I’ve noticed it takes about half an hour to make ghee, whether I’m boiling two sticks of butter or sixteen sticks of butter. The first batch I made, I assumed it would take an hour. So I set the timer and walked away. When I came back the ghee had over cooked and all the butter was browned. It wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for but it wasn’t a complete loss either. Browned butter has an intense flavor, which is somewhat sweet. So if you happen to over cook your ghee and end up with browned butter, don’t throw it away. It’s often used in pastries and is a great accompaniment to caramel desserts.
You know the ghee is done when all the foam has evaporated and the milk solids have sunk to the bottom. My mother-in-law,”Mummy-ji”, told me that once the milk solids turn just a little light brown, the ghee is done. I noticed I had a hard time seeing the sunken milk solids at all, so I looked for all the foam to disappear and for the golden liquid color of the ghee to be revealed. On average, this took about 30 minutes.don’t know what ghee is? Read last week’s post: Homemade Ghee
DOES GHEE GO BAD?
HOW SHOULD I STORE IT?
I go through ghee so quickly, it’s never been around long enough to go bad. I go through a full jar in about a month or less. I keep my ghee in an air tight jar in my spice cabinet. However, I was curious to see if this was the best way to keep ghee fresh, so I called a ghee manufacturing company. A very friendly lady who sounded like she could be in her seventies picked up the phone and we had a fun conversation about the best ways to handle ghee. She told me,
Ghee doesn’t go bad. But there are ways to keep the flavor fresh. You don’t want to dip into the ghee with a wet spoon. You’d be surprised how common this is. Some people will be sautéing peas, rinse of the spoon and dip the wet spoon right into ghee. You’ll want to avoid getting water into the ghee.
I think ghee tastes best within about a month or so, but I use it in everything from baking to sautéing; even on my toast in the morning, so It never stays around long. I remember a lady call me because she found a jar of ghee in the back of her cabinet that is three years old and she was asking me if it was still good. Can you imagine!? I told her, “if you’re going to have ghee around that long, I think it would keep better in the refrigerator.”
Well there you have it, from the expert herself. Don’t fuss too much if you’ll be using it up in a month. Keep it air tight and away from water. Try not to contaminate it with a dirty or wet utensil. If you go through it fast, keeping it at room temperature is okay but the best option if you plan to go through it slowly is to store it in the refrigerator. The flavor is best within a month.
If you store ghee in the refrigerator it will solidify, but it softens quickly in the pan. You’ll notice even if you store it at room temperature that after a day or so, your ghee will begin to solidify and turns white. This is perfectly normal.
YIELDS: 1 CUP GHEE
For those of you who don’t need as much ghee as I do, the recipe below was made with only two sticks of butter, resulting in 1 cup of ghee. When I tested the recipe using 1 cup of butter (2 sticks) I got just under 1 cup of ghee. However in larger batches, such as boiling 8 cups of butter (16 sticks) I got 7.5 cups of ghee.
If you occasionally dabble in Indian cooking then this recipe for 1 cup of ghee would be more than enough for you. If you wish for more, you can follow the exact same steps using as much butter as you like.
Ghee can be used beyond just Indian cooking, use it to fry your morning eggs or as a flavorful stand in instead of oil.
YOU WILL NEED:
2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter
a heavy bottomed pot (a thin bottom might burn the butter over time)
a container to store the ghee
1. BOIL THE BUTTER
Place two sticks of butter in in the pot over medium-low heat (one notch below medium). Cooking any hotter than this will not help you go faster, it will only burn the butter. I’ve noticed, whether I’m boiling two sticks of butter or sixteen sticks of butter, it takes about 30 minutes.
2. STRAIN THE GHEE
Depending on how fine your strainer is, you may need to strain your ghee two or three times to get all the brown particles out. I ended up lining my strainer with a piece of cheese cloth and this worked like magic. I strained it about five times to get it picture perfect…but you don’t need to go that far.
3. KEEP THE SOLIDS!
Those browned milk solids are packed with flavor, don’t toss them! Keep them in a small bag or some tiny tupperware and add them into your next Indian dish.
4. STORE THE GHEE
If you store ghee in the refrigerator it will solidify, but comes out easily with a spoon and softens quickly in the pan. You’ll notice even if you store it at room temperature that after a day or so, some of the ghee will begin to solidify and turn white. This is perfectly normal.
MY BUTTER BURNED!
Perhaps like me, you strayed too long away from the butter, came back and saw this:
It’s not going to be ghee, but it will be tasty. It’s a bit sweet and full bodied. I burned my first batch and used it just as I would use ghee. It has a different flavor but still tastes great.
So whether you are someone who dabbles in homemade ghee just for fun, or you make your own ghee out of necessity, either way it’s a tasty treat that other wise would cost a pretty penny at the store.
Read more about making ghee in my previous post.