What is Ghee?
Ghee is the Punjabi and Hindi word for clarified butter. It is butter that has been gently brought up to a simmer. This causes the butter to separate into different layers, allowing you to remove the impurities that will burn if butter is used in cooking. This means that ghee can be cooked at really high temperatures without burning. It can go to such high temperatures that street food vendors in India will often deep fat fry in ghee, rather than oil, to give the food a buttery taste, whilst deep fat frying (it’s smoke point is at around 250 degrees celsius).
Where can I find Ghee?
It’s really easy to get hold of Ghee in supermarkets, you can find it in the world food aisle. Alternatively, you can make your own at home. It’s easier to do than you might think. Plus if you are intolerant to cows milk, you can make your own Ghee from goat’s butter, buffalo’s butter, or sheep’s butter. I am actually allergic to cows milk so we make our own ghee at home from goats butter so that I can enjoy cooking with ghee and the delicious taste it adds to particular dishes, just like everybody else.
In terms of storage, treat ghee in the same way you would treat butter. It should keep for many months, provided it has not been contaminated with the other ingredients, so just make sure you use clean utensils when serving ghee out of the container.
Whenever we are cooking, we always look at how long an ingredient has been around for/used in cookery, thus meaning it has stood the test of time. Ghee has been around for centuries and therefore we know that it works well from a taste perspective, from a ‘safe food preservation method’ perspective, as well as knowing that it is a completely natural and traditional product that is free from any additives or ‘nasties’.
Isn’t Ghee more fattening?
Gram for gram, fats contain the same level of fats. So whether you are using Ghee or a different fat source (i.e. sunflower oil) there is no difference in the fat level present from one to the other.
So next time you have a surplus of butter, why not give ghee-making a try!
We have a step-by-step pictorial on how to make ghee -(video coming soon).
Ghee is used to shallow fry Paratha. Take a look at our ‘how to make Paratha’ post: