Desi Ghee (Indian Clarified Butter)
By DK on Jan 08, 2014
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.
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.
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
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
Tips1. 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.
Take a heavy bottomed saucepan with high sides and heat it over med-low heat. Add the butter.
Make sure to keep the heat medium and let it melt slowly
until completely melted. This is at around 5-6 minute mark.
Once the butter’s melted, you will find the fat separating from the milk solids.
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.
The bubbles with gradually get smaller and smaller depicting water gradually cooking off.
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.
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.
Filter this into a clean container. Use layered cheese cloth, muslin cloth etc to get the clear liquid.
What about those browned bits, you ask? This is refereed as "Nei Kasandu" in my household and is used
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.
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.
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