Sometimes a fleeting fragrance, flavour or a texture changes the way you think about food… changes the how you make food.. has it ever happened to you?
For me it happened when I caught a whiff of freshly-made ghee at home and then I smelled the ghee that I had bought from store.
While the ghee I made at home wasn’t as clear as the one I had bought from the store but it had a lovely, earthy fragrance whereas the store-bought ghee just smelled oily.
This set me on a path to follow my mum’s example: to start making ghee at home just like she does once a week.
My parents get fresh milk every day from a local farmer (sidebar: my mum has an on-going fight with the farmer as he mixes cow milk in the buffalo milk; we prefer buffalo milk in Punjab in general.
My mom then splits the milk into two parts: Half of the milk is boiled quickly and then aside for drinking and making tea.
The remaining milk is boiled and then simmered for another half hour until a thick cream (called malai in Punjabi) forms on the top. The milk is then cooled overnight in the fridge and the malai is then skimmed off the top in the morning.
My mom will then make fresh butter using this cream every third day. The left-over buttermilk is used to make either paneer (Indian cheese) or dough for chapatis or parathas. We will eat fresh butter with the parathas and the leftover butter is saved in the fridge for about a week.
My mom will then turn the butter into ghee . The milk solids produced in the process of making ghee is used to make fudge or dough for the parathas.
Absolutely nothing is wasted!
It’s super easy and quick to make ghee at home and I promise that you will prefer it to the ghee bought from the store.
Also, ghee is one of the few oils which can used for high-heat cooking so perfet for saute’s etc.
Happy ghee making!
- 500 gram butter unsalted
- Set a pan with thick bottom on the lowest setting for heat and add butter
- Make sure to stir butter continuously to prevent the butter from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. It's extremely important to keep the heat very low and to stir continuously as the butter can burn very easily
- If there are any impurities in the butter, these will float to the top. Skim them using a strainer as they float to the top
- Continue to stir until you notice that the brownish solid matter settling towards the the bottom of the pan. The solid matter indicates that the fat has separated from the solid matters and all the water has evaporated. Cook for another minute or so after that solid matter appears
- The amount of solid matter that will be produced depends on the kind of milk and butter you use. Butter made from pasteurised milks or shop-bought butter produces very little solid matter
- Making the oil shouldn't take longer than 10-15 minutes depending on intensity of heat or whether or not your butter is cold
- Once the ghee has cooled down (but still liquid), strain it and save it a cold or glass container. Avoid using plastic container to store ghee as it can spoil it
- Do not throw away the solids as you can use it for making dough for delicious parathas