Is Ghee Vegan? The Story Behind the Controversy

To know if Ghee is Vegan or not, it is necessary to understand the process of making ghee.

Ghee is extracted from butter. The method of making ghee involves simmering unsalted butter to separate the milk solids and water from the fat. As the butter cooks, the milk solids separate from the fat and rise to the surface, where they can be removed. The remaining clear liquid is strained to remove any remaining solids, resulting in pure, clarified butterfat, which is then cooled to solidify into ghee. This process results in a rich, nutty-flavored cooking oil that is commonly used in Indian, Middle Eastern, and other South Asian cuisines.

Butter is made from fat and milk proteins that are separated from the liquid portion of milk. The milk used to make butter can come from various domesticated animals, including cows, goats, sheep, and buffalo. However, cow’s milk is the most commonly used source of milk for butter production. The milk is typically first pasteurized to eliminate bacteria and then separated into cream, which is then churned to produce butter. The butter can then be further processed to make ghee, among other products.

Are Ghee Production and the Dairy Industry Harmful to the Environment?

The dairy and ghee production industries can have negative impacts on the environment. The large-scale production of dairy products and the raising of dairy cows for milk production can lead to significant greenhouse gas emissions, land use changes, and the pollution of waterways from animal waste. Additionally, the production of dairy products requires a significant amount of water, which can put a strain on local water resources.

However, there are also efforts being made to reduce the environmental impact of the dairy industry, such as by using sustainable farming practices, reducing waste, and improving energy efficiency. Some companies are also using alternatives to traditional dairy products, such as plant-based milk and different kinds of butter, which can have a lower environmental impact.

It is essential to consider the environmental impact of our food choices and support environmentally sustainable practices and products.

Do read our blog on why milk is unhealthy which will give you more insights.

Is Ghee Dairy-free? Is Ghee Vegan?

Ghee is not considered vegan because it is made from butter, which is a dairy product derived from the milk of cows, goats, or other animals. 

Veganism is a lifestyle and dietary choice that involves avoiding the use of animal products and by-products. This includes meat, dairy, eggs, honey, clothing, and other items made from animal skins, fur, and feathers. Because ghee is made from butter, which comes from milk, it is not considered vegan.

In conclusion, ghee is not vegan because it is a dairy product derived from animal milk, making it incompatible with the vegan diet and lifestyle.

What is the Vegan Alternative to Ghee?

A vegan alternative is a ghee which is made using plant-based oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, or vegan butter. Some commercial brands also offer vegan ghee alternatives made from plant-based oils designed to mimic traditional ghee’s taste and texture. When selecting a vegan alternative to ghee, it is important to choose an unrefined oil with a high smoke point to ensure it remains stable when cooking at high heat.

Can Vegan Ghee be Made at Home?

Here is a recipe to make vegan ghee using coconut oil:


  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2 -3 guava leaves
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • A pinch of salt and Asafoetida


  1. Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Once melted, add the guava leaves, curry leaves, salt, turmeric powder, and asafoetida.
  3. Stir well to combine the ingredients.
  4. Let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
  6. Pour the mixture into a container and let it set until it reaches room temperature.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Enjoy your homemade vegan ghee made with coconut oil!

What are the Different Types of Vegan Ghee?

There are several types of vegan ghee, made from different plant-based ingredients, including:

  1. Coconut Oil-Based Vegan Ghee – Made from coconut oil and flavored with spices and herbs.
  2. Nut Butter-Based Vegan Ghee – Made from nut butter such as almond or cashew, and flavored with spices.
  3. Olive Oil-Based Vegan Ghee – Made from olive oil and flavored with spices and herbs.
  4. Vegan Butter-Based Ghee – Made from vegan butter, often with added spices and herbs.
  5. Tofu-Based Vegan Ghee – Made from tofu and flavored with spices and herbs.

The choice of vegan ghee will depend on personal taste preferences, as well as the intended use (cooking, baking, spreading, etc.).

You can buy the vegan ghee Emkay here.

There are several reasons why people should consider using vegan ghee instead of ghee made from cow’s milk.

Firstly, vegan ghee is made from plant-based ingredients and is free from any animal-derived products, making it a suitable choice for vegans and those with dairy allergies or intolerances.

Secondly, vegan ghee is generally lower in saturated fats, cholesterol, and calories compared to traditional dairy ghee, which may provide some health benefits.

Lastly, the production of dairy ghee involves animal exploitation, whereas vegan ghee is a cruelty-free alternative that aligns with ethical and environmental values.

Therefore, by switching to vegan ghee, individuals can enjoy the taste and nutritional benefits of ghee while supporting a more sustainable and ethical food system.

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