Desi Ghee (Indian Clarified Butter)

By DK on Jan 08, 2014
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
Over the last few years, my exposure to the food industry has made me aware of the food I consume. Various food blogs have also helped to enlighten me with what is right  and what is wrong (the latter unfortunately surpassing the former).  You see one blog with a specific recipe and immediately a "trend" of posting the same thing follows all over without any value additions. No offense meant, but the knowledge hungry me is left dissapointed and mourn the lack of info that every family out there can contribute and enhance everyone's repertoire.
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
Fortunately, every time I post something here with my limited know how's, you, my dear readers contribute so much thereby helping me get better. This post today for pure Desi Ghee comes through years of trying to understand ancient Indian cooking practices. Ayurvedic cooking is a much sought after method meant to nourish, cleanse and purify our body. Anyone who has dabbled with it would know the importance of Ghee in Ayurveda.  Unfortunately the mismatch is that, it is not talking about the Ghee you get at the stores nor what is being made in so many households today.
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
It talks about the ghee that comes from butter made from yogurt and not milk. I have gone the lengthy route of culturing my milk into yogurt, gathering the cream from it, beating that to make butter and then finally to ghee. This is the traditional way of doing it and this ghee is worth "pure gold" as far as nourishing your body goes. But time being the essence, I would suggest doing the next best thing - buying good quality, cultured butter (instead of sweet cream or any other type) to make this ghee.

my kitchen notes

Basic Information
Prep Time: Under 15 min
Cook Time: Under 30 min
Yield: Makes 1-3/4 cups though it might vary depending on the brand/quality of the butter used.
  • 500 grams Cultured Unsalted Butter, see Tips
1. Butter: You can use any kind of butter - Salted or Unsalted. But salted will lead to more foaming 'cos of moisture content. Traditionally ghee is made using unsalted butter. Though any brand will work to make good tasting ghee, I would suggest using Cultured Butter. Ghee made using this butter (made from yogurt instead of milk cream) is what enriches your body. The commercial Ghee/Butter is not nourishing and is not generally good for you.
I chop the butter into small pieces to melt it faster. Its not necessary per se.
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
Take a heavy bottomed saucepan with high sides and heat it over med-low heat.  Add the butter.
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
Make sure to keep the heat medium and let it melt slowly
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
until completely melted. This is at around 5-6 minute mark.
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
Once the butter’s melted, you will find the fat separating from the milk solids.
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
It will start foaming and bubbling. This is why you need a pan with high sides to make sure there is no overflow. At this point, lower the heat. You don't want it to burn.
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
The bubbles with gradually get smaller and smaller depicting water gradually cooking off.
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
Soon there will be less bubbles and more foam. You will also find some of the solids clinging to the sides of the pan. The milk solids will start to brown.
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
You know the ghee is ready when the bubbling and foaming ceases, the milk solids turn deep brown and fall to the bottom of the pan and the Ghee itself is golden in color. The house at this point should be extremely aromatic with toasty smell. Remove from heat and let it cool.
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
Filter this into a clean container. Use layered cheese cloth, muslin cloth etc to get the clear liquid.
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
What about those browned bits, you ask? This is refereed as "Nei Kasandu" in my household and is used
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
to make a sweet recipe using some rice flour (few tbsp) and some sugar (few tsp - to taste). Mix and enjoy! You can also use wheat flour instead. If not into sweets, you can use this residue in your dhokla, chapatti/paratha, thepla, handvo etc. You can instead store it in your freezer for 2 weeks (or so) until you are ready to use.
D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
Now, this is what Ayurveda refers to as health giving, few drops of which, in your day to day meal, provides your body with loads of benefits. Making this is simple enough (takes around 20 minutes) to avoid the commercial junk in your grocery stores. This stores well at room temperature for around 2 months. You can store in your fridge as well. If you live in cold area, at room temperature, it will solidify just like coconut oil. Simply melt it to use in your preparation or directly add it to your warm food. It will melt adding both flavor and aroma (not to talk of excellent benefits) in your dishes. D.I.Y Ghee Recipe | Clarified Butter Ghee | How to make Ghee
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29 Responses to “Desi Ghee (Indian Clarified Butter)”
  1. anju

    Came across this after a google search.
    The step by step instructions and especially the pics were extremely helpful. Thanks a lot DK.
    Made ghee twice.
    Improving every time i do it. :-P

  2. ivy

    Recently i came across your post, and i really liked it. Can you please tell me whether “unsalted” butter is a must to be used for making ghee from it? Last two time i prepared i got the unsalted butter (i dont remember it to be cultured or not, next time i will be getting that) , though the ghee came out to be tasty, this time i want to try as u suggest.

    Traditionally Unsalted butter is used, but you can use the salted one as well. Things to keep in mind while using salted butter would be –> 1) There is lot more foaming action while making ghee, so make sure to use a large saucepan. 2) The end residue is usually not thrown away but used in other dishes; in this case make sure to adjust salt accordingly in such recipes since this ghee residue will be very salty. 3) Ghee is also used to make desserts and depending on the dessert, using this ghee might be disastrous for the end flavor. –DK

  3. Aabiwed

    I love your site I just made ghee with help of your detailed site thank you so much .

  4. Rohit

    I am a ghee lover (add it almost everything). My saying is you can even eat dirt if you add ghee to it. (Maybe add little sugar as well). Luckily gallons of ghee down me I don’t put on weight. (An aspect of jealousy for my friends and family). Mom used to always make ghee this way and I love it. Prefer to extra brown it giving more nutty flavor( the smell is lingering in my house as I type). Love this post. Made it myself for the first time. Can’t wait to taste it after it cools. Thanks!!

  5. priya

    Hi DK
    Can you please post on how to make butter from yogurt. I searched this on Google so many times but all the recipes were butter from milk cream and not from yogurt. It would be great if you could tell us how to make butter from yogurt

    Will def. do so the next time I make some. :) –DK

  6. Madhuri

    Love your blog! Quick tip on making Ghee: my mom always adds exactly 2 curry leaves after you remove the ghee from the fire while it’s still hot. It smells amazing and adds this very subtle flavor that makes it perfect! Hope you try it next time :)

  7. Fan Gray

    I have just made this after a google search as my butter was almost out of date. Amazing! Your pictures and description of each stage made it so easy. I think I may just love you a bit! Ha Ha

    I might just have blushed a bit (… a lot, in fact). Thank you :) –DK

  8. Bhuvaneshwari

    Hi dhivya can u post the method to make butter at home? All my attempts have turned futile… I need this as shops here are running out of stocks of cow’s butter. As of now am melting salted amul butter and filtering it to get saltless ghee.

    Surest. Will do next time I do it :) –DK

  9. Dr Surya Narayanan

    Hailing from a small temple town in TamilNadu called Chidambaram I always grew with fresh cow’s milk and buffalo’s milk door delivered to us for as long as I can remember. Being vegetarians, milk and plant proteins were the mainstay of our nutrition. My Mum has always made ghee at home. The ultra divine and yummy smell of butter melting in the kitchen and filling up the entire house and our garden with the aroma is something that words can’t describe. As years have rolled on, I have travelled around the globe but my wife and I have never bought ready to use ghee from supermarkets. With carninogens and deadly chemicals being found in the most unlikely food items these days, I would say it is always healthy to eat locally grown home made healthy stuff as much as possible. Shudh Desi Ghee is one of the best ingredients of a healthy meal. The medicinal properties are innumerable. I am a doctor practicing modern medicine ( or what we think is modern) but the wholesome benefits of traditional food cannot be forgotten. Whatever your nationality or race or religion, if you start eating your traditional food at least once a week, you will be healthier. The modern day easy ( fast) food is nothing but slow poison.

  10. Deepa Tombat Chabbria

    Super recipe for ghee. I live in India but even here now we just buy ghee from the store as it is just convenient.
    As a child I remember churning butter was a daily routine. And making ghee a weekly one. The whey which is left over after the churned butter ihas been extracted is extremely good for health and also very tasty. Our household ghee was made from that butter. White butter.

  11. swathi

    Want to try it because Indian stores where we live no more carrying amul ghee and i tried other brands but they are not good to taste and doesn’t have any smell. I have 1 year old and want to give him pure ghee instead of all other stuff.

  12. swathi

    I bought kerrygold brand butter and its ingredient is cultured pasteurized cream. Can i use this??

    Yes –DK

  13. Fariba

    Thanks for your wonderful recipies I am from Iran specialy in my hometown Tabriz we make this butter oil with cultured butter for hole year it means we prepare every year from 100 kilo butter for making oil and we named Sari Yag it means yellow oil ,all the foods are from this oil and it is very delicious and the butter from ship is more aromatic than cow butter

  14. Neena

    Nice blog site Divya. I would like to share a small tip for making ghee from cultured butter ie butter made from curd. for making small quantities at home, you can fill a small stainless steel coffee filter with curd, fit with the tight lid and leave it in the fridge overnight, all the water will drip and you will be left with a thick mass. Use this to make ghee.

    That’s a fab idea. Thank you :) –DK

  15. Bhavna

    Thank for inspiring me to make ghee as my mom always makes back home in India. I take pleasure and pride to say I took a step further and bought heavy cream(without harmful carrageenan ), of course I had to make several trips to find one brand that would be like it. I cultured withy home made yogurt for 48 hrs and whipped butter out of it and then made ghee. Truly a satisfying experience!! Thank you once again. I want to share my pics. How can I do that?

    Under every recipe I have a section called “I Made This”. Clicking on it would take you to a form where you can upload a picture and write your feedback about the recipe. Here is the link for your easy perusal: Would love to see your picture and yes, your way is the ideal way :) . Though I have done it, I havent posted it here as yet. The taste of that ghee is nectar, isnt it? :) –DK

  16. Guyana15

    Hears to proper ghee to be made at home, rather than the shop bought English stuff, usable though that is.

  17. Revadi

    Dear DK. I’ve been following your website for a long time. Great recipes with excellent step by step photos. I was wondering if you could mention any particular brand of butter which is made from yoghurt.. I use Lurpark and I just love’s mentioned that it’s a cultured butter..

    I wouldn’t worry about the brand. As long as it says cultured butter, its good enough :) –DK

  18. Sumati

    Hi, could you site me any specific reference that would explain “commercial Ghee/Butter is not nourishing and is not generally good for you” . I am particularly intereested in the not good for you part. A cursory search yielded some good pointers on the differences between butters, cultured and otherwise, but nothing so far as the claims you make.
    Cheers, Sumati

    Just search for why “cultured butter ” is good for you and u might find the ill effects of the ones without. This knowledge has been due to research I have been doing for years and I do not have a link on top of my head. –DK

  19. Very well explained.. thanks for sharing!!

  20. I love your blog – you very intelligently introduce a right kind of thinking into preparation of food. Great and thank you!

  21. CH

    Just ran to one of our local, what I like to call, “hippy grocery stores”. Sure enough, they sell cultured butter! the brand I found was KerryGold from Ireland. It made some awesome ghee! It is the best smelling butter I’ve found since we lived in Europe 15 years ago. Please, please, please continue your posts! I try all your recipes. they have all been terrific!

  22. CH

    Please share how to make cultured butter! I LOVE the idea of fresh and healthy living and eating. I grew up on a “hobby farm” where we grew our own food. As an adult, I do not live that way anymore, but I use the same principles for feeding my family. When we eat nutritious food, there are few cravings and our bodies are healthy. Thanks so much for your posts!

    Will post it the next time I make some at home :) –DK

  23. Bela

    How do I make ghee from cream that I have collected over a few weeks?

    Whip the cream to make it into butter and then proceed as above –DK

  24. Vrushali

    Great post! I am residing outside India and making ghee from scratch is not possible as heating the milk does not give the proper thick “malai” that is required for the creamy yogurt and eventually butter and ghee. I usually follow this process back home in India. These days I am making it with unsalted butter. My butter does not say “cultured” but in ingredients it says Lactic Starters. That is the best I can get here locally. In your research have you come across this phrase? I could guess though that this is the start of the culturing process. Can you throw some light?

  25. Vikram Khanna

    Hello-Thanks for your site. Just wondering what are the health benefits for this ghee?

    Thanks in advance…vsk

  26. Kavya

    If you are living in the bay area(I’m guessing so),
    Can u give me info in where to get raw milk? Thanks!!

  27. Shanthi

    Hi DK could you please post step by step instructions for ‘how to make butter from yogurt’ . Here you have used ready made butter.

    Yes, I def. will do so in near future. :) –DK

  28. Also wanted to let you know I switched to whole milk recently instead of reduced fat milk. I got thinking about it when I first read about it on your blog. I also add water to the milk like you mentioned because we are not used to that rich tasting milk and ofcourse reduce calories. Thanks for providing useful info which your readers can ponder on.

    B’cos of the availability, I get raw milk now where I live – milk straight from the cows without undergoing homogenizations and ultra pasteurization. I boil milk (just like my mom) and consume. As you mention already, I use the skimmed version of me and my husband and full cream for the little one. :) –DK

  29. I just made ghee from butter couple of days ago. My first time. But I did not know about cultured butter. I had no idea butter can be made from yogurt. I will look for cultured butter next time.

    Just look for a brand that says “cultured butter” in its ingredients. It means that this butter has been made from yogurt cream instead of milk cream. –DK

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