11 May 2009

Making Ghee

Ghee is a clarified form of butter, traditionally used in Indian cuisine and culture. But ghee has some advantages over butter, it has a higher heat tolerance, and can be stored at room temperature for months. We store our extra butter as ghee. For the most part, we use it like oil for frying, it does not burn at high temperatures like butter does. But it can be used in any recipe that calls for butter.
To make ghee, melt the butter on low heat. The best quality ghee is clarified slowly.

The butter will separate into pure fat, and milk solids. Most of the milk solids floating on the surface will eventually sink to the bottom, and what remains floating will be separated out of the final product.

Bring the butter to a very gentle simmer. All of the water must be evaporated out of the fat in order for it to store for long periods of time. I have kept pure ghee for up to six months without any deterioration of the product. Be careful not to burn the butter while it slowly simmers for up to an hour. This is best done in a double boiler. When the fat does not bubble any more, the water is cooked out, and the ghee is ready to be strained.

Pour the hot ghee through a fine-mesh sieve, or a few layers of cheesecloth. The best quality ghee is at the top, above the sediment line, so if you are planning to store your ghee for longer than a week, be sure it is free of sediment. I pour off the best ghee first, then pour the rest at the bottom into my "greasing pot", and use it like bacon drippings to grease cake pans, etc. Ghee stays in a semi-solid state at room temperature, somewhat like olive oil when kept in the refrigerator, but melts into liquid gold when heated.

To get a taste of the slightly nutty, buttery flavor of ghee, try simply frying eggs in ghee. It is a great cast iron seasoner, ever since using ghee, my cast iron pan doesn't stick, no matter what I throw in it. Or try popping popcorn in ghee, and drizzling some on the popcorn as well. No popcorn like it!

The goats have made fast friends with Pilgrim, grazing together as a herd. Juniper even stood in his barn, eating hay out of his mouth because she couldn't reach his manger!


Anonymous said...

Where does your extra butter come from?Do you make it from your goat's milk?Thanks,Lisa

Pure Indian Foods said...

We want to introduce ourselves to your readers. We make a truly delicious ghee from grass-fed cows, with care, in small batches. Our ghee is made with certified organic, 100% grass-fed milk from small family-operated farms in Northeastern USA. My family has been in the ghee business for 5 generations since 1889 in India and we are proud of our heritage.

Please visit us at http://www.pureindianfoods.com to learn more about us.

Pure Indian Foods
New Jersey, USA

Chiot's Run said...

I agree, you just can't make popcorn any better. I love anything made with ghee.

Freija and Beringian Fritillary said...

Lisa, we are making a pound of butter every 6 days from our single cross bred doe. We use half a pound as butter to spread on breads, etc. And the other half pound is made into ghee for frying, salad dressings, mayonaise, baking, etc. It is just enough to keep butter and ghee on the table for the two of us. Another doe would allow us to start putting some ghee away for the few months a year when the does are dry.

Pure Indian Foods, nice website. I would like to keep another doe or two so that I can use ghee for making medicinal salves. It is wonderful as a massage oil, and is the best oil to use to clean pine sap from the skin.

Chiot's, yeah, ghee is great in baking, especially something simple like biscuits or cornbread so you can really taste the flavor. And a little bit goes a long way, I can cut the oil/butter in half and get the same results. Great stuff ghee!

Leigh said...

Excellent post - you're making me want a dairy goat. The photo with the horse reminds me of the horse and goat I had when I was a teenager My horse was totally devoted to the goat and wouldn't tolerate being separated from him except when we were off on a ride.

Freija and Beringian Fritillary said...

Leigh, the goats and horse are forming a close bond, he sort of herds them, and they are often found resting together in the shade. Pretty sweet.