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Ghee (Indian Clarified Butter)

RhumAndJerk Posts: 1,506
edited November -1 in Sauces, Rubs, Marinades


• 2 lb unsalted (sweet) butter


Places a pan over medium-low to low heat and add the butter. Melt it and bring it to just below the simmering point. Adjust your heat setting, if necessary, to keep it at that temperature.
As the foam gathers on top, keep stirring it back into the oil. Leave the butter oil over the heat for 45 minutes. At the end of that time, the moisture will have evaporated and the milk solids will have formed a layer of sediment on the bottom of the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the contents cool to lukewarm.
Place a sieve, lined with 2 or 3 layers of paper towels, over the top of a pitcher or bowl and slowly pour the clear butter through it, keeping a much of the sediment as you can in the pan
Discard the sediment, wash and dry the pan and set it back on the same heat setting. Pour in the oil and bring it up to under a simmer. Hold it at that temperature for five minutes and then remove it from the heat.
Line the sieve with fresh paper towels and strain the oil through once more. It should now be crystal clear.
Pour into a wide-mouthed jar, cap tightly and store in a cool place, or refrigerate. You will notice that you will have lost about ¼ pound of the butter by removing the moisture and the sediment.

Advanced Preparation And Storage Notes
Make the clarified butter whenever you have the time to spare. If you decide to double the recipe, increase the cooking time by one-half. If the ghee is stored unrefrigerated, it will solidify during cold weather and liquefy when the temperature rises. This in no way affects the quality of the flavor.


Except for the cooking restrictions of a handful of religious sects, the haute cuisines of North and Central India has always demanded clarified butter for cooking fat. Clarification removes the milk solids and moisture from butter, leaving only the pure oil. This has a higher smoke point than olive or mustard oils and imparts a delicious flavor to any dish in which it is used. Most important, as far as the hot climate of India is concerned, ghee needs no refrigeration and will last as long as a year without turning rancid, if stored in a cool, dark place.
Because or the relative expense of ghee, many Indian families use 75 percent vegetable shortening or clarified margarine to 25 percent butter in their cooking, producing a less rich dish which still retains some of the flavor.

Preparation and cooking time: 2 hours
Yield: 1-¾ pounds

Shopping and Technique Tips
Always use unsalted butter for clarification; if you use salted, the results will be inedible. Ensure that it is heated over a low heat so that there is no danger of burning. The double clarification method, show below, ensures a higher purity of butter oil than is achieved by usual Western clarification methods. For those who cannot eat butter, margarine may be clarified in the same way; again, specify unsalted.

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