Friday, March 16, 2012

How to make Ghee

1. Take 1 pound of unsalted butter and put it in a heated stainless steel pan.
2. Let the butter melt in the pan - gas is on medium or high.
3. As the butter melts, it begins to boil. The solids settle to the bottom, excess water forms a foamy top layer as it boils away.
4. Remove the froth using a ladle - do not disturb the entire pot as solids are settled at the bottom - reduce the flame to low/medium as you do not want the ghee to burn. 
5. Once you have removed the froth gently transfer the liquid into another clean container, you will see some solids at the bottom of the old container. 
6. Heat the second container till all the moisture evaporates - you will know this when there are no bubbles coming out. Boiling point of water is much lower than that of ghee so water will evaporate before the ghee boils. Also make sure the flame is not on a high as this will burn the ghee, and the solids, which in turn, will effect the taste.
7. There will be some froth coming up in the new pan separate the froth with a ladle.
8. Once the moisture is gone carefully transfer the ghee into a glass container - remember it will be hot so do not burn yourself. 
9. You will see some solids at the bottom of this container as well.
10. Let the ghee cool in a glass jar. 
11. Once cool it will have this beautiful bright yellow color. 
12. See the above steps in pictures below.

Storage: Ghee can be stored for extended periods without refrigeration, provided it is kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation and remains moisture-free. The texture, color, and taste of ghee depend on the source of the milk from which the butter was made and the extent of boiling and simmering.

NOTE: There should not be any moisture in the pans, glass jar or ladle - as we are trying to get rid of all the moisture so it would stupid to use a tool that has some water on/in it.

Why use Ghee for Cooking

I have been making and using Ghee (clarified butter) for a couple of years at home. It is packed with flavors, super - healthy, and surprisingly easy to make (time and complexity). Before I go to the steps let me first answer 2 questions:

1. What is GHEE?
Ans 1. Ghee is a Sanskrit word for a clarified butter, it is made by removing the milk solids and water from butter. Separating the milk solids from the butterfat almost entirely removes the carbohydrates (lactose) as well as a protein that some people are sensitive to, casein. Evaporating out the water means the flavor of the butter is less diluted. Additionally, removing the milk solids and water also gives butter a higher smoke point, which means you can use ghee for sautéing, stir frying, or deep frying at high heats (375-485 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on purity). About 60% of ghee’s fat content is saturated. That high saturated fat content coupled with the lack of milk solids and water means that ghee is exceptionally well-suited to cooking in a way that mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids just can’t match. 

2. Why is it good for the body?
Ans 2 .
 - Ghee is a source of beta carotene and vitamins A, D, E, and K. Beta carotene and vitamin E are vital antioxidants. Vitamin A is naturally present in ghee, which is lacking in other edible oils.
- Adding ghee to your diet reduces the serum cholesterol levels.

Caveat: Although Ayurveda promotes consumption of ghee for a variety of benefits, it also warns the obese to use this frugally.

Next post will be the recipe I use to make Ghee.