I remember being in India as a young girl sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen. I learned a lot about Indian spices and their many uses. My grandmother always said “every cure for every ailment is in my kitchen, the most beneficial food you will ever need is right here.” She pointed to a 20oz copper tin can that always sat on a shelf near the window. When she opened the lid, I knew what it was right away. The aroma permeated the kitchen & I recognized the brown tasty butter, known as ghee right away.
Unfortunately, when me and my family left India to come to America we also left behind a lot of the simple healthy foods we grew up eating. We exchanged our spices for soda, our turmeric for tater tots, and curries for carry out. But the one thing that always remained a staple ingredient at home, was my grandmother’s ghee butter.
I had to break a lot of barriers in my personal & social life to have this wonderful opportunity to be able to tell my story, on this prestigious platform. Being Indian on Long Island hasn’t always been easy. I struggled a lot with my identity & being of the Muslim faith added on some extra layers of hardship. In the end it has all been worth it as a lot of discomfort forces a person to find their comfort zone.
I started my career in reality television production when I was 23 years old & worked in that field for 15 years before starting my own business. I loved the thrill of casting & television, finding new people & discovering talent. Every day was so exciting getting being on the train with my coffee in one hand & laptop in the other, arriving at the studio at 6am. The rush of the city, and working with so many different people. Everything was going great, I was finally where I wanted to be in my career. Then like most woman who finally find their niche, I got pregnant.
I worked until the day my water broke, which was 5 weeks earlier then planned. My son was a premature baby who was underweight & had to be in the neo natal unit for 1 week. Needless to say, it was definitely the most painful week for me and my family. The nurses pushed breast feeding on me, but I couldn’t get him to latch on, and I was not producing enough milk. I would come home crying, miserable, and frustrated every night from the hospital.
My mother felt my pain, & she was always there for me. She recommended I use ghee butter 2xs a day and see if it would help with my milk production. She also told me to eat more oatmeal. I thought she was ridiculous for even suggesting that, but I was desperate. Then I was surprised; in just two days my milk was coming out. Once again in my life, this ancient superfood was helpful. My son came home in one week at 5 pounds 3 ounces. I wanted to spend every minute with him, he needed me & I needed him. I also had a lot of guilt of leaving him in the NICU, and like most moms took the blame on myself for going into early delivery.
I decided to turn in my train pass for diapers, and bottles. At first It was amazing being with a newborn all day, & night; waking up every 2 hours to breast feed, change dirty diapers, pump milk, watch my husband leave the house with vomit on my shoulder…As I waved goodbye and he would shut the front door & leave me alone with a crying colicky baby. What had I done…I left my career for this? I had a lot of regrets. Once again, I was at a standstill but I wasn’t alone; I had a baby to look after. I couldn’t see myself working back in the city, long hours, sometimes long nights and my son being in a daycare with a stranger all day. I wanted to open up my own business.
I also wanted to reinvent myself and take charge of my situation. I did a lot of research into other women owned businesses, but I never found anything that stood out to me. One day when my son was 6 months and ready to eat solids, my mom told me to use ghee butter in his food, In India that’s the age children start eating ghee to build brain blocks, get vital omegas, and nutrients. My mom had come back from India, and brought back some of the best ghee butter I have ever tasted. I stared at the jar, and thought to myself if butters and oils have flavors why not ghee? There was no company on the market that made flavored ghee, using whole ingredients that were fresh. I wanted to reinvent the wheel on a familiar product close to my heart.
The first thing I did was speak to my grandmother, & got her family recipe on how to age and make ghee butter the proper way. I also researched and tested a lot of butters, and decided to use a grass-fed French butter that is not mass produced and readily available in grocery stores; with the right fat content. We also researched the worlds top superfoods, and started making flavored ghee. Every flavor has a health & beauty benefit, & our ghee butter is the purest form of Indian ghee sold on the market, as no other company has the right butter or uses ageing methods. A lot of the ingredients are the same ingredients that I mentioned were in my grandmother’s kitchen all those years ago. Simple superfoods, that are in pure form.
(Mrs.Florida Pageant 2018)
Along the way, I also became a motivational speaker helping women understand the importance of natural foods, and how to rejuvenate naturally from the inside out. Ghee not only has amazing benefits; but it also produces collagen. People always ask me if I miss working television, and the answer is always no. I enjoyed it very much, I worked with celebrities, politicians, artist, innovators, musicians, & more. I even worked on Anderson Coopers talk show, a person who motivated me more then he will ever know. There are a lot of similarities in television and the food business, you meet people from all walks of life. You have your good days & bad days, but television shows have a shelf life. Fortunately, ghee does not.
visit: www.gourmetghee.com to learn more.