Ghee has been around for a really, really long time. It originated in ancient India and is still used all the time in Indian cooking. It’s part the Ayurvedic tradition and is known for its medicinal benefits as well as for being super delicious.
Ghee is known for being good for the digestion – acting as a lubricant (if you know what I mean). Some people actually put it in their eyes because it’s supposed to be good for your vision as well. It’s also sometimes used directly on the skin as a moisturizer, although I wouldn’t put it on my face because it will probably clog your pores.
I like to use my ghee for cooking! And actually sometimes also for oil pulling. In Indian cooking ghee is heated in a pan and then spices are added to the ghee and sautéed for a while to help bring out all the flavors. Then the rest of the ingredients are added to the ghee and spices- unlike the way most of us cook, seasoning while or after cooking the main ingredients.Ghee is great for cooking because it has a high smoke point. This means that unlike butter, that burns really quickly, you can cook at high heat with ghee. It has a really great flavor that is similar to butter but has a sort of butterscotch or toffee taste to it. It is also a great option for those who are lactose or casein intolerant because the process of making ghee separates the milk solids in butter from the pure oil. Many people who cannot tolerate lactose or casein can consume ghee without any negative effects.
You can buy ghee at most health stores and at Indian food stores as well as online. Some well known brands that sell their ghee online are Tin Star Foods and OMghee. I personally like to make ghee at home because it ends up being a lot cheaper and I can infuse it with flavors if I want to. Making ghee is really simple and takes about 30 minutes or so.
Ghee is mostly solid at room temperature and because the milk solids and water have been removed it can be left out of the refrigerator. When I make ghee I usually end up with multiple jars so I keep out the one I’m currently using and store the rest in the fridge. Remember to always use a clean, dry utensil when scooping out some ghee, especially if you’re leaving it out of the fridge. You don’t want it to spoil after all that work!
How to make ghee!
- Start by unwrapping your (grassfed) unsalted butter – I like Kerrygold. It’s important to use unsalted as the salt apparently does weird things when you’re cooking.
- Place your butter in a (light colored bottom) pot or large pan. I didn’t realize until after I had melted my butter that I shouldn’t use the darkest pan I own because it will be hard to see when the milk solids are browning at the bottom! Duh! Also, you can cut up the butter if you want but I always find that it melts quickly either way.
- Turn up the heat to about medium and let the butter melt.
- When the butter has all melted and you see the butter start to simmer turn it down to low.
- Let the butter slightly simmer on low. A foam/scum will start to form. This is the milk solids beginning to separate. I like to skim this off carefully with a spoon. Try not to stir the butter too much. You want the milk solids to stick to the bottom of the pan. This step takes about 25-30 min. Pay attention, don’t let your butter burn!
- Once the butter starts to smell like toffee and you can see the milk solids at the bottom of the pan starting to become golden brown, take the pot off the heat!
- The next step is to filter the clarified butter into a clean jar. Some people say you can use a coffee filter, I did this the first time I made ghee and it was a nightmare. I went through 15 coffee filters and it took over an hour to collect about a cup and a half of ghee. I now use a fine mesh strainer. It filters out about 90-95% of the milk solids. This works for me because I can tolerate a little bit of lactose. For those of you who need it to be very filtered a few layers of cheese cloth and a funnel works really well.
- Let the ghee cool in their containers. You’re done! Doesn’t it smell super good in your kitchen?
As lovely as my directions are I also want to link to a YouTube video. I find it’s really helpful to see what the ghee is supposed to look like while you’re making it.
Watch how to make ghee here. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wkZgIN4cZYc
Haha I love her accent! And she must be buying magical coffee filters.
My short ghee making video: