Growing up, there was always a large bottle of GHEE in the house to use for spreading on our indian breads, making Indian sweets and other Indian dishes. I remember seeing my mom have a large pot simmering low and slow for hours with this beautiful golden liquid bubbling softly till it was completely clarified. At the time I was a child, it seemed a very laborious and unnecessary process to me just to have some type of buttery spread available, but as I got older, wiser and started cooking for myself – I quickly realized how much better food tastes when it is made with some ghee, or how much tastier my indian breads taste at home when I spread some ghee on top instead of butter.
Ghee is clarified butter. That means it is butter that has been cooked for a long enough time where all the milkfat and any other fat is cooked off and any other remaining fat is skimmed off the top as well. The reslult is this beautiful, clear yellow liquid that is now lactose-free, casein-free, gluten-free and sodium-free. It can be used the same way as traditional butter is for cooking, sauteing, baking and spreading. It definitely has a more intense “buttery” flavor, so a little bit goes a long way!
Here is the recipe for Ghee that my own family used while I was growing up. Once the ghee is made, it does not need to be refrigerated and can be stored in a air-tight container to increase longetivity.
Based on your needs, you an adjust this recipe for quantity.
For Reference: 1 pound of butter = 1.5 cups of ghee/clarified butter
Servings: Yields 6 cups of ghee/clarified butter
Cooking Time: 2-3 hours
- 4 pounds of unsalted butter (16 sticks of butter)
- In a large pot, add butter and heat on medium setting.
- Allow butter to melt down completely. You will begin to see the milkfat come to the top and start bubbling.
- When milkfat starts to form at top, begin to skim off and discard.
- Continue Steps 2 and 3 for about 1.5-2hours on medium-low heat OR until all milkfat is completely removed from the pot, and you see a clear yellow liquid only.
- Once yellow liquid is completely void of any milkfat, remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes before pouring into your storage containers. (*Metal and Glass containers are best, if possible)
- Cover tightly and store in cool, dry place. Shelf life is about 6mths-1year.
I know you’re probably thinking that this is a long cooking time for this ghee, but it is really worth the time. By allowing the butter to cook at medium/medium-low heat, you avoid the risk of burning the butter and it browning. Plus, you also want to make sure that all traces of milkfat are removed so you can get the most pure and clarified butter from your cooking process. I highly recommend, you stay close to your pot and keep an eye on your butter – especially because the whole goal is to allow the milkfat to rise to the top as much as possible so you can skim it off the top. You will be happy with the end result with some extra TLC during the process!
Also, a quick trick to “Spice Up” you ghee is adding a stick of cinnamon or few cloves to the ghee during the cooking process. It just adds an extra level of flavor to your ghee and perfect for adding into your curries and savory items.
Do you have any favorite recipes that you prefer using ghee for, over regular butter? Let me know by commenting below or feel free to tag me on IG @cmspiceculture.