Ghee is a form of clarified butter. It is the butter fat without the milk protein so can be used for those avoiding dairy (although not advised for those who are allergic). It is saturated fat so it can be used for cooking without becoming toxic like oils. It has a higher smoke point than butter which means it can be used to cook at a higher temperature without burning. Ghee is also a digestive – it helps with digestion, absorption and assimilation. Here is the recipe for ghee. The recipe makes about 500g of ghee, enough for several pots.
- 3 packs unsalted organic butter
- Put the butter in a heavy pan. Turn on the heat to medium until butter melts.Turn down the heat until the butter just boils and continue to cook at this heat. Do not cover the pot. The butter will foam and sputter for a while and then begin to quiet down.
- Stir it occasionally.
- In about 35mins after putting the butter in the pan, it will begin to smell like popcorn and turn a lovely golden colour. Whitish curds will begin to form on the bottom of the pot. When these whitish curds turn a light tan color and sink to the bottom, the ghee is ready. At this point, the sound of the cooking will also change from one of boiling to one of frying, and the large bubbling will stop and a very fine froth will appear on top. Do not leave ghee for a long time without checking. Check regularly to see how it is doing as it can turn very quickly.
- Take it off the heat immediately, for the ghee is most likely to burn at this stage – and it burns quickly! Burned ghee has a nutty smell and a dull, slightly brownish colour.
- Let the ghee cool for a few minutes.
- Pour the ghee through a tea-strainer, layers of cheesecloth or just very carefully (leaving behind the curds) into an earthenware, glass or metal container with a tight lid. Discard the curds at the bottom of the pan.
- Ghee can be kept on the kitchen shelf, uncovered. It does not need refrigeration but it can be useful to keep one out on the shelf and the others in the fridge. The medicinal properties are said to improve with age. Don’t spoon out the ghee with a wet spoon or allow any water to get into the container as this will create conditions for bacteria to grow and will spoil the ghee.
Some pictures to help: