What’s Ghee, how do I make Ghee and why should I make Ghee? I have the answer to your burning questions. This is NOT an authentic Indian recipe for ghee which is traditionally made with cultured cream. This is an Americanized (easy) version that is similar. Ghee is butter that has been melted, simmered, browned a bit and cooled. It’s strained to remove any brown bits and what you’re left with is a nutty, toasty flavored batch of butter fat.
Why should you make it? Well, butter burns at a low temperature, about 250 degrees, because of the milk solids present. If you strain out the milk solids you can cook with the remaining butterfat at a much higher temperature, about 400 degrees. This makes ghee a much better option for high heat cooking than butter.
It’s simple to make ghee, you just have to watch it and make sure ti doesn’t burn. I start with a pound of unsalted butter cut into chunks to help it melt more quickly. Some people use salted butter but I find it gets too salty as it concentrates. You could also use cultured butter (Trader Joe’s has a tasty one) which has a more fermented taste. It usually has salt as well so be aware of that. Try a few options and see what you like best. I let it simmer over medium/high heat for about two minutes to cook off the water. There is a bit of water in butter, it’s the water in butter turning to steam that makes puff pastry puff.
The butter will foam up a bit so be sure to use a pot that is at least 2 quarts for one pound f butter. The pot I used in the pictures below was a bit small, it didn’t boil over but I think you should use a larger pot just to be on the safe side.
I turn the heat down to medium/low heat and let it cook for 6-8 minutes more or until the particles on the sides and bottom of the pot begin to turn brown. Those particles are the milk solids that you want to remove, but letting them get brown and toasty first adds a lot of flavor to the ghee.
You have to watch the butter closely at this point because it can go from browned to burned rather quickly. I shut the heat off at the first sign of browning because the ghee will continue to cook for a bit before it cools. If there is any foam on top of the ghee I skim it off with a spoon. some of the browned bits will fall to the bottom of the pan. After the ghee has cooled for 3 or 4 minutes I strain it through a mesh strainer and some cheese cloth. Don’t pour the browned bits in to insure they don’t get into your finished ghee. I strain it a second time just to make sure the ghee is clear.
Pour the finished ghee into a heat proof container and let it cool to room temperature. Store the ghee tightly closed at room temperature for up to a month.
I used a few tablespoons of ghee in this recipe for roasted root vegetables and pomegranate. Shrimp with garlic, lemon and spinach would be delicious sauteed in ghee as would thinly pounded chicken breast.
Your ghee will become a bit thicker and cloudy as it cools so it may not be pour-able. That’s okay, just use a spoon and enjoy.
What’s Ghee, how do I make Ghee and why should I make Ghee? I hope I’ve answered all of your questions but if there’s something else you’d like to know please ask your questions in the comments. Give ghee a try and see what you think. What would you make with it?