Ghee aka Clarified Butter Recipe | Heart Healthy Benefits

November 08, 2016

As I returned from school and walked through the passageway to my front  door, the intoxicating aroma that had spread all the way to the gate of the building (and beyond) filled me with excitement that a fresh batch of ghee (clarified butter, what I call liquid gold ;)) was being made by my mom that day! Because, once the ghee was made, she would have also whipped up some sort of Indian sweet dish with the leftover milk solids (which is uber-delish btw) for my brother and I to devour. Because, it also meant that I would get to eat ragi flour (millet) balls rolled in freshly made ghee that night… It’s all about the simple pleasures in life, right? Ah, those childhood days! So yes, growing up, ghee was a staple in our house, and by now you can tell that I grew up being pampered on homemade ghee and ghee-based delicacies . Hence, as you might imagine, my extreme love for ghee is but only natural!!!


And I will tell  you that nothing compares to ghee and its rich, creamy, nutty flavor! I love it so much that I can still eat spoons of it straight out of the bottle (oh-so-yummmy!). But when I was a kid, I had no idea just how easy and uncomplicated it was to make ghee at home, and never thought that ghee belonged in the healthy superfood category either. It’s only as I grew up when I realized that making ghee at home is one of the easiest things ever and to my surprise IT IS one of the best things you can feed your body (win-win). Sure, I do not make my own butter at home everyday, collect it over a period of time and then make ghee like my mom used to do but I just about manage with store bought butter (of course it doesn’t taste as delicious as what mom makes with homemade butter, but it’s good enough).


Last week, when I made ghee at home I wasn’t planning on posting about it on the blog but a few of my Instagram followers were curious to learn about the process once they saw my Insta-stories on it. So here I am sharing my secrets for any of  you who might want to make (inexpensive) ghee at home and start including it in your diet (if you hadn’t planned on it, I more than 100% urge you to try just for its innumerable health benefits). Store bought ghee on the other hand,  doesn’t even remotely taste as good as what we make at home. I only ever bought ghee from the store once and vowed to never make that mistake again. Whenever I am about to run out of ghee at home I make a big batch otherwise I go into a panic mode if I do NOT have enough stock at home (no kidding!).


So without further adieu, here’s the secret - while you can make ghee using just unsalted butter, I love to make it exactly how my mom does by adding a few more ingredients listed below which not only enhances the taste of the already-so-tasty-ghee but also helps pack other additional health benefits into it.

Prep time: 30 mins

Ingredients and Equipment:
  • 36oz unsalted butter (yields just enough ghee to fill a big mason jar)
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2-3 cloves
  • ½ teaspoon of roasted and powdered fenugreek seeds
  • About a handful of drumstick leaves
  • A pinch of salt
  • Stalk of 2 betel leaves (I don’t normally find it here so I skip it)
  • Saucepan with a heavy bottom
  • Cheesecloth or fine sieve
  • Mason jar
  • A large spoon to stir

Instructions:
  1. Cut unsalted butter into small pieces (helps melt quickly) and transfer it into a deep saucepan.
  2. Turn on the stove to low-medium heat and once the butter melts, add the rest of the ingredients to the saucepan except betel stalks and drumstick leaves.
  3. Keep stirring at regular intervals so the milk solids do not stick to the bottom or sides of the saucepan.
  4. Butter will start to bubble and form a layer of foam at the top (and the intoxicating aroma will start to fill your kitchen and home).
  5. As the butter simmers, the layer of foam will start to clear up and you will notice more and more milk solids settling at the bottom of the saucepan and the bubbles increasing in size.
  6. Turn down the heat and let it simmer on low heat for a few more minutes but be careful not to burn it.
  7. Once done, switch off the stove and add the drumstick leaves (if you have betel stalks now is the time to add them or skip it).
  8. Let the ghee cool down and before it solidifies, run it through a sieve or cheesecloth and transfer it into a mason jar.

Benefits of Ghee and Why You Should Use it Everyday:
  • Ghee aids in weight loss, you might not believe me so go google away
  • It is a saturated fat with high smoking point hence better than butter for cooking/baking
  • It helps increase HDL that is good cholesterol and also reduces blood pressure
  • It improves digestion and helps absorb more nutrients
  • It increases flexibility of the tissues as it acts as a lubricating agent
  • It improves gut health, reduces inflammation and is anti-viral
  • It helps build strong bones
  • It is rich in fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, K
  • For those who are lactose intolerant, hear hear, it is lactose free, again, reach out to google if you don’t trust me
Notes:

  • Ghee should be stored at room temperature and has a shelf life of about 6 months
  • Do not throw away the milk solids but make your favorite sweet with it (note: if you use drumstick leaves do not use the milk solids to make sweets) or simply spread a layer on top of your favorite bread and devour
  • I have also heard that you can make ghee in the oven or in a slow cooker but I have never tried doing so myself as I like to make it the traditional way. Might probably give it a try one of these days
  • Some ways to use ghee: I love to eat ghee with rice/quinoa and sambhar, spread it on roti, make Indian sweets, sauté or roast vegetables, or to simply put a spoonful in my mouth ;)

Now that you learned how to make ghee and its myriad benefits, if you have never made ghee (or had it) in your life before, then about time you changed that (you can thank me later). So promise me to give it a try, will ya? But if you love ghee like I do, then do share your recipe and let me know how you use it.


“Health requires healthy food”. 
xoxo,
Kusum

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