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.