How to make aromatic ghee and why it's so good!

Note: This is not a 'sneaky' recipe; rather, an essential in your pantry and a better alternative to butter.

Ghee is a favorite in our house. I grew up on it. My mom of course made it the hard core way. Not many are aware of it, unfortunately. It does take a process to churn out the caramelized buttery goodness. My dad would get milk straight from the "farm" - back then in India, you didn't just walk into a store to get pasteurized milk. You would instead, go to these small little cow-sheds where a "dhoodhwala" (read - milkman) would hand squeeze milk out of the grass-fed cows or buffalos! Can you imagine drinking fresh milk within the hour?

 

Well, let's just say that was a privilege I took pretty much for granted. Fast forward over two decades and now - people are going crazy for grass-fed milk, butters and meats. So, basically, we make it worse, then go back to the cave-man days with paleo and grass-fed products. 

Anyway, I digress. So, once you boil this fresh milk and cool it down, it creates this creamy top, called 'malai' in Hindi. I have no clue what you would call that in english, it's surely not cream.. With a few accumulations of the malai saved over a few days, you would whisk it, and make 'makkhan' - a smooth velvety consistency that almost feels like mousse. You would boil this 'moussey-makhan' to get ghee. I can't tell ya, nothing beats the taste of that! 

The best part of this ghee making process, is the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Eat them with a bowl of rice and a pinch of salt. mmmm.. heaven.

Now, back to reality. A hack to all those ancient ways of making ghee, is using the unsweetened butter at the grocery store; which still, churns out pretty decent quality stuff.

captured on iPhone 6s

A common question I get from folks new to this, is 'where can I use it?'. Answer is, anywhere you would normally use butter! I use ghee for my baking needs, cooking pancakes, sauteing some veggies and so on. The flavor profile is just multiplied. I usually all 4 sticks of a pack, and it usually lasts me about a month or so. 

METHOD

  1. Use a thick bottom non-stick pan - very important!
  2. Have the heat on medium
  3. Add 4 sticks of unsalted butter
  4. You will see butter melting, turning to a cloudy appearance
  5. In about 10 minutes, it will start turning into a clear liquid
  6. If there are any milk proteins along the wall of the container, scrape them down into the liquid. The idea is to caramelize all the milk protein.
  7. Once the liquid turns completely clear, turn the heat off. It will look dark brown in color
  8. Let cool and pour into a airtight container using a sieve.
  9. Store in a cool dry place
  10. If you are careful about not using wet hands or spoons - this will store easily up to 3-4 months, maybe more. We have always finished in under 2 months ;)

Watch this video to see this new age ghee making at your home kitchen!