KR from Texas asks:
“How does one make Indian-style ghee to ensure that the casein is completely removed? … Thanks for your help and your great website.”
Thanks for your letter, and encouraging words. Ghee-making should be done slowly. Best that the butter is left on the stovetop or oven for a number of hours for the full clarification.
Click here for some general information:
And here’s some more detailed ghee-making information:
Ghee, clarified butter, is the preferred cooking medium for many dishes. Most commonly used in traditional Indian cuisine, ghee is also popular in Middle Eastern cooking. Whilst olive oil, sesame oil, peanut oil, and coconut oil are popular, ghee has many advantages.
When butter is melted and slowly heated, all the moisture is evaporated, and the milk solids are separated from the clear butterfat. This residual, golden-coloured liquid, called ghee, is excellent for sauteeing and frying, as it can be heated to 190C/375F before reaching its smoking point.
Ghee will not turn rancid and will keep for months unrefrigerated; it will keep for over 6 months in the refrigerator and for over a year when frozen.
Ghee has a delightful, slightly nutty flavour and is preferred for all traditional fried Indian sweets and savouries. Ghee can be purchased at most gourmet stores, Indian and Middle Eastern grocers, and some well-stocked supermarkets. Homemade ghee, however, is much more economical. Ghee can be prepared either on the top of the stove or in the oven. If you are making a large quantity of ghee, it is best to use the oven method. Unsalted butter makes the best ghee.
1/2 – 2 kg (1 – 5 pounds) unsalted butter
Cut the butter into large chunks and melt it over moderate heat in a large heavy-based saucepan, stirring to ensure that it melts slowly and does not brown. Still stirring, bring the melted butter to a boil. When the butter becomes frothy, reduce the heat to very low.
Simmer uncovered and undisturbed for the required time until the solids have settled on the bottom, a thin crust appears on the top, and the ghee is clear and golden.
Skim off the surface crust with a fine-mesh wire sieve and set it aside in a bowl.
Turn off the heat source and remove the ghee with a ladle without disturbing the solids on the bottom. Pour the ghee through a sieve lined with paper towels. When you have removed all the ghee that you can without disturbing the solids, allow the ghee to cool and store in a suitable covered storage container.
The remaining ghee and solids can be mixed with the crust from the top of the ghee in the small bowl and used for vegetables, soups, or sandwich spread. It will keep 3 – 4 days refrigerated
This method for making ghee is suitable if you want to produce a larger quantity of ghee. It is practically effortless and can be conducted in basically the same way as the stove-top method, except that instead of placing the butter on top of the stove, heat it for the required time in a preheated 150C/300F oven. Skim and store in the same way as for the stove-top method.
The following is a chart indicating how long it takes to make a batch of ghee and what the approximate yield will be.
Quantity of Butter–Cooking Time (stove/oven)–Approx.Yield of Ghee
500g butter (17 ounces) –1 hrs / 1-1 3/4 hrs –1 3/4 cups (435 ml)
1kg butter (2 lbs 3 oz) –1 3/4 hrs / 2 – 2 hrs –3 cups (1.4 litres)
1.5kg butter (3 lbs 5 oz) –2 hrs / 2 3/4 – 3 hrs –5 cups (1.4 litres)
3kg butter (6 lbs 10 oz) –3-3 / 3 3/4 – 4 hrs –12 cups (3 litres)
5kg butter (11 lbs) –5-6 hrs / 6 3/4 – 7 hrs –19 cups (4.75 litres)
Posted by Kurma on 13/5/08; 5:09:59 AM