Quinoa, spirulina, kombucha — with all the super foods and food fads floating around these days, you may or may not have noticed ghee on the shelves.
Ghee (rhymes with “we”) is a type of clarified butter and is not a fad, but rather a food with ancient roots in Indian, South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine (to name a few). Ghee is made by simmering butter, removing the solid impurities that are a natural part of the cream and then saving the resulting liquid fat.
Ghee has a nutty and buttery flavor and is commonly used the same way as oils in sauces, curries and other forms of cooking. It has a high smoke point, so it is ideal for searing meat and fish, too.
Ghee also boasts several health benefits. It has lower levels of lactose than butter, making it more easily digestible for people with dairy sensitivities. It also contains high levels of vitamins A and D and butyric acid, which are said to aid immune health and inflammation. Additionally, ghee is often seen as an ingredient in many indigenous medical traditions.
If you’re looking for a local brand of ghee, you’ll find it at Gorkha Palace. Gorkha Palace is Minneapolis’ premier Nepali, Indian and Tibetan restaurant located in the heart of Northeast and named after an ancient historic palace that sits atop a hill in Nepal. In addition to momo dumplings, seasonal curries, mango lassi and flavorful chutneys, they sell their house-made ghee at the Mill City Farmers Market.
Gorkha Palace owner Rashmi Bhattachan grew up in the mountainous city of Pokhara, Nepal. Bhattachan is passionate about farm-to-table cooking and loves to share the culinary delights that she learned from her grandmothers with the community.
Rashmi continuously supports the Mill City Farmers Market’s tradition of promoting local farms, organic and fresh high-quality ingredients. In fact, Rashmi opened her restaurant after receiving encouragement from Mill City Farmers Market patrons who enjoyed her products so much.
You can buy ghee from Gorkha Palace at the Mill City Farmers Market’s indoor markets on April 8 and 22. The market is open 10 a.m.–1 p.m. inside the Mill City Museum, 704 S. 2nd St.
Black-eyed pea curry (chyai bodi masala)
By Rashmi Bhattachan of Gorkha Palace
3 Tablespoons ghee
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon grated ginger
½ cup chopped onions
½ cup dried black-eyed peas, cooked
½ cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
Chili powder and salt, to taste
2 cups sliced mushrooms (any variety, but I like shiitake)
2 cups cooked rice (optional for serving)
½ cup chopped cilantro and/or green onion (optional to garnish)
Heat the ghee in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, ginger and onions and sauté until golden brown. Add the black-eyed peas, spices and salt and sauté for five minutes. Next, add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add one cup of water. Cook for ten minutes on medium low heat, stirring frequently. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking on medium low heat for another ten minutes. Add more spices and salt if desired. Serve over rice with chopped cilantro and green onions to garnish.
Go to strongertogether.coop/recipes/simple-beans for simple instructions for cooking dry beans from our friends at Co+op!