Ghee connects local vendor to Chico community


Indya Gage talks with customers about her product at the Chico Saturday Farmers Market. Photo credit: Brian Luong

Back in 2003, Indya Gage began her journey of self-healing. Gage’s exploration into medicine, meditation and spirituality led to the discovery of ghee, the foundation for her business, Mama Sattva.

“My whole life, encompassing my business and my personal life, it’s all a practice of being on a higher path,” Gage said. “It’s all a healing process.”

Ghee, a type of clarified butter, is created by simmering butter at a low temperature until the fat separates. Eventually, the heat will remove milk solids and water from the butter oil, leaving behind a substance that Gage considers liquid gold.

The end product is a lactose-free oil with a high smoke point of 485 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much higher than the 350 degrees Fahrenheit smoke point of regular butter.

Smoke point refers to the temperature at which an oil starts to burn and smoke. The abnormally high smoke point helps lessen the number of important nutrients extracted from cooking.

Ghee originates from India and has been used as a health food for thousands of years. Other benefits of the product include, high amounts of Vitamin A and D, supporting weight loss, improving digestion, reducing inflammation and strengthening bones.

Additionally, Gage’s ghee is certified organic by both the California Certified Organic Farmers and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Indya Gage adds her ghee to bread from Miller’s Bake House at the Chico Saturday Farmers Market. Photo credit: Brian Luong


Gage first began making ghee as an extension of her meditation practices. She started to formulate her own process after learning about the spiritual and medicinal values of the product.

Gage cooks her ghee over the span of multiple days, often trying to align the cooking schedule with a full moon, while surrounding herself with gemstones and ancient music.

She believes this process improves the health qualities of her ghee along with increasing her product’s yield.

“Every time we cook under the full moon versus the new moon, per 300 pounds of ghee, we consistently get one more gallon of ghee and one gallon less of waste,” Gage said.

Gage began experimenting with ghee in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2012 that she gained enough support from customers to expand Mama Sattva. Within that first year, her business began to thrive, selling to over 90 stores.

Her product reaches stores from Los Angeles to Southern Oregon and sells overseas as well.

Indya Gage, owner of Mama Sattva, talks to a customer about her ghee product. Photo credit: Brian Luong

However, Gage’s eyes aren’t only set for supermarket shelves as she hopes to continue working with local restaurants.

She’s worked with The Naked Lounge, a downtown coffee shop, to implement ghee into their drinks, but she also wants to expand to local powerhouse, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. She believes her ghee would be a perfect match for the restaurant during lobster season.

Although her product reaches all across the state, she particularly values her time at the farmers market because of her interactions with the Chico community.

She jokingly states her entire week is fairly quiet in comparison to the six hours spent conversing with customers and local vendors every Saturday. According to Gage, ghee has become a way to connect with others.

Mama Sattva products can be found every week at the Chico Saturday Farmers market or online on her website.

Brian Luong can be reached at [email protected] or @brianluongorion on Twitter.