Thursday, 17 April 2014

Ghee - Liquid Gold

Ghee is the traditional way of using animal fat in cooking. Since the uproar of cholesterol, use of ghee has declined but still nothing beats its unique flavour. There are a few things in my cooking that I will not make without ghee as the flavour and texture ghee imparts cannot be attained with any other type of oil. I use it in my cooking quite often and always have a stock in my pantry. During last week's pantry cleaning, I found a bottle of ghee hiding behind all the stuff and the date told me it was 2 years old. I was surprised to open the bottle as it still smelled fresh- way fresher than the store bought. Ghee making just take one ingredient and nothing else. I remember my mother making butter out of the cream collected from the milk. Since in Canada, we only get homogenized milk so there is no way of collecting fresh cream, I use any good quality unsalted butter. In this recipe, I used four pounds of butter and it gave me a little more than three pounds of ghee.


Butter                                4 packs 454 gms each


  1. Put the butter in a 5 litre pot. Its better to use a big pot since it bubbles up after boiling.
  2. Melt on medium heat, once melted reduce the heat to low. Do not stir once the butter is melted.
  3. You will see a lot of foam forming on top. I prefer skimming that foam off as it gives a clear ghee but it will cook away even if you don't remove it.
  4. Let the butter cook till you see brown bits forming at the bottom of the pan, it can take upto 90-120 mins depending on the moisture content in your butter. It is very important to keep an eye on butter at this stage as it tends to burn very quickly. Do not over brown the bottom or else ghee will smell of burnt butter. Once bottom is nicely brown, take it off the heat.
  5. In a sterilized jar with a tight fitting lid, pour the ghee carefully leaving the brown bits behind.


You need to take care of the following things carefully to get beautiful golden, clear ghee.

  • Do not stir ghee during cooking process.
  • Do not over brown the bottom. You just need light golden color.
  • You may add a pinch of flour to get grainy texture.
  • For the longer shelf life, you need to cook all the whey at the bottom or else ghee will go rancid very quickly.
  • Don not discard the brown bits as they taste amazing in pulaos, halwas or you can even use it during kneading of your chapati flour.
  • You can add spices of your choice to have flavoured ghee like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon etc.