Ghee is one of those things you should try making at least once. This clarified butter is a cooking fat that is used a lot in Indian cooking, in fact, it’s the most used cooking fat in Indian cooking. Its high smoke point makes it ideal for frying or sautéing. Although you can substitute butter for ghee, food writer Nik Sharma says “…Indian food cooked with butter instead of ghee misses the unique flavour that comes from the browned milk solids.” These delicious, nutty, browned bits are what settle in the bottom of the saucepan at the end of making ghee. And since the milk solids are strained out, then ghee is essentially lactose-free. When we’re not using ghee in our favorite Indian dishes, we use it on baked eggs, melt it over hot oatmeal, popcorn, roasted vegetables, or spoon some into coffee in the morning for when the morning needs coffee with extra oomph. Rich in flavor and smelling like golden, beautiful, caramelized butter, you will fall in love.
1 cup of good quality unsalted butter
small to medium saucepan
cheese cloth or muslin cloth
1. Bring the butter to room temperature and melt over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until completely melted.
2. The butter will start to foam and will look opaque (a bright yellow) underneath. You can skim of the foam at this point. The liquid will continue to sizzle and foam and you can lessen the flame a bit if you feel this is happening too quickly.
3. After the foaming stage, large bubbles start to appear and the liquid becomes clearer underneath, it also becomes a deeper yellow in color.
4. Three clues to watch out for when your ghee is done: the sizzling/crackling sound stops, browned (but not burned) milk solids will settle in the bottom, and the ghee imparts that incredible aroma. Also, the liquid will be a rich, golden color. Turn off the flame.
5. Line a mesh strainer with some cheese or muslin cloth and very carefully strain the ghee into a clean mason jar (this recipe makes about a 3/4 cup of ghee). Let cool. Cover and keep in the fridge. Enjoy!