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Ghee vs. Dalda — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Urooj Arif — Updated on March 21, 2024
Ghee is a type of clarified butter used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, while Dalda is a brand name for hydrogenated vegetable oils, known as vanaspati ghee, commonly used as a cheaper alternative to ghee.
Ghee vs. Dalda — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Ghee and Dalda


Key Differences

Ghee is made by simmering butter to remove water content and milk solids, resulting in a pure butterfat with a rich, nutty flavor and a high smoke point. It is highly regarded in traditional cooking and for its Ayurvedic properties. Whereas, Dalda, a specific brand of vanaspati ghee, is made from hydrogenated vegetable oils and is designed to mimic ghee's texture and flavor but lacks the same nutritional profile and is often considered less healthy due to the presence of trans fats.
In terms of nutritional value, ghee is rich in vitamins A, E, and D, along with fatty acids that are believed to be beneficial for health. It is lactose and casein-free, making it a suitable option for those with dairy sensitivities. On the other hand, Dalda (vanaspati ghee) contains hydrogenated fats, which can lead to higher levels of trans fats, associated with negative health effects, including heart disease.
The production process of ghee involves a traditional method that has been used for centuries, focusing on separating the milk solids from the butterfat. This process not only enhances the flavor but also extends the shelf life of the product. Whereas, the production of Dalda involves industrially hydrogenating vegetable oils to achieve a solid state at room temperature, which increases the product's stability and shelf life but involves a chemical process that alters the fat composition.
Culinarily, ghee is preferred for its distinctive taste and aroma, enhancing the flavor of various dishes, from sweets to curries. It is also used for frying and sautéing, given its high smoke point. Dalda, while used as a cost-effective substitute for ghee, especially in commercial cooking and baking, is often criticized for lacking the authentic flavor and health benefits of real ghee.
Despite these differences, both ghee and Dalda hold significant places in South Asian cuisine. Ghee is celebrated for its purity and traditional value, whereas Dalda is utilized for its affordability and convenience, catering to different consumer needs and preferences.

Comparison Chart

Base Ingredient

Hydrogenated vegetable oils

Nutritional Value

High in vitamins A, E, D; beneficial fatty acids
Contains trans fats; considered less healthy

Production Process

Traditional simmering to remove milk solids
Industrial hydrogenation of vegetable oils

Flavor and Aroma

Rich, nutty flavor; used to enhance dishes
Designed to mimic ghee; lacks authentic taste

Use in Cuisine

Preferred for traditional and Ayurvedic cooking
Cost-effective substitute for ghee

Health Implications

Generally considered healthy in moderation
Associated with negative health effects

Compare with Definitions


Contains vitamins A, E, and D, contributing to its health benefits.
Ghee is not just tasty; it's also packed with essential vitamins.


Designed to be a cheaper alternative to ghee.
Due to budget constraints, the restaurant uses Dalda instead of pure ghee.


Lactose and casein-free, suitable for those with dairy sensitivities.
She switched to ghee due to her lactose intolerance.


Contains trans fats, linked to health risks.
Despite its convenience, Dalda's trans fat content raises health concerns.


Highly regarded in Ayurvedic medicine for its beneficial properties.
Ayurvedic practices recommend ghee for its digestive benefits.


Lacks the nutritional benefits of ghee.
Unlike ghee, Dalda does not offer the same healthful fatty acids and vitamins.


A clarified form of butter with a rich, nutty flavor.
Ghee is used to cook the spices for a more flavorful curry.


A brand of hydrogenated vegetable oil, resembling ghee.
Dalda is often used in place of ghee for frying sweets.


Has a high smoke point, making it ideal for frying and sautéing.
Ghee's high smoke point makes it perfect for high-heat cooking.


Used widely in commercial cooking and baking.
Many bakeries use Dalda as a cost-effective fat in their recipes.


Ghee (Sanskrit: Ghṛta) is a class of clarified butter that originated in ancient India. It is commonly used in cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, Middle Eastern cuisine, traditional medicine, and religious rituals.


Dalda is a brand of vegetable oil (hydrogenated vegetable cooking oil) popular in South Asia.


A clarified semifluid butter used especially in South Asian cooking.


A type of clarified butter used in South Asian cooking; usli ghee.


(South Asia) Vegetable oil for cooking.


Butter clarified by boiling, and thus converted into a kind of oil.


Clarified butter used in Indian cookery

Common Curiosities

Why do some people prefer Dalda over Ghee?

Dalda is often preferred for its lower cost and longer shelf life, despite its health implications.

Can consuming Ghee have any negative health effects?

While ghee is rich in healthy fats, moderation is key, as excessive consumption can contribute to increased cholesterol levels.

What's the main difference between Ghee and Dalda?

Ghee is clarified butter with nutritional benefits and a rich flavor, while Dalda is hydrogenated vegetable oil, less healthy due to trans fats.

Can Dalda be used as a direct substitute for ghee?

Dalda can substitute ghee in cooking for its similar texture and melting point, but it lacks ghee's nutritional value and flavor.

Is Ghee healthier than Dalda?

Yes, ghee is considered healthier due to its beneficial fatty acids and absence of trans fats found in Dalda.

How does the production process affect the health aspects of Ghee and Dalda?

Ghee's traditional production enhances its health benefits, while Dalda's industrial process introduces trans fats, making it less healthy.

Is Ghee suitable for high-heat cooking?

Yes, ghee's high smoke point makes it ideal for frying, sautéing, and other high-heat cooking methods.

Are there any dishes where Dalda cannot replace Ghee?

Authentic traditional dishes that rely on ghee's unique flavor profile might not achieve the same taste with Dalda.

Why is Ghee important in Ayurvedic medicine?

Ghee is valued in Ayurveda for its digestive benefits, ability to nourish the body, and as a carrier for medicinal properties of herbs.

Can Dalda be part of a healthy diet?

Due to its trans fat content, Dalda should be consumed sparingly within a balanced diet to minimize health risks.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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