Clarified butter, what Indians call ghee, is actually easy to make, but at the beginning, it can be tricky. The pictures help you grasp the process of making this good fat worthy of being integrated into your Mediterranean cooking, paleo recipes, ovolactovegetarian recipes, Indian recipes and so many more.
Indian cuisine routinely uses this healthy clarified butter. What is much lesser known is that in Egypt, throughout the Middle East, and North Africa clarified butter appears in the kitchens under various formulas and names. It is indeed an Oriental Mediterranean food.
Since we learned to make ghee years ago from an Indian Ayurveda doctor, we have introduced it in our everyday cooking, and couldn’t do without it any more. We’d like to encourage you to try it. Clarified butter is a versatile and healthy animal fat for cooking that doesn’t burn in your pan as readily as butter.
Below, we explain you how to make ghee step by step. The pictures we took while making ghee will help you understand the texture and color of the melted butter as it boils to transform itself into the praised golden liquid. In a way, making ghee is like being an ancient alchemist, it’s fun!
Elsewhere we have summarized important tips and advice for making clarified butter. If you are new to ghee, please read them before you start, the link opens in a new window. They are essential for the success of your homemade ghee recipe.
Clarified Butter Recipe
- Add 2 pounds (1 kg) of unsalted butter to a heavy pot with a rather thick bottom and high sides.
- Melt the butter over medium-low heat. When the melted butter starts boiling, it begins to foam and sputter a lot. Continue boiling the butter uncovered over medium-low heat.
- While boiling, small white curds appear on the surface, and the amount of foam decreases. The solids progressively settle on the bottom of the pot. Pay attention to the sputtering; the melted butter should boil in a way that you hear constant regular sizzling and spitting sounds.
- As the butter ghee continues boiling, you’ll see that it becomes more and more transparent.
- From time to time, use a wooden spoon to gently stir the surface of the boiling butter to better check the transparency of the melted butter. Don’t go deep with the wooden spoon; the purpose is not to stir but to check if the clarified butter is taking the lovely golden color so characteristic of ghee.
- When the clarified butter has a golden transparent color and there is almost no foam left on the surface, the ghee is ready. All solids should have settled in the bottom by now.
- Take it off the heat at once as it can burn easily. You’ll notice a sweet popcorn-like smell, and the sputtering and crackling has calmed down. After the butter has melted, the cooking time is about 30 minutes, depending on the heat source and the kind of pot you use.
As soon as it turns a beautiful golden color and begins to smell like popcorn, remove the ghee from the heat immediately. At this stage it can burn very quickly.
Let it cool a little bit. Pour the golden liquid through a fine sieve or clean tea strainer into an earthen or glass jar. Discard the brownish curds at the bottom of the pot. Alternatively, you can line a large sieve with 2 or 3 layers of a clean cotton cheesecloth to strain the clarified butter.
Clarified butter can be kept covered without refrigeration, and according to renowned Ayurveda doctor Vasant Lad almost indefinitely, as long as you don’t let it touch a single drop of water. At room temperature it becomes semi-solid; with refrigeration ghee hardens.
Have you already made clarified butter at home? Were you successful? Share your experience with ghee in the comments below!
Or check more pictures and tips on making clarified butter at home.