Ghee is the most amazing substance, melted, it pours like liquid gold. At room temperature, it is semi-soft and creamy. Ghee can be kept at room temperature for months and heated to frying temperatures without burning. Ghee takes only moments of hands-on time to make at home. It’s derived from butter through a process of cooking off the milk solids until it becomes an easier to digest, healthier alternative to butter and oil or as an ingredient to add flavour and richness to foods. To some it’s known as clarified butter, to others the golden elixir of healing.

“Ghee is a source of beta-carotene and vitamins A, D, E, and K. Beta-carotene and vitamin E are both valuable antioxidants, helpful in preventing injury to the body. Ghee contains between 4 and 5 percent linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid often lacking in a vegetarian diet. Because the casein butter has been removed, ghee is lactose-free and contains no oxidized cholesterol. According to Ayurvedic text on health, ” Ghee is good for the eyes, stimulates digestion, supports skin glow, enhances memory and stamina, balances hormones and helps to promote greater longevity.”

Ghee heals your body from the inside. In Ayurveda, ghee is recognised as one of the most sattvic foods. Ayurvedic doctors have used ghee for many hundred years. Ghee is known to reduce heat in the body, sharpen the memory and intellect, lubricate and strengthen the digestive track. It helps you on your journey to reach higher levels of consciousness and towards enlightenment. It is the yogic tradition to mix ghee into each meal every day.
ghee

 

Recipe

This makes about 1½ cups of ghee and will take about 10 – 12 minutes to prepare. The good quality of ghee rests on the quality of butter, so use the best available and use unsalted. This is important.

1 lb. (500 grams) unsalted organic butter

Place the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil over a medium heat. It will take approximately 5 minutes to melt down.

Initially, it will froth and foam, and then begin to settle down.

Around the 8 minute mark, the froth will subside, it will then start to bubble and crackle quite vigorously and with much noise. It will continue like this for another 3 – 4 minutes, then the bubbling will soften.

You will know you are near the end when the ghee boils rapidly, then begins to slow down. Use your sense of hearing as you will hear the intense bubbling, then a quieter sound. Watch carefully, the ghee will burn quickly at this stage. Burnt ghee takes on a granular texture when chilled and turns a dull beige colour because the lactose sugars have caramelized to burned.

Cook until a thin crust begins to form on the surface and milky-white solids fall to the bottom of the pan.

“When you become more experienced in making ghee, I like to leave it another 30 seconds after the bubbly has disappeared, to intensify the flavour. Do this carefully as it is easy to burn the ghee. I keep a small wooden spoon nearby and depending on the quality or brand of butter it may foam and threaten to foam over – this is where the spoon is needed to stir the top part of the foam so that it subsides.”

Turn off the heat, and allow the pot to continue to sit on the stove, it will continue to bubbly slightly.

Eventually, it will turn from white to fawn-coloured.  The ghee will become clear, translucent and pleasantly fragrant, it is done.   Allow to cool slightly in the pot.

Pour the hot ghee through a very thin sieve.  I use a tea strainer. Avoid letting any moisture or water into the ghee as this promotes bacterial growth.

As it sits it will become semi soft and creamy.  (Unless you live in a very hot climate, it will stay liquid.) Ghee does not need to be refrigerated and can be kept on the counter for months.  It never lasts that long in our house.  Use as a replacement for oil/butter in cooking.  It can also be used to ‘cool down too spicy food’.