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Clarified butter or ghee is a fantastic alternative to most cooking oils.

How to make Clarified butter or Ghee

Clarified butter or ghee is a fantastic alternative to most cooking oils. It is deliciously fragrant and adds amazing flavor and richness to any dish. Let me show you how to make clarified butter or ghee. An easy process taking under 20 minutes, to turn butter into liquid gold. It is much cheaper than buying and lasts months stored in the refrigerator.
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Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 11 mins
Servings 200 ml / ¾ cup
Course Basics, Homemade clarified butter or ghee
Cuisine Indian, Western

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 Sticks unsalted butter See note 1

Instructions
 

  • Melt the butter: Start by heating the butter in a heavy-based pot on very low heat.
    Start by heating the butter in a heavy-based pot on very low heat.
  • Solids start to separate-6 to 7 minutes As the butter melts it starts to splatter and foam begins to rise to the surface. The splattering means that the water in the butter is evaporating. Continue to simmer the butter until the splattering subsides, about 6-7 minutes.
    As the butter melts it starts to splatter and foam begins to rise to the surface. The splattering means that the water in the butter is evaporating. Continue to simmer the butter until the splattering subsides, about 6-7 minutes.
  • Do not stir the butter during the entire cooking process. You can lightly skim the surface to remove some of the foam. This will also help you to monitor the colour of the butter more carefully as it turns in colour.
  • The colour of the foam changes to make clarified butter (stage 1) or ghee (stage 2)
  • Stage 1 - Clarified butter: Keep the heat on low as within a minute, the colour of the foam changes to a golden yellow like this (clarified butter stage). When you gently part the foam you will notice the liquid beneath the foam turn a clear yellow.
    Clarified butter
  • This is the stage where you need to be extra careful. The milk solids have sunk to the bottom of the pan and can easily begin to brown. For clarified butter, you do not want the butter solids to brown at all.
  • You can either strain it now to make clarified butter OR
  • Stage 2 - Ghee: If you want to make ghee, then continue to simmer on low heat for another 2 minutes and just until the foam changes to a light brown colour (ghee stage). Lightly part the foam with a spoon and you will notice the melted butter is a clear darker brown. Little bits of milk solids will sink to the bottom of the pot and caramelize
    If you want to make ghee, then continue to simmer on low heat for another 2 minutes and just until the foam changes to a light brown colour  (ghee stage). Lightly part the foam with a spoon and you will notice the melted butter is a clear darker brown. Little bits of milk solids will sink to the bottom of the pot and caramelize 
  • Remove from the heat at the stage you prefer
  • Remove it from the stove as soon as the foam turns a golden yellow (clarified butter stage) or light nutty brown colour (ghee stage)
  • Allow it to cool for about 5 minutes before straining
  • Strain: Line a strainer with cheesecloth, or a paper towel and set the strainer over a heatproof container or glass measuring jug. Gently pour the liquid through the lined strainer and into the jug.
    Line a strainer with cheesecloth, or a paper towel and set the strainer over a heatproof container or glass measuring jug.  Gently pour the liquid through the lined strainer and into the jug. You will notice some of the milk solids collecting in the cheesecloth and some settled at the bottom of the pot.
  • You will notice some of the milk solids collecting in the cheesecloth and some settled at the bottom of the pot.
  • Storage : If you are not using immediately, then transfer your strained ghee / clarified butter to a dry glass jar and store at room temperature for up to 3 months or refrigerate for up to I year.
  • The clarified butter or ghee will naturally solidify at room temperature or when refrigerated. When heated for use it will return to its golden brown liquid.

Frequently asked questions and tips

    How do I tell when the ghee or clarified butter is ready to be strained?

    • The crackling subsides. This means most the water has evaporated.
    • The cooked butter beneath the foam becomes a clear golden yellow liquid. This means the butter is clarified.
    • The milk solids separate and settle in the bottom of the pan, and are light brown in colour. This means that the butter can be strained and used as ghee

    How can I use the foam settled at the top of the butter?

    • The foam can be gently skimmed from the surface as the butter cooks. It can be kept in a container and stirred into stews, sauce or mixed into pasta.

    How can I use the milk solids which have settled at the bottom of the pot?

    • Don't toss the milk solids down the sink, instead use them to add a rich buttery deliciousness to your food. Here are a few ways in which milk solids can be used
    • Knead some of the milk solids into your bread or pita dough for amazing flavour
    • Stir into mashed potatoes, soup or rice.
    • Mix a teaspoon of milk solids with 1 clove of minced garlic. Heat on low till the garlic sizzles. Spread this on toasted baguette or bread for a quick snack

    What is the difference bet ghee and clarified butter?

    • Ghee is cooked just a few minutes longer than clarified butter. It is cooked until the milk solids caramelize and turn a darker brown colour. The longer cooking time of ghee creates a delicious roasted nutty flavour.

    In what recipes can ghee or clarified butter be used?

    • Clarified butter can be used to replace oil or butter in any cooking recipe
    • However, it is not advisable to use in baking cakes or cookies unless the recipe specifically calls for it. Baking relies on the milk solids and water content for flavour and texture. Clarifying butter removes these contents making it unsuitable for baking.
    • Here are a few great recipes in which you can replace the oil or butter with clarified butter or ghee. This will create an irresistibly delicious rich and buttery flavour in any dish in which it has been used.
    • Use instead of oil in these Homemade Corn Tortillas, or Easy Homemade Flour Tortilla Recipe
    • Clarified butter or ghee tastes amazing used when making garlic butter. Try it when making the topping for this 3 Ingredient Spicy Garlic Flatbread or the filling for my Easy Garlic Rolls
    • Give it a try when cooking your mushrooms or frying an egg in a recipe like my Cheese Mushroom and Egg Breakfast Pita

    Can this recipe be doubled or tripled?

    • Absolutely, just note however the cooking time will be longer than 10 minutes when using more butter than that specified in this recipe.

    Video

    Notes

    1. Salted or Unsalted butter can be used. Note however that when salted butter is used, the salty flavour is concentrated when the butter has been reduced, salted butter also tends to create more foam, making it difficult to observe the colour change.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 226g
    *Nutrition Disclaimer
    Tried this recipe? Let me know how it was in the comments below