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Ghee, not Clarified Butter?
East Indian and South Asian foods are known to use ghee in their cooking and religious rituals.
In religious affairs it must be of the purest types. Starting with the raw milk of the sacred cow. The ceremonies usually honor various deities, but are also used at marriages, funerals and other special occasions.
Ghee is also widely eaten just for the pure enjoyment and enhanced buttery nut flavor that it delivers.
Clarified butter vs Ghee
So what is the difference? Flavor!
Clarified butter is known as a French process that never really gets to the stage of clear Ghee. Or does it?
Other names for clarified butter is brown butter in English, and buerre noisette in French - hazelnut butter.
The process starts off basically the same, where the milk fat is rendered from the butter to separate the milk solids and water from the butterfat through heat. So, boiling the butter and skimming off the residue or foam that floats and settles on the top is necessary to produce clarified butter, the clear golden liquid.
But ghee is cooked even further until it develops a nutty flavor.
Solids are also left at the bottom of the pan, that is why you have to be very gentle when skimming off the foamy top.
- Ghee needs no refrigeration.
- It has a long shelf life
- can be cooked at high heats without too much fear of burning
- is great for dipping
- air tight containers
- out side of fridge
- hot - golden as liquid
- room temp - pale yellow as solid
Normally starts with real raw milk that has just been either milked from the cow or purchased from the milk man or farmer / herder.
The raw milk, either from the cow or the buffalo are used. That milk is then boiled to purify it and spoonfuls of curd are then added to make more curd, turning the pot of raw milk into a batch of curd. At the curd stage it will then be churned into butter and butter milk.
This is best done when the curd has been cooled.
This process can take hours but it is necessary to separate the butter solids from the butter milk, the liquid. The best way to produce butter is to have a churner that moves both clockwise and anti clockwise. Once the butter separates from the milk it is then further pressed or strained to drain all of the excess liquid before placing it in the pot for heating.
The butter is then put on to boil. Medium to high heat is recommended. While the butter is boiling you will use a large spoon, slotted or not, to skim off the foam that floats to the top.
Advisement, you want to make sure that you do not move the solid particles at the bottom of the pan when stirring or scooping off the foam, this can lead to a bitter burnt flavor.
Ghee once you have skimmed everything or most of the foam off the top should now be a clear liquid, with a similar look to vegetable oil.
Since it is still pretty hot drain it slowly into a glass container that has a coffee filter in place to strain any remaining particles from the golden colored liquid.
Let it further cool down but while it is still a liquid go ahead and transfer it into a air tight container with a lid, if your glass container will not be used to store your freshly made ghee.
Once your liquid is drained off you should be left with particles or brown butter solids at the bottom of the pan. This is what you didn't want to disturb during the heating process, because it usually is burnt, bitter and inedible.
All you want is the clear ghee liquid that is golden in color and highly flavored. Pure butter oil.
- 1 pound butter, unsalted
- medium or large light colored, ex stainless steel, pot or pan with sides for cooking
- add pure butter to the heated pot or pan
- cook on medium to high heat
- cook until all of the water burns off
- skim off the top coat of the separation and set aside
How it is eaten
Ghee is better known as a part of East Indian fare. It is eaten with rice, roti and vegetables or any of the typical Indian dishes.
It is used as oil as a part of the cooking process, especially since it can be cooked safely at a higher heat..
Since ghee is rich in taste, it is used extensively from savory meals to desserts. The nutty, buttery flavor is prized for it's intensiveness.
Butter melted down to Ghee is supposedly noted to be chock full of healthy properties but that is only according to certain religious affiliations if it is done properly.
Meaning organic, straight from the animal.
Properly means the authentic ghee is made from the raw milk stage.
I can believe that since you have boiled off and burnt off what i consider all the impurities you may have found.
To get Ghee you use heat at every stage except when you are churning it for butter.
Even though ghee is made from butter, which is mostly made from cow's milk, people who are lactose intolerant or have milk allergies can enjoy it freely, since it has minimal traces of lactose and casein.
- nutty flavored
- East Indian product
- high heat tolerant
- inexpensive, depends on butter quality
Making ghee is really simple.
Reminder, since you are using high heat for prolonged periods of time one must be careful when making ghee.
So having things like a splatter screen to cover the pot is a good idea. As well as using a spoon for skimming that has an insulated handle or even something to protect your hands and forearms since while boiling the butter does pop.
That pop is the oil releasing it's moisture.