How to make ghee step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
What is ghee
Ghee is a form of highly clarified butter that is used in Indian cooking. It is made by heating unsalted butter until it clarifies and separates into protein and fat. Making ghee is a process of removing the milk solids or milk protein from butter. Ghee is known to be used in traditional cooking for centuries in India. In addition to being very flavourful and versatile, it is known to have many health benefits. It contains a good amount of healthy fats and vitamins, and has a high smoke point which prevents it from burning (unlike other refined cooking oil). It is also lactose-free (not dairy-free) as all the browned milk solids are removed completely while making it. Hence, it 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 its numerous benefits. It is considered to improve memory and lubricates connective tissues. It helps improve digestion and fight inflammation. It is also rich in antioxidants which enhance 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 an offering to the deity is always made with it. Not just the food, the wick used to light the lamp in front of the deity is also soaked in it.
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.
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 for 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 buy them. 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 and 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). The residues left 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 it is ready. Also at this point, all the milk solids will change colour from white to dark brown. If you continue to heat after this point, the milk solids will burn which will impart a bitter taste to it. It is also essential to transfer the cooked ghee to another metal or other heat-safe container as soon as it is ready to cool it down. Otherwise, it 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 it and it 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 it is ready. With a bit of experience, you will easily be able to understand at what point it is done.
How much ghee do I get from a cup of butter?
Two cups of butter will give you approximately 1.5 cups of ghee. You may adjust the quantity of butter as per your need.
How to store ghee?
Ghee can be stored at room temperature in a dark spot for up to three months. Storing it in the refrigerator can increase its shelf life for up to one year.
What butter to use?
The best ghee is made from the butter of organic grass-fed cow's milk. You may either use homemade or store-bought butter. Always use good quality butter and where possible, use organic butter. Click here to see how to make butter.
Is ghee dairy-free?
Ghee is lactose-free but not dairy-free. It is made by removing the milk solids from butter. If it is cooked well enough to remove the lactose, it is considered lactose-free.
What is its smoke point?
Ghee has a very high smoke point of 250℃ (or 485°F) making it stable at high heat. Hence it is more suitable for deep frying.
How long does it take to make ghee?
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 it does not burn.
Should I skim off the froth from the top?
No. Just continue to simmer and the froth will reduce. There is no need to skim it off. Keep scraping the sides and bottom of the pan as this will make sure the milk solids does not burn.
Homemade ghee video recipe
How to make ghee
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. The yellow golden fat will remain on top
10. Carefully pass it through a muslin cloth to separate the milk solids from the liquid.
11. Let it cool completely before storing in an air-tight container and store away from direct sunlight
Watch web story here.
Read more here.