Ghee is used a lot in Indian cuisine be it north, south, east or west. It plays an important role in festivals, weddings and so on. On auspicious days particularly ghee is served along with food. I remember the first meal at my inlaws place after the wedding where my MIL made sure that there was ghee on the plate. Ghee is also used in place of oil to light lamps on auspicious days. It imparts a special aroma and taste to any dish and a little goes a long way.
This is my first time making ghee at home and a special thanks goes to my mom for guiding me through this process (thanks to Vonage!!) The whole process was a breeze and no more store bought ghee for me. I use it a lot for my kids to tone down the spice/heat level. It jazzes up Ven Pongal, Bisibelabath, etc. Almost all Indian sweets use ghee. I don’t use shortening and it is always ghee or butter for me. Now I can go on and on about ghee, but let us get to making it first. Ready?
3 cups of ghee
Take a heavy bottom vessel and melt the butter. Remember to keep the heat at medium.
Butter is all melted.
These cute bubbles were playing peek a boo for a while until the bubbling became intense. When the boiling starts you will also hear a hissing or gurgling sound. Ghee is done when the hissing sound stops.
More boiling. You cannot speed up the process by increasing the heat. Always keep it medium to low.
Can you see the solids settling at the bottom? They are white now and when they turn brown, ghee is ready.
Solid particles beginning to change color.
When you can clearly see the bottom of the vessel and when the solid particles have turned brown, ghee is ready. Add a pinch of salt and turn the stove off. Note that at this point you no longer hear the hissing or gurgling sound since the water is all evaporated.
Let it cool and pour the clear liquid into a container and store. You can use a muslin cloth or strainer to pour just the liquid. I discard the solid particles.
I prefer storing ghee in glass containers and I have used my new LocknLock glass canisters. The smell of homemade ghee is beyond words to describe. Ghee can be stored at room temperature and does not need refrigeration.
Ghee when made is like clear oil, but solidifies after few hours. The first picture was taken the next day.
The first pic was updated on 4/19/2013.