How to make ghee, a simple process that turns butter into the most flavorful foundation for authentic Indian cooking. Removing the milk solids out of butter makes it highly digestible, soothing to the body and according to Ayurvedic medicine, helps balance out the 3 doshas.
While in India, I learned that cows are sacred to the Hindu. The Hindu rely heavily on cow’s milk in their vegetarian diet, most often using it in chai, turning it into ghee, making yogurt (curds) and paneer. And in return, the cows there seemed quite well cared for and pampered, at least what I saw in the smaller villages we visited, where most households had a cow or two for their own personal use. A sweet symbiotic relationship.
Ghee is a staple in Indian cuisine. It is butter that has been heated to remove all the milk solids. It is very simple to make (simply heat and strain) and yet the results, are mind-blowing. Not only does the butter turn into the most flavorful vehicle ever, it changes structurally, into an oil that is more easily digestible, and has a much higher smoke point.
The casein and whey proteins in butter, which sometimes cause sensitivities with people, are removed with the milk solids, and because of this, ghee is incredibly gentle on the gut, even to the point of being soothing and healing. I can personally attest to this, and was a total sceptic before I experienced it for myself.
Turning butter into ghee is also a very ancient way of preserving, because when the milk solids are removed, it no longer needs to be refrigerated. Very smart don’t you think?
All that being said, I like ghee most of all because of its nutty, earthy, toffee flavor and aroma, taking Indian dishes to the next level.
Ghee takes about 20 minutes to make.
Use unsalted, grass-fed, organic butter.
Melt the butter in a heavy bottom skillet or pot over medium-low heat. The butter will start to separate, creating a milky white foam at the top, which will be skimmed, and milky solids which will sink to the bottom. The ghee is the clear golden liquid in between.
Allowing the ghee to cook a little further, toasting the solids on the bottom until they are the color of dark brown sugar, is where the delicious nutty flavor comes from. The solids can go from beautiful golden brown to burnt pretty quickly, so stay close to the stove during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Once the milk solids are deep golden brown, turn the heat off, cool for a few minutes and then strain over a double lined cheese cloth, placed over a strainer, catching the remains foam and solids.
Pour strained warm ghee into a clean, sterilized, sealable jar.
And allow it to cool, then seal.
You can keep this on your counter or in your pantry for up to two months, or refrigerate it if you prefer.Print
How to Make Ghee
How to make ghee, a simple process that turns butter into the most flavorful foundation for authentic Indian cooking. Removing the milk solids out of butter makes it highly digestible, soothing to the body and according to Ayurvedic medicine, helps balance out the 3 doshas with many health benefits.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup 1x
- Category: pantry, larder, ayurvedic recipes, condiments
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: Indian
8 ounces organic, grass-fed butter.
Heat the butter in a medium, heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.
After about 15 minutes, skim the foam that rises to the surface with a spoon or slotted spoon.
Continue cooking until the milk solids at the bottom of the pan turn deep golden brown like the color of brown sugar, about 5-7 more minutes. It will smell amazing.
Turn the heat off and let cool 3 minutes.
Strain, using 2 layers of cheese cloth over a strainer into clean jar or pourable pitcher.
Pour into a clean, sealable, sanitized jar, and store on the counter, or refrigerate if you prefer.
Ghee will solidify slightly, especially in the colder months.
8 ounces yields 1 cup
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