Occasionally, I get an email that really changes how I do things in my kitchen. One such email came from Sandeep Agarwal earlier this year. He is the owner of Pure Indian Foods and wrote to tell me about his organic ghee. I was very interested but what really got my eye was his line of spiced organic ghee products. He sent me a small sample of the flavored-ghee and I simply fell in love. It is such a excellent and healthy way to add a touch of fat and a load of flavor to dishes.
I interviewed him about his lovely products and would like to share the interview with you.
He has graciously agreed to giveaway one 14-oz jar of Organic Ghee to one US-based reader of Life of Spice. Leave a comment here and a winner will be announced on Sept 17th at 4:00 p.m
1. Tell me a little bit about your self and your interest in food
I live in New Jersey with my wife and 2 kids. I have a bachelors degree in computer and MBA in finance. While growing up in India, my mother paid a great deal of attention on preparing fresh home cooked meals every day. This may sound very ordinary since every Indian family would do so. However, my mother is very careful in selecting the finest ingredients for the food and in the most cases, getting the raw food directly from the source. My wife is a great cook and she carries the same value system by cooking meals for my family. We do need to realize that it is not just the nutritional quality of the food that is important. It is the positive vibrations (or lack of it) in the food that impacts you as well. As such, eating home cooked meals from consciously produced raw material is paramount to our health and well being.
2. Tell me about your company and its philosophy around food.
My family has been in ghee business for the past 5 generations. I learned about health giving properties of ghee and also learned why it is so sacred in Ayurveda. I was inspired to continue the family tradition launched this business in the USA. We focus on the quality and not the quantity. We enjoy speaking with our customers, learning from them and sharing with them what we have learned.
3. What inspired you to create organic ghee?
I learned about the “factory farming” practices in the US where cows are not treated well. They are fed large amount of grains and soy (mostly genetically modified). This is a great way to produce inexpensive milk but only at the cost of quality of milk and health of the cows. I also learned about the difference between organic and grass-fed cows. Organic certification requires the cows to be on the pasture for at least 120 days in a year. However, we now know that you get the most nutritious milk when the cow is eating fresh green grass directly on the pasture. As such, we decided to make an exclusively grass-fed and organic ghee. This does increase the cost of the product as compared to the conventional products available in the market. However, we believe that small amount of such a high quality food will nourish you well instead of a large amount of a conventional food.
4. Please tell me about your line of spiced ghees.. which i LOVED. How many types of flavors, what are they? How did you come up with the idea?
I have an interest in Ayurveda where I learned about the concept of making medicated ghee (called Ghrita). In preparing these ghritas, a combination of herbs are infused into ghee through a process that is very elaborately described in ancient Ayurvedic texts. This process allows the lipid and water soluble active ingredients of these herbs & spices to bind with the ghee molecules. When you consume such a ghee, you get the maximum benefits of the added spices and herbs. We decided to give this concept a culinary twist by producing a line of herb/spice infused ghee products sold as food and not just as dietary supplement.
There are benefits to using such a ghee product instead of using plain ghee and adding your own spices & herbs. The infusing process makes the benefits of herbs and spices more bio-available to your body. It also saves you cooking time since the herbs and spices are already infused in the ghee.
Here are the six flavors:
1. DIGESTIVE GHEE- Ghee infused with organic cardamom, organic cinnamon and organic ginger. The flavor has a similar hint of spices used in Chai Tea; it is subtle but definitely adds depth. Great on toast. Tastes like a cinnamon roll.
2. GARLIC GHEE- Ghee infused with organic garlic. Perfect garlic tone – not too overpowering, but definitely mouth-watering. Great on pasta, stir fried veggies, bread roll, homemade pizzas (spread on the crust).
3. HERBES de PROVENCE GHEE- Ghee infused with organic savory, organic thyme, organic rosemary, organic basil, organic tarragon & organic lavender flowers. The flavor is similar to the fragrance of fresh herbs you find in the French countryside – Fresh thyme and lavender.
4. INDIAN DESSERT GHEE- Ghee infused with organic fennel, organic cardamom and organic saffron. The flavor has a slight hint of fennel and is subtly reminiscent of licorice with just a touch of cardamom and saffron. Use it on toast, hot biscuits & roasted nuts. Good for digestion and peace of mind
5. ITALIAN GHEE- Ghee infused with organic oregano, organic rosemary & organic Thyme. This is an Ethiopian recipe. The flavor is reminiscent of sautéing fresh Italian herbs from garden. Use on oven baked potato pieces, drizzle on veggies and add sea salt
amp; pepper. Fry onions and garlic in Italian ghee for your next savory Italian recipe.
6. NITER KEBBEH GHEE- Ghee infused with organic cardamom, organic cinnamon, organic coriander, organic cumin, organic Turmeric and organic nutmeg. Subtle curry flavor and aroma with just a hint of cumin. Perfect for lentil soup, rice, hot cooked peas and corn.
GIVEAWAY -He has graciously agreed to giveaway one 14-oz jar of Organic Ghee to one US-based reader of Life of Spice. Leave a comment here and a winner will be announced on Sept 17th at 4:00 p.m
The Ghee looks wonderful! I especially like the fact they are flavored. What a nice addition to the ghee. Plus it saves time and Im sure I can think of lots of ways to use them. I would love to see how you used the flavored ghee. Hope you post some recipes soon.
Love the thought that food should have a positive vibration!
This sounds fantastic. What a concept. I love the thought of the warming spice mixes. My palette and mind are very busy concocting meals with these right now. Yum.
Yum! Being a casein-free person, I especially love ghee. Never seen the spiced versions, but how cool.
Niter Kebbeh Ghee sounds so good I’d probably put it on my cornflakes!
I think ghee is the next EVOO? Such an under exposed product. The flavor combinations are intriguing. Best of luck for the company’s success.
What imaginative flavor profiles! I can’t wait to try all six. I’m currently on a quest for worthy new products to showcase at an upcoming cooking class in mid-October. Thanks, Monica, for this timely introduction to these ghees.
Flavored AND organic — fantastic!
I had no idea there were so many options for using ghee. Thanks for giving me ideas!
Sounds great. Is it available in Boston?
Organic really does make a difference in taste. I only get raw milk from the farm & have made butter with the cream. You can taste the different seasons from the varying things the cows eat.
The french use clarified butter alot in cooking. Would be nice to try one of these with some fish.
is it available in south carolina?
I was just looking for ghee in the store. Found out my grocery no longer carries it. 🙁
Thank you for all of your comments. At this time, our ghee is available only in a limited number of stores. Your best option is to order on our website http://www.pureindianfoods.com. During the checkout, you can use the discount code monicabhide and you will get 5% off. This offer will be valid until 9/22/2010.
Ghee – oh my what happy memories that invokes. Many years ago I had a friend who was an American though she grew up in India, having spent all but three of her first 17 years there. Like most Americans my exposure to Indian food had been the curry powder sold in the supermarket – pretty awful stuff according to my taste buds. Hence for years when anyone asked if I liked Indian food I said no, not realizing that I’d never really had any Indian food. Being the inveterate foodie and always up for new culinary experiences, I was willing, even eager to try “real Indian food” when my friend and her husband invited me to dinner.
Well one bite of dinner that night and I thought I’d gone died and gone to heaven. When I tasted the ghee that had been drizzled over the dish, I knew I had! That was the beginning of my still continuing love affair with Indian food. I wanted to drizzle ghee over everything I could think off. Some Indian restaurants I’ve eaten in over the years will serve some ghee to drizzle over one’s food and I always ask if I can get some. Sadly fewer and fewer restaurants seem willing to bring one ghee to drizzle over the their dinner. I suppose it’s a matter of cost.
I can close my eyes and still taste that first real Indian food I had on which ghee was drizzled. I would love to try Sandeep Agarwal’s wonderful sounding ghee.
so many flavors of ghee .. amazing to see what we get in america … in india there is only two types of ghee … cow n buffalo ; )
Wow what a great idea. The ghees look amazing as do the other products on the Pure Indian Foods website. I hope I win. 😉
hmmm. Love those tastes. I think I would like to try the INDIAN DESSERT GHEE on my toasted bagels. Please announce where we can find these in local stores.
Flavored ghee…I would love to try it!
desi ghee…shudh ghee!!
The winner is SIGRID. Please email me so I can get your ghee on its way to you!
Very timely! I had just put ghee on my shopping list. Usually if a recipe calls for ghee, I just use olive oil and butter. (Too lazy to make ghee before cooking) And in the city, most of my Indian friends bought their ghee. So I figured I would invest in some. I’m not sure what to look for, but as Madhur Jaffrey mentioned some actually being closer to margarine or vegetable shortening in the markets, I’ll have to read the label carefully I guess.
Nice to know there are high-quality lines like this one! Perhaps Pure Indian Foods will come to Canada soon, we have a very large South Asian population.
I was the lucky winner of Sandeep Agarwal’s ghee. It arrived today and it’s indescribably delicious. I couldn’t wait to taste it and though I didn’t have anything at hand I wanted to put it on, so I opened the jar and spooned out a bit to taste. Oh my, how wonderful. Please don’t think you have to be making Indian food to have a use for this ghee. My housemate asked if she could put it on pancakes – why not. I can envision using it to saute, pour over steamed veggies, enhance freshly popped popcorn, add it to pasta or rice, and drizzle over just about any main dish I can think of, Indian or not. If you have a use for butter, you will have many uses for this ghee.
I have tasted other jarred ghees I’ve purchased in Indian markets and they do not compare with the organic, grassfed ghee from Pure Indian Foods. This ghee is like the freshest, sweetest butter you’ve ever tasted. I’ve made ghee, but I can’t make ghee this good. I’ve already gone to the Pure Indian Foods website and ordered a sampler pack of the spiced ghees the company has for sale. I could not recommend this company’s ghee more highly. Try it. You will not be disappointed. Worry not that you won’t have enough uses for it; worry that you’ve not ordered enough.
This is a great post about organic ghee which is absolutely impossible to find in Australia. Seeing me and my family eat organic it is a great shame that we also can’t this.