Is Ghee Vegan?

Answer: No

Ghee is a traditional Indian ingredient used in many dishes. It’s a dairy derivative and is essentially liquid butter. Not vegan. When ordering Indian food, please make the servers aware that you do not eat ghee as it could be added to rotis (breads) or main dishes.

12 comments for “Is Ghee Vegan?

  1. Iain thomson
    April 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Hello. Is this also true of vegetable ghee? Or just butter ghee?
    Thanks!

    • @isitvegan
      April 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      “vegetable ghee” is just hydrogenated oil. Likely vegan, likely TERRIBLE for you.

  2. July 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Properly made ghee IS vegan—it goes thru a complete transformation when cooked CORRECTLY & loses all link to its dairy origins..this is why ghee candles burn in the greatest temples in India. Properly made ghee has lost all link with ‘liquid butter, or ‘clarified butter’; biochemically it is absolutely different. I had the privilege of studying ~30 yrs with a Master of Ayurvedic Medicine.
    Thanks for considering an alternative answer which will stir comment!

    C S Khalsa
    Ayurvedic Practitioner

    • @isitvegan
      July 6, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      Vegan products are ones that do not come from animal sources. End of story. Does ghee originate from cows? Yes. Therefore ghee is not and can never be vegan.

  3. Sam Rojan
    January 28, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    It would be correct to say that ghee is not dairy, but it is also definitely NOT vegan.

    • January 29, 2013 at 10:57 am

      This might ignite a firestorm–lets see. There is much misinformation here in the West about ghee: what it is, its health effects, what variety of ghee is permitted as ‘vegan’, and even how to properly prepare ghee.

      The truth is this: ‘ghee’ when properly made from cow’s milk IS both Vegan and the highest vegetarian food, if you research history of Hinduism and Ayurvedic Medicine.
      Ghee is absolutely NOT ‘clarified butter’–It does NOT cause you to gain weight, even in large quantities: quite the reverse–in India ‘ghee fasts’ are prescribed to LOSE weight in a very healthy way. Ghee in the diet, properly done, completely rewrites your liver chemistry in a healthy, youthful way and gradually restores the body functions. We hope Western (Alleopathic) medicine will ‘discover’ that ghee restores the sheath of the nerves, and in its reset of pH and enzyme chemistry prevents brain deterioration with aging. Ghee is the only material which can be used in preparing the higher Ayurvedic medicines. Ghee looks like a fatty oil; the fact that it is processed in the body as a protein is a hidden fact. The incredible transformation that butter goes though to create ghee, leaving all the nasty stuff behind on the bottom of the pan, is why ghee is burned in the lamps of the highest Hindu temples–it symbolizes the transformation of the human from the muddy earth into pure spirit, the highest product of ‘The Khaamadhayn, the cow of miraculous powers.’

      Although a Westerner, I had the great privilege of studying with Dr Harbhajan Singh Khalsa (Yogi Bhajan) for >30 years. He was acknowledged as a Master of Ayurvedic and Tibetan Medicine.

      Christ-Singh Khalsa, SiD
      IWL (“It’s a Wonderful Life”)
      Practitioner of Ayurvedic Medicine
      Austin, TX, USA

  4. Sweifan
    February 11, 2013 at 8:41 am

    If the product has come from an animal, such as a cow, it is not vegan. If you are wearing leather shoes, they are not vegan. If you are sucking on white mints made with beef gelatine, they are not vegan. If you are eating muesli that contains in its ingredients dehydrated milk powder, it is not vegan. If you sit down to eat a curry, and it contains ghee, a substance strained so far from its original source, begged from a holy cow fanned by the cooling fronds of a palm tree, sent to Mars for processing and blessed by god himself, served by angels and seasoned with the sap from the tree of life -it is not vegan. Ghee is not vegan as it is derived from an animal. Before taking the time to write a post tagged with your ‘credentials’, take the time first to look up the word ‘vegan’ in the dictionary.

    Firestorm lit, firestorm extinguished.

    • May 12, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      So true… and I love your post btw. LOL, great stuff!

  5. Curiosity Resolved
    March 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Thank you. I always wondered how people could say Ghee was vegan. Now I understand why some people might believe it is vegan. Thank you, Thank you.

  6. Ram Shyam
    December 23, 2013 at 7:55 am

    The problem with ghee is that it is sattvic and useful only if from a “happy cow” who is let free to roam, who is not pregnant, who has fed her calf to its fill and there is milk leftover which she is happy to share. Even that milk is not *vegan* though it may remain sattvic till the end of that day – it must be warm or it must be converted into other products that very day. Even such an “allowed” form of milk is not *vegan* because it is animal-origin. Vegan and pure/”sattvic” are independent terms. Ghee is not vegan, by definition, as it is an animal product derivative. Sattvic / pure may be useful in Ayurveda, but Vegan is not an ayurvedic term, it is a western one with a clear definition – non-animal origin.

  7. charles
    May 12, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    once again mr Khalsa, it is not vegan and can never be vegan. I came from an animal and anything from an animal makes it not vegan. You can change it chemically and run it through a cyclotron and get Vishnu to bless it but it came from an animal and can never be vegan. Unless you and Yogi Bhajan have your own dictionary of alternate definitions. thank you

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