January 17, 2012

Home-made Ghee

Ghee is widely used in Indian cuisine. It is known for its use not only in cooking but also for religious & medicinal purposes. If you are planning to cook an authentic Indian meal, first thing that you got to keep ready is ghee.

Making ghee is a quick, simple & easy-peasy affair. Making ghee at home is not only easy, but it also works out to be really cheap (ghee available in Indian stores are very expensive). Typically, it is made by melting butter and allowing the different components to separate by density. The water evaporates, some solids float to the surface and are skimmed off, and the remainder of the milk solids sink to the bottom. Butter fat is then filtered and used as ghee. (info courtesy: wiki)

In cooking, ghee is used for saute'ing. Dabbing a little ghee on top of rotis, parathas, naan etc makes it very flavorful. You cannot even think of Indian sweets without ghee. A spoonful of ghee with sambar rice / rasam rice not only taste good, but also cuts the heat/spice. Used as a spread on toasted breads. It is a practice to add a spoonful of ghee with rice for very young kids, its probably their share of fat.

On the religious side, ghee is used to light lamps and bathe idols at temples. It is used in homam (ceremonial rituals), where it is used as one of the combustibles to maintain the sacred fire. In the medical side, Ayurveda uses ghee as its base for most of its medication.

What do you need?
4 sticks of unsalted butter (always use organic butter for maximum flavor)

How do you make ghee?
Use a medium sized heavy bottom pan. Place the butter sticks in the pan and let them melt in medium heat.

After a while, butter will start to froth & raise. Stir occasionally whenever the butter raises to the rim of the pan.

Reduce the heat to low and let it continue to boil.

At some point, all the froth & foam will subside and melted butter will be clear & transparent. It will be golden brown in color.

Let it boil for few more minutes and the butter will start to froth again and a sweet aroma will fill the kitchen.

At this point, remove the vessel from heat. Let it cool and let the foam on the top settle.
Note: Leaving the pan further on heat turns the color of ghee to dark brown.

Now, you will have a pan of clarified butter with milk solids settled at the bottom of the pan. Using a filter, transfer only the transparent liquid portion to a clean & dry jar. Ghee is ready for use.

Note: Ghee solidifies at room temperature.

Milk solids at the bottom can be mixed with proportionate quantity of rice flour (in-laws recipe) or wheat flour (grand-ma 's recipe) with required amount of sugar and made into small balls. These balls are served as evening snack (delicious for everybody, but healthy only for those who work-out :-))


  1. Love this homemade ghee..very useful post..

  2. Wow! This looks perfect, thank you for sharing with us.

  3. aromatic n flavorful...perfect version
    Tasty Appetite

  4. thanks for your comments sasi.. waiting for your 100th post...