You may have noticed just a few of my recipes call for ghee. ;-) So I'm overdue for sharing a recipe for ghee itself.
Here's why I like using ghee:
- Rich flavor: Ghee is clarified butter, taken a step further by simmering the butter. This gives it a richer, nutty flavor and wonderful aroma.
- A bit of quality, saturated fat is essential for our hormones, immunity, mood and more!
- Easier to digest: Ghee is clarified, meaning through the cooking process, the milk solids separate and are removed by straining through a cheesecloth. This leaves you with a butter free of lactose (milk sugars) and casein protein. The majority of those with dairy sensitivities can enjoy ghee.
- Suitable for high-heat cooking: Because the milk solids have been removed, ghee has a high smoke point and therefore a lower chance of burning and oxidizing during everyday cooking tasks.
Ghee is something I choose to make rather than purchase. If for no other reason than the amazing nutty-butterscotch-caramel-y aroma that results once it's set. I'm not a craft-y, everything-must-be-homemade type of person. So when I say this couldn’t be quicker or more satisfying to make, I mean it.
Today I'm sharing the standard recipe along with a spiced version, hence the name Golden Ghee.
Notes: If you'd like a deeper golden color in your ghee (as pictured) and extra flavor, see optional spice additions below. This recipe can be halved.
- 500 gr. best quality, unsalted butter (~ 1.1 lbs or 4 sticks)
- Spice blend, optional (below)
- 1 clean, dry glass jar with lid
- Small square of cheesecloth
- Rubber band
- Place cheesecloth over glass jar and secure with rubber band. Set aside.
- Cut butter into chunks. Place in a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Once butter has almost melted, reduce heat to medium low.
- Hold at medium-low and simmer 20-25 minutes. During this time the butter will sizzle and splatter a little and produce foam on top.
- Near the 20-25 minute mark (depending on how much butter you use and how wide your sauce pan is), the butter will begin to settle and the sputtering will slow. At this point, skim off some foam to see to the bottom. You should see lightly browned milk solids at the bottom.
- Sprinkle in spices now, if using. Lightly stir around on the surface, without disturbing solids at the bottom. Cook another 1-2 minutes, until the sputtering stops completely.
- Remove from heat immediately. The milk solids and butter can quickly go from golden brown to burnt.
- Pour into jar fitted with cheesecloth. Remove cheesecloth. Set jar aside to cool completely on the counter. Once cool, cover with lid and store in the fridge. Ghee will firm up once in the fridge for a day. Use anywhere butter, coconut or other oils are called for.
Golden Ghee Spice Blend
Notes: This spice blend is flexible. Use the below blend as is, or customize it to the spices you have on hand. But prioritize turmeric as that's what gives the golden hue. Alternatively, replace this blend with 2-3 tsp. mild curry powder for an extra boost of flavor and the same golden hue. Over time you can play around with the quantity of spices. The below quantities yield a mellow flavor for versatility sake. Increase the quantities if you want a more robustly-flavored ghee for curries, dals, or sautéed greens.
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. cardamom
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Several grinds of black pepper