After chocolate and chillies, ghee might just be the third most amazing food in the entire world. When made well, with good quality butter, a spoonful of ghee can transform a meal from delicious to absolutely exquisite!
I’ve read some people (almost always non-South Asians) refer to ghee (clarified butter) as less flavourful than butter. I say: pay them no mind! I reckon they don’t know good ghee. Ghee is delicious and divine (it is even considered quite literally divine by many people in the Indian subcontinent). Good ghee is as delicious, if not better than butter, albeit with a different flavour, texture, and aroma.
In any case, I mention ghee a lot on this blog, so I thought I ought to share my ghee recipe here so that you too can try making some! Let me know how you think it compares to butter!
Here’s what you’ll need if you’d like to make a go of it:
Good quality, unsalted butter.
Note on butter: Ideally, I recommend using cultured butter from a local farm, so that it is as fresh as possible. Also, I prefer butter from grass-fed “happy-cows” (namely cows that are allowed to roam free and treated humanely). This is one butter that is fairly easy to get a hold of in Toronto and makes pretty delicious ghee (I buy it at our local Rowe Farms store):
A heat-proof bowl
Jars to store the ghee
1. Place the butter in a saucepan.
2. Let it melt and then cook it slowly on medium heat, until it begins to bubble.
3. The milk fats in the butter will slowly rise to the top and transform into a foam that will blanket the melting butter. Continue heating the butter.
4. Next, the foam will begin to separate into small brown chunks or clusters, which will eventually sink. Continue heating the butter through this stage as well.
5. Finally, you will notice that the butter is no longer bubbling. Moreover, it will take on a golden hue, like a blonde ale. Many people choose to remove the butter from the heat at this stage and consider the ghee “done”. I recommend cooking it some more.
6. In fact, keep heating the butter, past the point where it turns golden-brown or ochre.
7. Heat it right up until it begins to look like molten bronze and emits a caramel-like, nutty aroma. This is the point at which the ghee is parfait! (This is my personal opinion. Reasonable minds can disagree as to whether or not to cook the ghee this far.)
(Between the previous step and this step, though, watch the ghee carefully: it can turn from perfectly browned to burnt in an instant!)
8. Take the ghee off the heat and pour it into a heat-proof bowl. Once it has cooled, strain it into air-tight jars for storage. I recommend storing the ghee in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. Take it out as and when you need it and warm it up in the microwave or on the stove.
9. Enjoy it with dal, use it in cooking and baking, or add it to your coffee to make bulletproof coffee!