 40 - 43

RM Value (Min.) 28.0

P.Value 1.0 - 2.0

FFA % Oleic Acid( Max) 0.30

http://milkfed.nic.in/ghee.htm

So now your hard and fruitful detective work has provided you this:

North to South, Indian:

Verka, from Punjab

Amul, from Gujarat, 200 ml

Dynamix, from Maharashtra [this one is unfamiliar, but then most new things in India are to me]

Vijaya, from Andhra Pradesh

North America:

Nanak Desi ghee

Vrindavan [kalustyan price too high by 2x, should be about $8/lb, shop around, wait]

So for $20 you can have a go at the quality Indian product and get a good idea of the aromas that spell Pure desi ghee.

Then compare them to the 2 North American ghees and see what you think.

Lastly, do the melted Muenster cheese trick, and make a final taste comparison.

[bTW, nix the "Vedic organic ghees": sheer CR... They are meant to separate the narcissistic wealthy from their wealth!]

Finally, i am no expert, just someone with some knowledge common to rural folk, that seems exotic and special in this forum but is taken for granted throughout non-English speaking India!

Edited by v. gautam (log)
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I found the genesis of all the major state dairly cooperatives: http://www.nddb.org/partners.html

Name of state coop, stated production per day in millions of litres, and brands

Andhra Pradesh Dairy Development Cooperative Federation Ltd (APDDCF)

2.4m Vijaya

Bihar State Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation Ltd (COMPFED)

0.7m Sudha

Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF)

6.6m Amul

Haryana Dairy Development Cooperative Federation Ltd. (HDDCF)

0.47m Vita

Himachal Pradesh State Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation Ltd (HPSCMPF)

0.03 Him

Karnataka Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation Ltd (KMF)

2.1m Nandini

Kerala State Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (KCMMF)

0.9m Milma

Madhya Pradesh State Cooperative Dairy Federation Ltd (MPCDF)

1.0 Sneha, Sanchi

Maharashtra Rajya Sahakari Maryadit Dugdh Mahasangh (Mahasangh)

3.8m Vikas, Mahanand, Gokul, Dhawal, Dudh Pandri, Warana, Krishna, Katraj, Rajhans, Koyna, Shivamrut

Orissa State Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation Ltd (OMFED)

0.13m Omfed

Pradeshik Cooperative Dairy Federation Ltd (UP) (PCDF)

1.68m Parag

Punjab State Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation Ltd (MILKFED)

1.56m Verka

Rajasthan Cooperative Dairy Federation Ltd (RCDF)

1.43 Saras

Tamilnadu Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation Ltd (TCMPF)

2.7m Aavin

West Bengal Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation Ltd. (WBCMPF)

1.27m Ben’s, Bhagirathi, HIMUL, Midmilk, Mother Dairy, Metro Dairy, Ben’s Torsha

It appears Dynamix is an upstart, forming its own non-state dairy coop about 10 years ago. Its stated production figure of 1/2 million is quite impressive given it is independent. The technology used by them is high tech as the quality of the tin, printing, the metal material sealing the ghee inside is cleary US/Euro hi-tech in nature.

Given the increasing adoption of modern technologies and processes, I wonder how much classic desi ghee is still being produced using traditional methods. I'd be not suprised at all if the brand name products coming from the state dairy coops are pervasive in the marketplace and especially in the large cities, finding a fine traditionally produced ghee is difficult, along the lines of finding a gallon of fresh raw milk on the grocer's shelf here.

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  • 1 year later...

Kissan is a well known brand for ketchup, jams and many household necessities. This venture into dairy must be a departure from their usual. I have not tried it, but it will be at least on par with Amul, i.e. a very good ghee, but without the smokiness of wood of dung fires. For all practical purposes, unless there is a departure from the high standardsof all their other products, it should serve you well. Ghee, not clarified butter!

Vijaya is a benchmark brand. Amul is a blander everyday workhorse for deepfrying, general cooking, allpurpose desi ghee. Laxmi brand, made in the US, is mild but good. New Vrindavan, also made in the US, is good. Golden Temple or Nanak [something similar along those lines ]made in Canada is good too.

If you don't mind my asking in public, I have am curious as to which retailers are stocking this item and what they are charging? Thanks much.

Edited by v. gautam (log)
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I bought it in Montreal at Supermarché Akhavan. I paid 3.99$CAN for 227 gr. Hope that helps. Thanks for your info. I used mine for the Pilau rice recipe in La cuisine et le goût des épices (Philippe and Ethnée de Vienne) which was pretty darn good by the way.

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Thanks for the price: it seems about standard for the $8/lb US for small quantities.

If you enjoyed a pilau, perhaps you might like to experiment next with a kacchi biryani, where the meat is marinated and put in raw and slightly cooked rice is placed on top, aromatics like saffron added, sealed with dough, brought to a simmer on a stovetop and baked in an oven on a falling temperature:

Here you will find discussions and a pictorial: post 134

http://www.gourmetindia.net/forums/index.p...opic=134&st=120

When you have gained more experience:

http://www.gourmetindia.net/forums/index.p...topic=134&st=40

post 45

post 69

post 102

http://vahrehvah.com/popvideo.php?recipe_id=3249

http://vahrehvah.com/videos.php

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