Ghee is butter without the water and hard to digest, cholesterol forming milk solids. Ghee is made by boiling the water out of butter. Sugar, proteins and saturated fats, the milk solids, precipitate out and settle to the bottom. Then the ghee is poured through a cheesecloth or similarly fine filter.
To boil butter place it in a small sauce pot on medium heat. Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium low because the milk solids in butter tend to burn when cooked too quickly.
The butter will mature through several stages. First it will crackle and pop indicated water hasn't yet evaporated. The surface will be frothy and opaque. The ghee will be cloudy at first. Then the foam changes and the ghee will become clear. The ghee will start to fizz and take on a deeper golden yellow color. Lower heat until the ghee is just simmering. Eventually you will notice the milk solids at the bottom take on a roasted, toasted color. Turn off the heat and strain. Ghee strains best when hot.
Do not stir the ghee while cooking.
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It would be helpful if this recipe gave some indication of standard times in each stage...or maybe some info about different types of butter working better than others?
- Shanna, Sitka, AK, 04-14-10
Oh! I tried to make my own ghee but it didn't work very well. At the end it was very very brown:(. Maybe it was burnt? Can I still use it or is it better throw it out?
- luciana, Sydney, 07-21-10
Slightly burnt ghee is a very tasty ingredient used in desserts for a roasted touch! However, it is best to avoid burning the ghee in Ayurveda. Towards the end, the ghee has to be watched carefully, a note I've added to the recipe section above. Thanks for asking!
I made slightly burned ghee and it was fabulous. I could feel it's sattvic qualities permeate my every cell. I am tridoshic and have a hard time balancing all 3. The ghee made my joints less crackly and more flexible, cleared my skin, and at the same time, heated me up! I'm not kidding, it's been less than a week, and I started to feel results almost immediately.
- Claudia Alexander, Oakland, CA, 12-20-10
do we keep removing the foam from the surface while the ghee is cooking?
- ingi, Montreal, AL, 04-01-11
I've been having that strange craving for ghee and honey combination for two or three days now, and I keep wondering what my body might be trying to tell me. The information that this combination isn't exactly beneficial is not new for me, so I can't blame the forbidden fruit effect. Perhaps it may have sth to do with spring being Kapha-aggravating season in general? I'm K3P1V2.
Thanks for your comments, and for creating such an amazing resourse bank!
- Olya, 05-04-13
Ingi - Leave the foam on the surface. It will be removed when you filter the ghee at the end.
You can combine equal amount of ghee and honey by volume, but not by weight. I've never experienced the ill-effects of ghee / honey combining personally, and would love to hear from others about their experiences.