Ghee is the pure clarified fat derived solely from milk or from desi (cooking) butter or from cream to which no colouring matter is added. Ghee is the clarified butter fat prepared chiefly from cow or buffalo milk. Ghee is used as a cooking or frying medium, in confectionary, for direct consumption with rice chappatis etc. or added to several dishes to enhance the aroma and taste.
Cow ghee has medicinal properties and is mainly used in indigenous pharmaceutical preparations (Ayurveda). It is also consumed directly as a medicine and is applied as a healing agent for wounds, cuts and burns.
Dahi is a fermented milk beverage. Since ancestral days, Dahi has been made using mud pots. This gets it that unique flavour & taste gained due to the porous property of mud pots allowing filtered air flow. However now a days dahi is prepared from milk fermenting milk with lactic culture & packed in plastic cups. Dahi is consumed as an additive during meals & snacks and also used in cooking of certain recipes.
Taak, also called chhas or mattha, refers to desi buttermilk. Taak serves as a cooling refreshing drink after meals and otherwise, especially during summers. “Jeera” powder is added in small quantities to enhance the taste and medicinal properties. It is made from Dahi by first mincing it and then removing the butter.
Paneer refers to the milk solids obtained by the acid coagulation of boiled whole milk & subsequent drainage of whey. Traditionally paneer has been a variety of pressed channa, used mainly in preparing cooked vegetable dishes like palak paneer, paneer butter masala etc. It is also used to make starters and snacks of the likes of “paneer tikka masala” and “pakoras”. It is one of the primary ingredients of most of the north Indian “Punjabi” dishes.
Shrikhand is a semi-soft sweetish – sour whole milk product prepared from lactic fermented curd. The curd (dahi) is partially strained through a cloth to remove the whey and thus produce a solid mass called chakka (the basic ingredient for shrikhand). This chakka is mixed with the required amount of sugar, cardamom, jaiphal etc. to yield shrikhand. Shrikhand is a sweet food served during the mains course as well as a dessert.
Amrakhand is prepared from chakka – the basic ingredient for Shrikhand. This chakka is mixed with the required amount of mango flavour, sugar, cardamom, jaiphal etc. to yield Amrakhand. Alternately it can also be prepared from Shrikhand. Like Shrikhand Amrakhand is also served as a part of main course or as a dessert.
Basundi is a thick liquidish – sweet whole milk product prepared by boiling the milk to remove some extra water under controlled conditions. This forms the base. It is then sweetened and flavoured by adding natural additives like cardamom, jaiphal etc. to yield Basundi. Basundi is a sweet recipe served during the mains course as well as a dessert.
Sitafal Rabadi is similar to Basundi and is made from the same base. The base is sweetened and then Sitafal (Custard apple) pulp added to taste to yield Basundi. Sitafal Rabadi is a nutritious primarily served as a dessert.