Making Ghee at Home

Homemade Ghee

Homemade Ghee

For all my life I’ve seen ghee being made at home. When I was little, I would watch my mom boil raw milk to get cream, churn the cream to make fresh butter, and then boil the butter to make ghee at home. She would repeat this process regularly just to get the fresh ghee. I anxiously waited for the day she was going to make ghee, not for the ghee but for the butter! Fresh, home-churned butter sprinkled with sugar was my one of my favorite things.

Here and now in the U.S., we usually buy homogenized milk, which does not allow you to make fresh cream at home for churning into butter. There is no home-churned butter any more for me, but on the upside, making ghee at home got a whole lot simpler. Making ghee is simple and obvious to me and almost every Indian, but I wanted to share with all the other friends or readers who’ve asked for the method.

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A jar of Ghee

A jar of Ghee

Ghee is Indian clarified butter. In North America, making ghee is very easy as any butter can be clarified to turn into ghee. In India however, ghee is made from scratch — you boil raw milk to get cream, churn the cream to make fresh butter, and then boil the butter to make ghee. Despite all that work, almost every Indian home makes their own ghee.

Ghee is a saturated fat as it comes from animal fat. It is not good to eat in large quantities, or if you have high cholesterol or heart problems. However, ghee has no hydrogenated fat if made from pure butter, and is considered healthier for that reason, if eaten in moderation.

According to Ayurveda, ghee aids digestion more than butter or any other cooking oil. It also helps boost the immune system. Ghee is used as a base for herbal ointments and also used directly as a massage oil. It is very good for muscles and makes your body more flexible. Ghee helps balance excess acid secretion in the stomach, and it is also more digestible for the lactose intolerant than butter, because milk proteins are removed when the butter is clarified.

Ghee is great for cooking because it cooks at high temperatures without burning. It gives you a rich, delicious taste that no other oil can, and just a little bit packs a punch of flavor. Roughly speaking, one teaspoon of ghee would give you the same amount of flavor as a couple of tablespoons of butter or oil.

Also nifty is that ghee lasts “forever.” It is conveniently stored at room temperature, due to its lack of moisture. Don’t let a wet spoon or any moisture get into your ghee jar!

This is how I make ghee at home!

I used:
1 lb of organic, unsalted butter (1/2 kg will do)

My method:
1. Heat the butter on medium-high heat, in a heavy stainless steel pan, until it melts.
2. Turn the heat down and let the butter boil for about 15-20 minutes. Do not cover because you want the water to evaporate. Milk solids will separate and settle at the bottom. The translucent, golden liquid that floats up is ghee. When the ghee is finished, the bubbling will stop and a foam is formed on the top. Move the foam to check and see that the ghee is a clear, golden color.
4. Strain the ghee through cheese cloth or a fine sieve, and store it in a thick, airtight glass jar, at room temperature. Once it cools and solidifies, it will be a creamy, light yellow, like in the photo shown here.

My Top 5 Recipes Using Ghee

1. Winter Dates
2. Carrot Halwa
3. Mom’s Kheer
4. Chikki
5. Caramelized Cardamom Banana Toast