If you’ve ever wondered how to make ghee at home with unsalted butter, I’ve got some good news.
Ghee (or clarified butter) is much easier to make than you might think. Plus it’s only got 1 ingredient!
It’s also absolutely delicious and boasts a powerhouse of health benefits.
What exactly is ghee?
Essentially, ghee is butterfat that’s left over after the water and milk solids are removed through a process of simmering.
A type of clarified butter, the term ghee originates from the Sanskrit word ‘sprinkled’.
Health benefits of ghee
I starting seeing an Ayurvedic practitioner a few years ago and he waxed lyrical about the wonders of ghee, or ‘liquid gold’, as it’s sometimes called.
A staple of Asian cooking, it’s revered as a bit of a power food in Indian culture.
Think you’ve never eaten it? Think again. If you’ve ever eaten a takeaway curry, you’ve very likely eaten ghee!
Some of the key health benefits of ghee include:
- aids digestion
- contains a balance of easy to digest, short chain fatty acids that are vital for healthy skin, nerves and cells.
- lubricates and moistens the tissues
- helps remove toxins
- high ‘smoke point’ in cooking, which means it doesn’t produce damaging free radicals
- a lactose and milk protein content that is nil to minimal, making it easier to tolerate by those with dairy sensitivities.
I put ghee everywhere.
On toast, in baked potatoes, melted on hot dishes and soups or even in a hot drink!
My little lady loves it too and often asks for ‘that melted butter thing’.
So not only is it good for you, but it tastes wonderful.
But if you want to go the homemade route, here’s my recipe for how to make homemade ghee.
If you can, use organic butter to make your ghee and if you can get it, organic butter from grass fed cows.
Butter from grass-fed cows tends to be much higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K2, as well as vitamin A, because the cows are fed on a nutrient rich grass centric diet.
This makes grass fed butter a healthier and more nutrient rich choice if you can get it.
How to make homemade ghee with unsalted butter
Step 1 – Melt 2 packs of unsalted butter over a low heat in a saucepan.
Step 2 – Once the butter has melted and starts to bubble and make bubbling sounds, give the melted butter a stir. This evenly disperses the milk solids.
Step 3 – Continue to simmer for around 35-40 minutes on a low heat. The ghee will continue to make bubbling sounds and be cloudy, plus a foam will form on the top of the liquid.
Note: If you want to, you can skim off the foam that gathers on the surface with a spoon (some people do, others don’t, so it’s up to you).
Step 4 – Keep an eye on the pan and when the contents become clear and you can see the milk solids on the bottom of the pan looking granular or clotted together and slightly browned, remove the pan quickly from the heat. If you don’t, the ghee can quickly burn and turn brown instead of golden.
It should look something like this:
Straining removes the foam and milk solids and the resulting liquid ghee should look clear and golden.
If you don’t have any cheesecloth, I sometimes use a very fine sieve, which works ok, but if the strained liquid looks cloudy, milk solids are passing through and the sieve isn’t fine enough.
Incidentally, any remaining milk solids in the bottom of your pan can either be discarded or you can make a sweet treat with some sweeteners and spices such as honey and cardoman, which is what they often do in India for a delicious sweet treat.
Step 6 – Cool your ghee store at room temperature.
Ghee has a long shelf life and you don’t need to keep ghee in the fridge, although it won’t do it any harm if you do.
Once it is fully cooled the ghee will solidify and remain a lovely rich goldeny, yellow colour.
And that’s it! Your homemade ghee with unsalted butter is now ready to cook with.
Or simply grab a big wedge of sourdough, spread on a generous spoonful of ghee, eat and enjoy!
Have you made ghee at home? What’s your favourite way to use it?
How To Make Ghee At Home With Unsalted Butter
- 2 packs unsalted butter use organic butter if you can
Melt the unsalted butter over a low heat in a saucepan (try and avoid aluminium pans, as they can leach, which is not good for you)
Once it has melted and starts to bubble and make bubbling sounds, stir the melted butter to evenly disperse the milk solids.
Continue to simmer for around 35-40 minutes on a low heat. It will continue to make bubbling sounds and be cloudy, plus a foam will form on the top of the liquid.
If you want to, you can skim off the foam that gathers on the surface with a spoon (some people do, others don't, so it's up to you)
Keep an eye on the pan and when the contents become clear and quiet, remove the pan quickly from the heat. If you don't the ghee can quickly burn and turn brown instead of golden.
Cool slightly, then pour the ghee through a very fine metal sieve (use cheesecloth if the sieve is not fine enough) into an airtight container. Straining removes the foam and milk solids (the ghee is the clear, golden liquid).
Once the ghee is fully cooled, it will solidify and remain a lovely golden colour.
Store at room temperature (you do not need to keep ghee in the fridge, although it won't do it any harm if you want to).
If you don't cook ghee long enough until it is a clear, golden liquid, it can mould, so make sure you don't remove it from the heat too early with big globules of milk solids still bubbling underneath the surface. Conversely, don't leave ghee on too long either, as it will soon let you know by burning! In many Ayurvedic circles, the foam that forms on the top is considered to be very healthful and eaten. Others skim it off and throw it away. This is down to personal preference. I usually remove it and discard.