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Sunday, March 25, 2007

flavored ghee

flavored ghee clarified butter
Ghee is just butter, with milk solids and water removed by gentle heating and simmering.

A dab of ghee is all it takes to make fresh home-made rotis, corn bread or dinner rolls that much more irresistible:-)

Ghee, aka clarified butter, is a staple in my mom's kitchen. She usually had home-made ghee handy. She didn't use it a lot, and certainly didn't fry foods in ghee at home, but, once a fortnight or so, usually on Sundays, my mom used to just serve up ghee and rice for lunch, that's it. It felt like a cleansing meal. And we would get diluted buttermilk as a snack/drink.

These days I like to make ghee at home, with some infused flavors.

Pictured above are annatto-garlic ghee (orange-red, on the left back), mint-jalapeño ghee (greenish, in the front), and cardamom ghee (yellowish, right back).

The procedure is very simple: Gradually melt unsweetened, unsalted butter in a pan. Add any flavoring ingredients at this point, if using, and let it simmer gently. The seething bubbles will get vigorous as water is evaporating away, and then, the bubbling will die down a little. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. Try not to stir once milk solids start separating. It takes a little trial and error to gauge the smell and color when ghee is ready. Off heat, without shaking the pan, strain through a cheese cloth into a container. The clear liquid is ghee.

A box (16 oz) of butter yields about 8 or 9 oz of ghee.

Ghee remains spreadable at room temperature and doesn't need refrigeration if stored air-tight and kept moisture-proof.

Any favorite herbs/spices can be used to infuse wonderful flavor and aroma to the ghee - like rosemary, marjoram, sage, thyme, ginger, garlic, mint, chilies, cardamom and so on.

Add the flavoring to the butter at the start or at any point in the process that results in the infusion strength to your liking. I have experimented with adding it at different stages and found that I like the infusion strength when added right after the butter has melted and is just beginning to bubble. The quantities below are just a guideline, for use with 16 oz of butter.

Here are three of my favorite flavored ghee infusions.

Annatto-Garlic Ghee: 4 Tbsp annatto paste, 6-8 cloves of garlic crushed or minced finely.

Mint-Jalapeño Ghee: ½ cup mint leaves and 1 large jalapeño, broken down into a coarse paste using blender or food processor.

Cardamom Ghee: 6-8 pods of small green cardamom, crushed.

easy home made recipe flavored ghee clarified butter

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  • At 11:10 AM, Blogger bee said…

    wow. cardamom ghee sounds perfect for diwali sweets.

  • At 4:32 PM, Blogger jeena said…

    Hi, would you use the cardamon ghee particularly for sweet things? Is ghee healthier than butter and margarine? I like to cook but I am trying to be healthier do you think ghee would be better as I do love the taste of ghee. :)

    visit jeena's kitchen healthy recipe blog

  • At 7:19 AM, Blogger jeena said…

    Hi there , I was sure I posted here yesterday but I must have had computer problems :)

    I asked about the cardamon ghee, would it be used to make sweet recipes with? Also is home made ghee better to eat than butter, I'm trying to be healthier so I'm just curious - I do love the taste of ghee though :)

  • At 9:27 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    hi jeena, sorry, i didn't check my mail for comment moderation, so, didn't see your comments until now.

    Yes, your are right, cardamom ghee goes well with sweets.

    As far as health benefits:, Ayurveda recommends ghee; ghee is considered saturated fat; ghee is 100% fat, but, the "good" kind of fat, as far as I understand. So, I use it more than butter :-)

  • At 2:45 PM, Blogger jeena said…

    Hi Sheela, I have been having a few PC problems so I wasn't sure :)

    I do use olive oil a lot in cooking but it just won't do for some things. I like ghee especially with spices! I havn't used ghee with anything sweet yet but I would like to try sometime. I will be trying your homemade ghee - how long does it keep for approx?

  • At 2:48 PM, Blogger Sheela said…

    hi jeena, since i make small batches and use them up within two months, i am not sure; but, the ghee my mom makes usually lasts for up to six months if stored air-tight, and mainly, it should be kept water-proof - like, use a dry spoon to get ghee out of the jar...

  • At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Stevie O. said…

    As far as health considerations go, it is much better than most margarine. Margarine is mostly transfat (hydrogenated fats)--the stuff they're banning in NY and other places. As far as butter vs. ghee, they're probably close, but ghee tastes better and is more fun to use!

  • At 4:34 PM, Blogger Kay said…

    I've read about ginger flavored ghees .... but colorful ghees! and that too, with natural ingredients! This is the first time.

    Your creativity speaks! :)


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