Many cultures have been clarifying butter, which helps it last longer, especially when refrigeration was unavailable. In India and Pakistan clarified butter is known as ghee. The added benefit is that unlike butter, ghee can withstand cooking at higher temperatures.
Ghee has had the water and milk proteins removed from it leaving behind the butter fat. It is a very heat stable fat and is suitable for cooking, frying, baking etc as it contains saturated fat. It is very important to use the right type of fat for cooking which is heat stable.
It is wise to use organic butter when preparing your own ghee as it is highly likely that non organic butter fat contains higher levels of undesirable elements such as hormones, antibiotics, herbicides and pesticides. Organic butter ghee also contains valuable fat soluble vitamins A, D. E and K and small amounts of essential fatty acids as well as minerals. It is a good source of nutrients when used in moderation.
It is easy to make your own from a good quality organic butter. I personally avoid commercially prepared ghee as it has a strange chemical odour whilst home prepared ghee has a fresh buttery scent.
1 kg of unsalted organic butter
Suitable glass container with lid for storing ghee
- Gently melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan.
- On a low heat simmer the melted butter until water from the butter has been evaporated off and the milk solids have clumped and fallen to the base of the pan.
- The ghee is ready when the clumped milk proteins have turned from pale to golden which takes around 25-45 minutes.
- Allow the ghee to cool a little before pouring through a fine sieve into a glass container.
- Skim off any foam which may be floating on the surface.
- Leave ghee to cool and solidify
- The ghee can be kept in a cool cupboard or stored in the fridge if desired and should last for around 3-4 months.
- If storing out of the fridge, pass the ghee through an unbleached coffee filter to ensure it contains no milk solids.