7 November, 2014
Homemade clarified butter (ghee)
Angie @ the Novice Gardener, this is for you! At last week’s Fiesta Friday party, she brought up this topic of making ghee. I thought I would post this basic recipe for making ghee at home, something that most Indian households do on a regular basis. Sharing this aromatic, heavenly liquid at this week’s Fiesta party too, co-hosted by Nancy and Loretta.
Ghee or clarified butter has been used for thousands of years and is highly regarded in Ayurveda for its medicinal properties. This is a good article on the ayurvedic benefits. Another article that is useful is here. It also has a longer shelf life than butter since it has zero water in it.
I use ghee to fry spices in some dishes, because of its high smoke point. Traditionally, in south-Indian meals ghee is melted and served with rice as the first thing to eat. It is said that it coats the stomach lining and helps in digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Making ghee at home is very simple and is highly economical. Yes! Even if I start with organic butter, the resultant ghee is half as expensive as what is available in Indian supermarkets. And the taste of fresh ghee is WAY better than those. If you are looking to buy ghee for taste-testing, I recommend the Guru Nanak brand.
Here, I have used 6 sticks of butter which yields about 515 g of ghee.
for flavor (optional) : 1. pinch of cumin seeds, one small dried red chilly, one curry leaf.
for quenching: 1/2 tsp. of yogurt
Heat butter in a heavy bottomed pan. When it has completely melted, it froths up as the water starts to escape. At this point, add the spices.
As the water continues to escape, froth dies down slowly. At this point keep monitoring and stirring frequently.
Stir up the solids from the bottom. They look white. Reduce heat to low and monitor closely.
As the froth dies down gradually, keep stirring and looking at the color of the solids. The moment they turn light brown, it is done.
Add the yogurt to “quench” the process, a term used by chemists. It means stopping a reaction by deactivating one of the starting materials. There is a hissing noise at this point. Take it off the heat. Allow solids which are completely brown, to settle.
After it cools, decant the clear liquid into a glass jar. The remaining solids can be combined with some brown sugar and consumed. It is tasty too!
Store at room temperature. Stays fresh for 6-8 weeks.