What is Ghee?

What is Ghee?

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Recently David and I have been exploring new types of cuisine. Indian cuisine is my newest fascination, so when I came across ghee used in a recipe I found in Sara Moulton’s latest cookbook, I was intrigued by ghee and wanted to learn more about it. I was amazed at what I found out. Before I show you how to make ghee, let me explain what it is and why it’s such a great oil to use!

What is Ghee?

Ghee is a specially prepared clarified butter that originates in India and is a staple of Indian cuisine. Ghee is also commonly used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines as well as medicines and religious rituals.

Ghee is similar to clarified butter. Both are made by heating butter to evaporate the milk solids and water, leaving only the fat. The difference between clarified butter and ghee is that ghee is heated longer to a golden brown to bring out the butter’s rich nut and toffee flavors. What you are left with is a flavorful oil, with a very high smoke point. In fact, the smoke point goes from about 350 degrees F to 480 degrees F or more. Other cooking oils such as canola oil, peanut oil, corn oil or soybean oil have high smoke points also but those oils are not so good for your health. Ghee can easily be used for baking, sautéing and roasting and still provide all of the wonderful ghee benefits.

A flavourful and delicious fat for cooking, Ghee is rich in beneficial nutrients and easy enough to make at home in your own kitchen. Try this easy recipe! | TheMountainKitchen.com

What are the benefits of Ghee?

Ghee is rich in beneficial nutrients and some of its components are known to boost weight loss, improve digestion and help reduce inflammation.

Importantly, since the milk solids are removed, ghee is free of lactose and casein protein. This makes ghee a way for those who have dairy allergies to enjoy the flavors of butter. The casein and whey proteins that cause sensitivity are removed with the milk solids.

Ghee Nutrition

As with other fats, ghee should be consumed in moderation. There are about 112 calories in 1 tablespoon. It’s high in fat but provides a dose of several fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin K. A good source of butyric acid and CLA, ghee has both which have been associated with reduced inflammation and increased fat loss.

A flavourful and delicious fat for cooking, Ghee is rich in beneficial nutrients and easy enough to make at home in your own kitchen. Try this easy recipe! | TheMountainKitchen.com

Where to Find and How to Use Ghee

If I have convinced you to start adding ghee to your diet, you’ll be happy to know that ghee is readily available in many grocery stores, in the ethnic food section or next to other oils on the store shelf. You can also purchase ghee online at Amazon.com or some other major retailer, but I ain’t gonna lie to you, ghee is very expensive to buy. However, ghee is simple to make and unlike butter, it does not need to be refrigerated, although it does keep longer in the refrigerator.

Ghee is very versatile and its uses have endless possibilities. I recommend you make some of your own and start using it in your cooking. Try swapping it out with your current cooking oil of choice. Use ghee in your favorite recipes to add a burst of flavor and get all the wonderful ghee benefits. However, use it in moderation and use less than you would your normal cooking oil. I have noticed that you don’t need as much you would other cooking oils.

A flavourful and delicious fat for cooking, Ghee is rich in beneficial nutrients and easy enough to make at home in your own kitchen. Try this easy recipe! | TheMountainKitchen.com

A flavourful and delicious fat for cooking, Ghee is rich in beneficial nutrients and easy enough to make at home in your own kitchen. Try this easy recipe! | TheMountainKitchen.com

A flavourful and delicious fat for cooking, Ghee is rich in beneficial nutrients and easy enough to make at home in your own kitchen. Try this easy recipe! | TheMountainKitchen.com

A flavourful and delicious fat for cooking, Ghee is rich in beneficial nutrients and easy enough to make at home in your own kitchen. Ghee is very versatile and its uses have endless possibilities.

Ghee

A flavourful and delicious fat for cooking, Ghee is rich in beneficial nutrients and easy enough to make at home in your own kitchen.Ghee is very versatile and its uses have endless possibilities.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword butter, clarified butter, ghee
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 30
Calories 112kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound unsalted butter (grass-fed) cut into tablespoons
  • 3 quart heavy saucepan - should not be gray or black so that it is easy to see the color when the butter has browned
  • wooden spoon or heat-resistant spatula
  • cheesecloth
  • rubber band
  • glass jar with lid

Instructions

  • Prepare a glass jar with by placing two layers of cheesecloth over the mouth, pushing it down inside the mouth a bit. Use a rubber band to help keep it in place.
  • Place the butter in the saucepan and slowly melt the butter over low heat, stirring gently until it has completely melted; about 20 minutes.
  • When the butter has melted, increase the heat to medium and bring the butter to a simmer, stirring often. The butter will have some foam and make a crackling sound, bubbles emerge from the foam and may spatter a bit, so use caution. You will notice that as the foam becomes thinner, the bubbles will become larger. Allow the butter to simmer until the crackling sound has stopped; about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Continue to simmer, stirring constantly, keeping a watchful eye to ensure the butter does not burn. Simmer until the milk solids will curdle and separate and attach to the sides of the pan from the gold liquid. Scrape down the sides of the pan now and then to help them settle to the bottom of the pan. The butter will become more translucent and the bubbles will disappear. Turn off the heat when the solids just turn brown; about 10 more minutes - this is where the distinctive nutty flavor comes from!
  • Allow the ghee to stand for about 5 minutes. Then gently pour the ghee into the prepared jar. At this point, the ghee is a beautiful liquid gold color. Allow the ghee to become room temperature before placing on the lid.
  • Use immediately or cover with a lid. Ghee will remain fresh for several weeks at room temperature, but can last months when stored in the refrigerator.

Notes

For best results, use grass-fed, organic butter whenever possible. This will ensure you’re getting the maximum amount of nutrients without additives and ingredients you don’t want or need.
Use ghee in moderation and use less than you would your normal cooking oil. I have noticed that you don’t need as much you would other cooking oils.
Recipe adapted from Sara Moulton

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 112kcal | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7.9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3.7g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 0.3mg | Potassium: 0.6mg | Vitamin A: 395IU | Calcium: 1mg
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Hi, my name is Debbie, Author and Photographer at The Mountain Kitchen, a blog that shares delicious homemade recipes using clean food ingredients, and stories about mountain life.
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