Ghee is a staple for traditional Indian cooking and adds a lovely nutty flavour to recipes. Its smells heavenly and is delicious and healthy too! By removing the milk solids from the butter, the smoke point increases significantly which makes it a great medium for cooking curries.
I used to buy store bought ghee for a long time but after I started making my own I’ll never revert to store bought again! Its such an easy process.
Here’s how I make it…
Get the best quality unsalted butter you can find – grass fed and organic is best. If you can’t get grass fed definitely get organic and it has to be unsalted! Start by cutting the butter up into small squares. This will ensure your butter melts faster and more evenly. Put the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan (I’ve used a copper bottom kadhai)
Melt your butter over medium heat, stirring gently to distribute the heat and avoid it sticking to the sides or bottom.
In a couple of minutes you will see a white foam forming on the surface which will soon get very thick. The butter is very bright yellow and opaque right now.
Keep stirring till the butter starts to simmer. Now lower the heat slightly and for a couple of minutes don’t stir too much. Keep a close eye though and you will see bubbles emerging from the thick white foam. The bubbles will soon increase in size and number. As the bubbles increase the thick foam becomes thinner and the bubbles become bigger and clearer.
The milk solids will now start to curdle and attach to the sides of the pan. Keep scrapping the sides to allow the milk solids to sink to the bottom. As the milk solids sink to the bottom you will see the butter beginning to clear up and getting more and more translucent. Now the bubbles and foam will completely disappear.
The butter will start looking nice and golden as the milk solids which are at the bottom of the pan are beginning to brown. Keep watching your butter and keep stirring and scrapping the sides and bottom so the milk solids don’t stick and start burning.
You will soon start seeing bubbles again and white foam for the second time!
This is an indication that your ghee is ready. When the top is completely covered in white foam (for the second time), its time to switch off the heat and let the ghee settle for a few minutes before straining out.
Pour out the ghee in a clean glass jar using a fine sieve, coffee filter or a sieve lined with a few layers of cheesecloth. This is important as it removes the last bits of milk proteins.
Look at that colour! Its like liquid gold!
After a couple of hours…
Ghee has a very long shelf life so you can make a large batch. I personally just make a small batch every couple of weeks.