I am not terribly fussy when it comes to eating, and can eat practically any food, cooked by anyone. But when it comes to clarified butter (ghee), I can only eat the homemade ghee made by my mom. Although long ago I learnt not to make this confession to any aunty who makes clarified butter (ghee) at home. Most aunties felt their culinary skills were challenged and asked me to taste ghee made by them. You will definitely like this one, they announced. Now I am not saying their ghee wasn’t as good as the one made by mom. It’s just that I was used to the taste of ghee the way my mom made it. Because there is more than one method of making clarified butter (ghee).
You can churn curds and water (buttermilk) to make butter and make ghee from that. Or you can make butter by using cream. That’s how my mother makes it and my taste buds are used to that taste. Mom collects cream from milk for about a couple of weeks and stores it in the freezer. Then she churns that to make butter and then heats the butter to make ghee. Sounds simple? Trust me it’s not and that’s why for this recipe, I am posting step-by-step pics. :-)
I must confess that this recipe is loooong overdue. Some of you have been asking for the recipe for quite some time. I remember Vishali Shankar was the first one to ask for this recipe. Now the thing is I don’t make ghee, I am really lucky that my mom makes awesome ghee. Once in a while even my mom-in-law gives me ghee. So luckily I don’t need to make ghee. So when Vishali asked me for the recipe, I asked mom how she makes it and wrote the recipe in reply to Vishali’s comment in the Spinach Poha post. Vishali found the recipe difficult to understand and asked if I could post pictures. I promised her I would post the pictures soon but that somehow took forever. Because my photographer’s—Kalpesh’s that is ;-) and my mom’s timings had to match. But finally that happened a couple of weekends back. Yayyy…:-D
Step by Step Instructions on How to Make Clarified Butter (ghee)
You must have observed that I use homemade ghee in practically every recipe of mine. When I’m cooking for Devansh, I prefer to make the tadka in ghee instead of oil. Ghee is a better alternative to cooking oils as it is saturated fat. Oils like vegetable oils are polyunsaturated fats. When you heat these oils at high temperatures they become unhealthy for consumption. Since ghee has high smoke point it can be heated at high temperatures without any cause of concern. I also add ghee on top of Devansh’s food, because it not only enhances the flavor but also aids in digestion. It is also supposed to be good for nerves and brain. So go ahead and try this recipe. Or better still bully either of the moms (mom or mom-in-law) to make it for you. :-p
Clarified Butter, Homemade Ghee Recipe
- 3-4 cups of cream
- Approx 2 cups of water
- Defrost the cream. My mother moves cream’s bowl from the freezer compartment to one of the shelves below the previous night.
- Then in the morning, she takes the bowl out of the fridge some 2-3 hours before she plans to make ghee.
- Add water to the cream after it reaches room temperature. Mom usually adds about a cupful of water, and then if needed, goes on adding more water gradually while churning. (If the cream is cold, you can use lukewarm water.)
- Churn the mixture using a butter churn till butter separates from buttermilk.
- Wet your hands, and then scoop out the butter and transfer it to the vessel that you will use to make ghee in. Make sure you use a thick-bottomed vessel otherwise the ghee will get burnt. (I would probably use a non-stick vessel for this but my mother prefers to use a steel vessel.)
- Start to heat the butter on low flame.
- As the melted butter heats up, the liquid starts to bubble and rise up. To prevent the liquid from spilling out, keep a spatula or a ladle in the vessel.
- Initially, you will need to stir the liquid continuously as it bubbles up. After 10-15 minutes, my mother usually transfers the ghee to a fresh vessel to prevent the milk solids from getting stuck to the vessel and causing a burnt taste in the ghee.
- After the liquid has clarified enough, it will not rise up. You don’t need to stir after the liquid has settled down.
- Now watch out for the change in color of ghee. After the ghee has turned golden in color, add a drop or two of water in the mixture. You know your ghee is ready when it makes a crackling sound. (The sound will be similar to the sound made by mustard seeds when added to hot oil.)
- Now strain the ghee using a sieve to remove light brown milk solids that form at the bottom of the vessel. These milk solids, which we call beree in Marathi, taste good (sort of like crumbled paneer) when added to sabzis.