Ghee, the preferred cooking fat in Indian cuisine, is nothing more than an intense form of clarified butter that has been cooked until the water has evaporated and the milk solids have browned. The result is pure butterfat with rich, nutty flavor. According to the Indian philosophy of medicine called ayurveda, ghee is a healing food that enhances immunity, fights inflammation and calms the nerves. From a culinary perspective, it has a high smoke point, which means you can cook it at higher temperatures than regular butter without burning. You can buy ghee in Indian markets and health-food stores, but it can be expensive and it’s very easy to make. Although ghee is associated with Indian cuisine, you can use it to rev up the flavor of any dish, including baked goods like our Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Seriously, try this stuff in baked goods. Wow.
Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter melts, it will start to foam. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 10 minutes or until the milk solids sink to the bottom of the pan and brown. You’ll need to gently tilt the pan to be sure the milk solids don’t burn. Keep an eye on your ghee while it cooks, because it can go from just right to a burned mess in the blink of an eye.
Line a fine-mesh strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth; place the lined strainer over a clean bowl. Strain the ghee. Decant the ghee into a clean jar and let it cool. The ghee will solidify as it cools. Refrigerate, tightly covered, up to 6 months.
Yields about 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10-20 minutes