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Making Ghee at Home

ghee

Ghee is Indian clarified butter. In North America, making ghee is very easy as any butter can be clarified to turn into ghee. In India however, ghee is made from scratch -- you boil raw milk to get cream, churn the cream to make fresh butter, and then boil the butter to make ghee. Despite all that work, almost every Indian home makes their own ghee.

Ghee is a saturated fat as it comes from animal fat. It is not good to eat in large quantities, or if you have high cholesterol or heart problems. However, ghee has no hydrogenated fat if made from pure butter, and is considered healthier for that reason, if eaten in moderation.

According to Ayurveda, ghee aids digestion more than butter or any other cooking oil. It also helps boost the immune system. Ghee is used as a base for herbal ointments and also used directly as a massage oil. It is very good for muscles and makes your body more flexible. Ghee helps balance excess acid secretion in the stomach, and it is also more digestible for the lactose intolerant than butter, because milk proteins are removed when the butter is clarified.

Ghee is great for cooking because it cooks at high temperatures without burning. It gives you a rich, delicious taste that no other oil can, and just a little bit packs a punch of flavor. Roughly speaking, one teaspoon of ghee would give you the same amount of flavor as a couple of tablespoons of butter or oil.

Also nifty is that ghee lasts "forever." It is conveniently stored at room temperature, due to its lack of moisture. Don't let a wet spoon or any moisture get into your ghee jar!

This is how I make ghee at home!

I used:
1 lb of organic, unsalted butter (1/2 kg will do)

My method:
1. Heat the butter on medium-high heat, in a heavy stainless steel pan, until it melts.
2. Turn the heat down and let the butter boil for about 15-20 minutes. Do not cover because you want the water to evaporate. Milk solids will separate and settle at the bottom. The translucent, golden liquid that floats up is ghee. When the ghee is finished, the bubbling will stop and a foam is formed on the top. Move the foam to check and see that the ghee is a clear, golden color.
4. Strain the ghee through cheese cloth or a fine sieve, and store it in a thick, airtight glass jar, at room temperature. Once it cools and solidifies, it will be a creamy, light yellow, like in the photo shown here.

Don't over-eat ghee, but do enjoy it with My Top 5 Recipes Using Ghee:

1. Winter Dates
2. Carrot Halwa
3. Kheer
4. Chikki
5. Caramelized Cardamom Banana Toast

( Add your comments )


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[ READER COMMENTS ]

  1. 1

    rk said:

    I make ghee exactly like this out of Organic unsalted butter. I find the taste is better than using regular butter. Great picture by the way!

    Posted at 02:38 PM, on September 9 2008
  1. 2

    Mohini said:

    rk - Thank you for your comment. Yes, unsalted organic butter is the best for this purpose.

    Posted at 09:53 PM, on September 11 2008
  1. 3

    Tamara said:

    Thanks for the simple instructions. I literally made the decision today to make my own ghee, as it can be rather expensive to buy at the store, so your timing is fantastic! My family loves the flavor of ghee, especially for frying eggs and oven baking chicken. Yummy!

    Posted at 12:39 PM, on September 15 2008
  1. 4

    Kristie said:

    Can or do you use ghee for deep frying?

    Posted at 11:39 AM, on February 1 2009
  1. 5

    Mohini said:

    Tamara -- You are welcome!

    Kristie -- Yes, you can definitely fry in ghee. A lot of the traditional Indian sweets are fried in ghee for the richness in flavor and also for the reason that ghee does not break down at high temperatures like lots of other oils do. It is definitely not the healthiest option to eat everyday though. Like everything else fried, you want to eat things fried in ghee in moderation because of the saturated fats in it.

    Posted at 06:36 PM, on February 2 2009
  1. 6

    Chris said:

    Most larger studies now are showing that saturated fat is not actually bad for you (its not actually good for you either, it has a neutral impact on your heart). Most unsaturated fats handle heat poorly. I have been using ghee at home as my primary fat for frying. I am more confident in its health properties then most of the 'processed' oils we see, some of which have very questionable extraction processes, or in olive oil, which is not suitable for high heat.

    Posted at 04:52 PM, on August 11 2010

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