The Bilona method is a traditional and labour-intensive process used for preparing Desi Ghee (clarified butter) in India. Here's a step-by-step explanation of the Bilona method:
- Selection of Cow's Milk: The process begins with selecting high-quality cow's milk. Desi Ghee made using the Bilona method is typically prepared from the milk of indigenous Indian cow breeds.
- Natural Fermentation: Let the milk naturally ferment, which breaks down lactose, giving the ghee a special taste and smell. lactose, giving the ghee a special taste and smell.
- Curdling: After fermentation, the milk is curdled using a natural coagulant like buttermilk. This results in the separation of curds and whey.
4 Churning with Bilona: Take the curds and use a traditional wooden churn called "Bilona" to churn them. This agitation process turns the curds into butter.
- Butter Separation: The butter is then separated from the buttermilk. This butter obtained through the Bilona method is known as "Bilona butter" and is richer in nutrients compared to mechanically separated butter.
- Washing the Butter: The Bilona butter is washed with clean, cold water to remove any residual buttermilk. This helps in improving the shelf life of the final product.
- Ghee Clarification: The washed butter is then melted and heated slowly to allow the water content to evaporate. As the butter continues to heat, the milk solids separate and settle at the bottom, and the clarified liquid on top becomes Desi Ghee.
- Straining: The final step involves straining the liquid ghee to remove any remaining impurities, milk solids, or particles. This ensures a clear and pure final product.
- Cooling: The clarified ghee is allowed to cool, solidify, and then it is ready for consumption.
The Bilona method is considered more traditional and is believed to yield ghee with a distinct flavour, aroma, and nutritional profile. It is often preferred by those who appreciate the traditional, artisanal approach to food preparation.