How to make ghee at home with a step-by-step recipe.
What is ghee?
Ghee is a form of highly clarified butter that is used in Indian cooking. Ghee is made by heating unsalted butter until it clarifies and separates into protein and fat. Ghee is known to be used in traditional cooking for centuries in India. In addition to being very flavourful and versatile, ghee is known to have many health benefits. Ghee contains a good amount of healthy fats and vitamins. The smoking point of ghee is very high, preventing it from burning (unlike other refined oils). It is also lactose-free (not dairy-free) as all the milk solids are removed completely while making of ghee. Hence, ghee is a safer option for people with lactose-intolerance than butter. It is like liquid gold, full of nutrition, and health benefits.
Cultural significance and Ayvurveda
Mahabharat mentions ghee and considers it as an essence sustaining the world.
Ayurveda places ghee at the top of oils and lists numerous benefits of ghee. It is considered to improve memory and lubricates connective tissues. It helps improve digestion and fight inflammation. Ghee is also rich in antioxidants which enhances the immune system.
From cooking to worship, ghee is an integral part of Indian culture. It is also an integral part of Indian festivals. The food prepared as offering to the diety is made with ghee. Not just the food, the wick used to light the lamp in front of diety is also soaked in ghee.
Considered very auspicious, it is used not just for cooking but ghee can be used as a base for herbal ointments. It works very well on healing rashes, cracked skin, and mild burns.
Making ghee at home is an integral part of my cooking
This delicious superfood is an integral part of my kitchen and is used in my day-to-day cooking. I not only use it in cooking but also mix it with hot steamed rice and spread it on parathas.
I have grown up eating homemade butter and ghee. I have never seen my mother use store-bought butter or ghee. My mother would collect cream from boiled milk and store it in the refrigerator every day. Towards the end of the week, she would churn it into butter. She would then make ghee out of the butter.
I have earlier shared the recipe to make butter from cream. In this post I will show how to make ghee from butter. (In this recipe, I have used store-bought butter to make the ghee). The residues left after making ghee can be used to knead paratha which makes the paratha soft and flavourful.
How to check if the ghee is done
It is important to understand when the ghee is completely done and is ready to be stored.
To know when the ghee is done, listen carefully to the crackling/simmering sound. Once the sound reduces it means that all the water content has evaporated and ghee is ready. Also at this point, all the milk solids will change colour from white to dark brown. If you continue to heat the ghee after this point, the milk solids will burn which will impart a bitter taste to the ghee. It is also essential to remove the cooked ghee to another metal or other heat-safe container as soon as the ghee is ready to cool it down. Otherwise, the ghee will continue to cook and may develop a burnt taste.
On the other hand, if you do not simmer the ghee long enough, there will be some water content left in the ghee and the ghee will spoil easily unless you refrigerate it. Well made ghee can stay without refrigeration for a long time. Also, ghee, when not simmered long enough, will not develop the heavenly aroma which we associate with ghee. So it is important to know at what point the ghee is ready. With a bit of experience, you will easily be able to understand at what point ghee is done.
Few points to remember when making ghee at home
- Two cups of butter will give you approximately 1.5 cups of ghee. You may adjust the quantity of butter as per your need
- The whole process may take 20-30 minutes depending on the amount of butter and the flame. Keep a close eye on it and keep stirring intermittently, taking care the ghee does not burn
- You may either use homemade or store-bought butter. Click here to see how to make butter at home
- The best ghee is made from the butter of organic grass-fed cow's milk.
Homemade ghee video recipe
How to make ghee at home step-by-step recipe with photos
1. Take a thick-bottom pan and place the butter in it. Do not fill more than half the pan. Put it on medium heat
2. Simmer till the butter melts completely
3. Continue to stir. The butter will slowly become frothy
4. Keep simmering on medium heat. Scrape the white milk solids from the sides and the bottom of the pan.
5. The froth will settle in about 10-15 minutes
6. Continue to simmer for a few more minutes
7. The colour will gradually change to a rich golden colour
8. Continue to simmer for a few more minutes
9. The milk solids will start to settle to the bottom and yellow golden fat will remain on top
10. Carefully pass the ghee through a muslin cloth to separate the milk solids from the liquid ghee.
11. Let the ghee cool completely before storing in an air-tight container and store away from direct sunlight
Read more about ghee here.