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Monday, May 24, 2010

Ghee and Me - A Love Affair Not Meant to Be



Strained, freshly made ghee



Solidified ghee

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...When the book of life is writ and I approach the pearly gates, a footnote will be appended to my dossier. The notation will inform the gate keeper that I made ghee - once. I should be ashamed of myself I know. A goodly portion of the world makes ghee and they do it without complaint. Not only do I complain, I complain when it is not necessary. It's not so much that ghee is hard to make, it's that it's a bother to make. It takes time and patience and a serenity that seems, still, to elude me. Ghee is a fat that is much like clarified butter. There is one major difference, however. Ghee is made by simmering melted butter and allowing the milk solids at the bottom of the pan to brown before straining. The foam at the top of the butter is whey, while the brown bits on the bottom of the pan are curds. The clear oil that remains after straining the curds and whey is pure butterfat or ghee, and it has a high smoke point that makes it great for frying. Clarified butter is made in much the same way, save for the fact that the curds at the bottom of the pan are not allowed to brown. The browning gives ghee a subtle nutty flavor that can't be found in clarified butter. As to my unnecessary complaints, I live in a university community that has an Indian grocery store. I can buy ghee and do most of the time. I do, however, have an independent streak that forces me to try things that really aren't necessary. I talked myself into making ghee and now that I've done it I'll move on to other things, secure in the knowledge that I can make it should I have to. For those kindred spirits whose "been there, done that" list does not yet contain ghee, here's the recipe.

Ghee
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:

1 cup ( 2 sticks) unsalted butter

Directions:

Place butter in a small heavy saucepan and set over very low heat. A heavy saucepan is necessary to prevent burning. Allow butter to melt without stirring. About 10 minutes into process, it will start to spit and a white foam will form on surface. Do not stir or shake pan. Continue cooking, over very low heat, for 30 to 40 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat and skim off crusty top layer. This layer looks like a soft topping of bread crumbs. Slowly pour liquid through a fine mesh strainer that is lined with a coffee filter, making sure to leave any foam or brown bits behind. The butterfat, ghee, will be clear and lemon or light gold in color. Pour into a lidded container and seal. Ghee will thicken as it cools. While ghee can be kept at room temperature, it is best to refrigerate it. It will keep for 4 to 6 weeks. Yield: 1 cup.

You might find these related posts helpful:
How to Make Clarified Butter and Ghee - The Reluctant Gourmet
Ghee: A Wholesome Fat - The Nourished Kitchen
Clarified Butter - Cooking for Engineers

This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday

55 comments:

Angie's Recipes said...

I made ghee once and used it to bake a pound cake. The result was very satisfying. You have made the perfect ghee!

Rue said...

It sure looks nice when it's done -but I'm afraid I'd be hovering over it all the time, worrying it would burn.

I'm rather fond of the Indian store in the next town, so I'd buy my Ghee there. I suppose I really should make it once though....

3 hungry tummies said...

Golden goodness! I love using ghee for Indian food!

Kait said...

I'm so glad you posted this because after reading the rice and red lentil pilaf post, I was inspired to make my own ghee. Thank you for sharing this simple process. I have a pound of unsalted butter calling my name.

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Homemade ghee, this sound really fresh and good!

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Oh Mary you are so funny. I never had a desire to make ghee - I guess it's probably because I'm mostly a country cook and not at all exotic.

chamki said...

I love the independent streak, i can see it in myself because i did the same thing years ago, funny uh? but i created a big mess in the kitchen going on skimming the foam, it seems not necessary now, you are giving here such a clean solution. . . well after that day i never tried again and then i came to India so i can buy it regularly. . .just kidding [this last part].
Have a wonderful day!

Jeannie said...

So beautiful! love the colour! Ghee is easily available here so, I won't be putting myself through so much hassle...lol!

zurin said...

Beautiful ghee n i can see you like challenges. You have such an adventurous streak...and patience. another check off the to do list for you :)

Alessandra said...

Weel, good on you for making it! Not all kitchen duties are fun :-)

Anushruti said...

That's an awesome post of "liquid gold" as I call it.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Patience needed here and I for one have not got it!! Diane

Dajana said...

Your patience certainly paid of, Mary, and what a beautiful result. You certainly inspired me to try making it myself.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Oh Mary at least you gave it a go and for that you deserve applause! I've never tried to make ghee before! :D

Sushma Mallya said...

Nothing better than a home made ghee, looks perfect mary, and hope you have a wonderful week ahead...take care

Salsa Verde said...

Hi Mary,
I never done ghee, but now, with your precious recipe, I think I can try. Thanks for sharing it with us.
XXXXX
Lia.

Allie and Pattie said...

Patience?? What's that?? (you'd think I'd know after 6 children!) You know, some things just aren't worth it to me- and sounds like this may be one of them. It is beautiful though...
xoxo Pattie

Jagruti said...

The aroma of making ghee I love..I like what yau said Alove affair not meant to be..yea you are right, but somehow I love to be in that love affair...lol..:-)

Sarah said...

That was really informative...thank you!

Sarah

Mamatkamal said...

Homemade ghee!! wow That sounds really good to me. Great job Mary!
Cheers
Khadija

Carol at Serendipity said...

Mary,

Thank you for the instructions but I will buy it!!!!LOL

Carol

lostpastremembered said...

Mary, I have an admission to make... what I love best about butter are those milk solids! Last time I made ghee I saved them and tossed them into scrambled eggs that were... fabulous!!! You reminded me to try that again!

Martha said...

I've done a lot of things ONCE just to say I did!!!!

Linda Starr said...

I knew ghee was a tea, I knew what clarified butter was, I'll have to try it.

SmilingSally said...

I've learned something today; thank you. Happy Blue Monday.

Stella said...

Hey Mary, I like the way your wrote this post-cute. I've never made ghee, so maybe I'll use your instructions if I need some for authentic Indian food and such...

Claudia said...

Your ghee is gorgeous! I will confess to making clarified butter - but purchasing ghee. No excuses. I'm an talian cook after all. I know I would make a mess of Ghee. I'd have little brown flakes floating in it.

Diana (Di) said...

Mary, I LOL! My husband and I have a favorite saying: done that twice now, first and last.

We finally got some garden work done with a bit of reprieve from the rain but it looks like tomorrow it may come again. Too many of my tomato starts are growing out of their pots and want to be outside. Hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Joy said...

Your post makes me even gladder that I can buy good ghee from the shop up the road. Please consider that you did it once so that I could learn more, without doing it myself!
Thankyou very much!

bellini valli said...

I'll have to add this to the list of things to try Mary. My list is growing daily just be stopping by at these pages:D

Joe Ambrosino said...

I will make my own pasta, my own pizza dough, always my own tomato sauce but ghee? No way. The Indian wife doesn't even know how to make ghee.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I haven't tried this. Now, I might just have to!

The Diva on a Diet said...

I applaud your independent spirit, Mary, and your patience! For when my book of life is writ, it will most definitely say that I bought ghee, rather than made it. :)

That said, I'm inspired by your post. Happy Monday!

Christine said...

I love this post, Mary. And I identify. Tofu is on my "been there, done that" list. I will try this ghee though. To expand the culinary horizon. Maybe just the once...

covnitkepr1 said...

So thats what that stuff is...ghee.
I’ve enjoyed looking over your blog. I came across it through another blog I follow, and I’m glad I did. I am now a follower of yours as well. Feel free to look over my blog and perhaps become one as well.

pigpigscorner said...

Wow, home-made ghee! I have to try this!

Louis la Vache said...

hmmm....
«Louis» has never tried to make ghee...
Not having particularly good luck when trying to clarify butter, «Louis» fears he might be equally unsucesseful with ghee...

ButterYum said...

I make large batches of clarified butter and ghee (also known in baking as beurre noisette). Well wrapped or vacuum sealed, it keeps almost indefinitely in the freezer. It's easy to break off or scoop out a chunk or two when needed. Great stuff!

:)
ButterYum

Anusce@Ciao-Chow said...

and I thought I knew all the ingredients in the world! It is amazing..I always learn something new!
Thanks!

Marice said...

now thats new for me :) thanks for sharin!

u may view mine here

Mary said...

MAmatkamal, welcome to One Perfect Bite. I hope you are having a great day and will come back and visit with us often. Blessings...Mary.

Briarside Lane said...

hmmm... knew clarified butter, but hadn't heard "ghee" before. Thanks Mary for the info... I think I will pass on this one. ...Karen

The Cilantropist said...

Haha, I love that you challenge yourself to try new things. :) Now I know where to come when (or maybe IF is the right word) I need to make ghee!

Merisi said...

My grandaunt used to bake her apple strudel with a little gee at the bottom of the casserole she baked it in. It made for the most delicious bottom crust ever, the marriage of butterfat and caramelized apple was made in heaven.

Luckily, Austrians like to cook with ghee - Butterschmalz, as they call it here - and it is alvailable in any grocery store. All one has to do is chose the favorite brand. One of those treasures of a small country that prides itself on locally grown and produced food.

alwayswinner786 said...

I just love ghee!
One of our great quick food is we mashed boiled potato and mix ghee and chopped green chilly and have it with steamed rice and dal. It is just heavenly! In fact ghee is almost in a regular diet in India but nowadays health conscious lot is avoiding too much use of it!
You make it perfect!
Hats off to your patience!

Lucie said...

Congratulations on making your own ghee! I find that the sign of a great home cook is making things from scratch, even when it's difficult and you can get the prepared product nearby. This is great, Mary!

Arlette said...

great result my friend, now since you did it perfectly next time will be much easier and the next will be a habit.

when you start cooking with it , you will make it every time.

PranisKitchen said...

perfect one..nicely done..its not quite easy to get that in the right texture..but mary u did it..
so u r planning to visit our homecountry too..if u need any help/questions pls ask the same..which places in india u r planning to visit..

Josie said...

I always wondered about the difference between ghee and clarified butter-- thank you for clearing that up! Don't worry, if the "ghee" keeper at the pearly gates gives you a hard tim, all your readers will vouch for you. :-)

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I can relate to your independence and desire to try something for the sake of trying it. I have bucket list of culinary things I have yet to attempt. Ghee is one of them, but maybe I won't push it to the top so fast! Looks lovely, Mary.

Grapefruit said...

I have that same independent streak that forces me to make completely unnecessary and random things!
Your ghee looks perfect and I think I might just have to make it myself now that you've inspired me!

Aditi said...

Making ghee is pretty stress free if you just let it be. I just leave it on and come back whenever I feel like. I certainly don't stand around waiting for to cook.

You also don't need to measure anything.

You can also do this with cream. We pasteurise our own milk, and the cream skimmed off the top is collected and generally used to make ghee. Routine stuff.

Allie said...

I love this post. Making ghee is relaxing for me, plus I am weird and I like to eat the bits that are strained out. But I *completely* understand why you might not find making it relaxing!

Kosmos said...

Great!

Desi Ghee ManugacturersGhee Supplier

Karen said...

Take a pound of unsalted butter. Place it in a crockpot. Better yet, place it in one of those tiny crockpots that one might use to put warm sauces in...but never use much because how often does one have a buffet table with a warm sauce? Let that pound of butter melt. Skim off the butterfat foam. Let it keep sitting there for a while while going about the business of the day. At the end of all that busy-ness, strain it into a nice jar. Ghee: It's what's on my South Carolina counter. Always.

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