Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Making Ghee (Clarified Butter)



There is something about motherhood that forces you to cook something you would otherwise keep at bay. That "was" Ghee for me. I am not a big fan of butter or ghee, yogurt, milk. But that does not mean I would want the same for my baby, though I can surely empathize with people who have the same dislikes in terms of food as me. But as any mother would do, I too don't sit back and hope he should follow in my footsteps in terms of such things, infact I too coax, trick, and try other ways to make him healthier. I am sure most parents agree with me :-)

Ghee is also popularly known as Clarified butter. It's the liquid that's left after all milk solids that eventually collect at the bottom as sediments turn a golden hue (got that description from a facebook group friend who offered several other tips which I would be sharing here)



The method I used here is not traditional way which I am not that familiar with. Though my mother used to often make it, I used to pinch my nose and stay as far away from the "aroma". I didn't even bother knowing how it was made, let alone get a whiff !

So, though I am still not into ghee, for the sake of my bub, I made this the "easy" way :-) , and that's with store bought unsalted butter.

It's pretty easy , the steps are self explanatory from the pictures I have posted in collage form, but I will describe it for your convenience :-)

Ingredients

4 sticks unsalted butter (need not be at room temperature)

Optional ingredients: (I haven't used these, but got tips from experienced people who advised that it will enhance flavor, fragrance, and shelf life)

Salt (tiny pinch), Drumstick tree leaves, Curry leaves

Note: make sure everything from vessel, spoon, to leaves don't have even minute trace of moisture before starting to make ghee, else ghee will turn bad.

How I made it :

Keep a vessel at medium high and let it heat to vaporise any trace of water. Then lower heat to low (I kept mine between gas setting 1 and 2 the entire time while making ghee)

If you want, cut the butter in chunks for faster melting, and then add it to the vessel. Now wait until the butter melts completely and starts foaming.
You will here crackling sounds which indicates the milk solids in the butter heating up. The foam at this stage will be all over the top. Just wait patiently as this will take a while, (it took almost 20 minutes with very occasional stirring) but eventually it will thin out and you will notice the foam separating. If you use a spoon to slowly separate the foam, you will be able to see the yellow liquid (ghee) floating and the milk solids collected at the bottom. Do not at any stage, rush the cooking by increasing the heat. I learned that the hard way after I burnt the milk solids and it lend a bitter, unpleasant after taste and even smell, the first time I made ghee.

As you can see from the first collage here, the bubbles slowly reduce and the yellow liquid completely separates from the golden colored milk solids collected at the bottom. Wait until most of the foam is gone. It took another 10 minutes for me.



At this point, when you are just about to switch off the flame, add a tiny pinch of salt, the leaves, and then switch off flame. Let the ghee cool just a bit. Then pour it through a filter into a clean, well dry bottle (refer my second collage).



I apologize for the shaky pictures, as I was trying to be smart, clicking pictures with a cranky bub. Wrong move from my part I say :-\ please don't ever do that, I would never do it again, it's like my heart was pounding, but I so wanted to get it over with.

So once you finished straining the ghee, wait for it to cool completely before putting the lid and storing away in a cool place (not in the refrigerator). It will get hard and solidify as it cools, but that's normal.



You may use this ghee to make sweets, or in hot steaming rice , side dishes to enhance the smell, and taste. Also it's found to have medicinal properties that it's been used with ayurvedic medicine. I can personally vouch for that during my childhood days ;-)

Did you like this post? Please let me know your views, so that next time I can write a better one :-) , or if you love it, please tell me that too, you know I just love hearing from you :-) !
MK :-)

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