How to make ghee from butter at home quickly and easily. This is a step by step guide for quickly clarifying butter to get this heavenly golden liquid.
Ghee is a key ingredient in many dishes in the Middle East, especially desserts. Take for example this basbousa recipe, yes you can make it with butter but ghee takes it to a whole new level.
Learn how to make ghee from butter quickly unlike the traditional way which required hours of simmering over a very low flame.
How to make ghee from butter
Making ghee from butter is a skill that has been in families for generations. I love ghee. In the Middle east almost every little girl has seen her mom making ghee many many times. It is an essential ingredient in many authentic Middle eastern desserts. It adds its own touch to dishes regarding smell and taste. In Egypt we usually make ghee out of white butter not yellow one, but I love it either ways.The idea behind making ghee is clarifying the butter, taking away the dairy solids in it to end up with pure butterfat.
The traditional method of making ghee is by melting butter then reducing heat as low as possible keeping the butter there until it is completely clarified and the solids sink to the bottom turning a little brownish. This process usually took around 3-4 hours depending on how much you are making. Today, though I am going to show you a way that will only take 30 minutes of your time and the result is a delicious, nutty flavored butter each time.
What is ghee?
Ghee is simply nutty clarified butter with all the milk solids and proteins removed. It has an incredible butterscotch flavor which blends beautifully in mostly any dish you make. Ghee is a staple ingredients in the Indian cuisine as it is in many of the Middle Eastern dishes. Ghee has a high smoking point which makes it a great candidate fat for stir frying and roasting recipes.
Salted butter or unsalted butter for ghee?
I prefer using unsalted butter when making ghee. May be because this is how I saw my family do it. For the brands, I use any good quality butter, but it does not have to be a premium quality.
So, can you clarify salted butter?
Yes and No. Ghee from salted butter will be salty and you will not be able to use it in desserts. Although I’ve seen my mom and grandma adding just a dash of salt to the butter while making ghee, and I will tell you why by the end of the post, this dash did not make the ghee salty. The difference between clarified butter and ghee is that the former you just skim all the foam when butter melts and wait for like a minute then turn heat off and use, while in ghee you’ll wait until the milk solids brown which gives the ghee its distinguished smell and taste.
How to know that ghee is done?
Ghee is very forgiving, so do not worry if you cook it less or too much the most important thing is that you do not burn it to the point it gets too dark. There are two signs that ghee is cooked. First all the milk solids will sink at the bottom and started to brown and second is that the popping sound resulting from water evaporation will disappear.
How much ghee do you get from a pound of butter?
It depends on the butter but on average a 1 pound of butter = 2 cups = 4 sticks usually yields 1.5 cups of ghee.
How long does homemade ghee last?
How about FOREVER!!. Guys I’ve seen my grandmother melting around 20 kilograms of butter all at once, pouring them into these giant glass containers and just storing them in the back of her pantry… she did not refrigerate!!. It is recommended though, that ghee can be stored for up to 1 year refrigerated and 3 months on the shelf.
How to make ghee at home: a step by step guide
- Before you start melting butter, it is always easier and quicker to cut butter into small cubes to shorten melting time. Add butter to a heavy bottomed pot over medium low heat.
- After about 5-8 minutes you’ll notice that the butter is melted and it started foaming. This foam is the milk proteins separating from the fat and water and rising to the surface of the pot.
- Using a spoon remove some foam from the surface of the melted butter. You can also stir gently without reaching to the bottom of the pot, this is done every now and then so you can check the melted butter underneath to make sure you are not burning it.
- Wait a minute or two and at this stage you’ve got yourself clarified butter.
- You’ll notice some milk solids sinking at the bottom of the pot. To achieve that nice butterscotch flavor, we will raise the temperature a bit to probably medium and watch the pan like a hawk. We want to slightly brown the milk solids at the bottom of the pan. Watch the pan carefully as it can burn easily. Skim any bubbles at the surface so you can see clearly.
- Let the ghee cool down until you are able to handle then strain carefully through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth. Pour ghee into clean glass jars. Let it cool completely before putting the lid on. The ghee will solidify at room temperature.
Making ghee from butter tips:
- When making ghee, it is better to use light colored pot like stainless steel or dutch so you can see the bottom of the pot clearly.
- Ghee will have a strong butterscotch note to it. It might seem very strong in the beginning but it will fade slightly as it ages for 2-3 days. It will eventually come to a balanced rounded nutty flavor.
- Now for the browned solids at the bottom of the pan. Here is what my mom and grandma did. They took these solids and use it as a spread for crusty bread, they might add a little extra dash of salt to it but seriously guys they taste heavenly. This is called “Morta”.
- Another tip I got from a friend is, you know the foam that we skimmed on step 3 above? Do not discard, instead brown them a bit in a pan and use it as a “Morta” spread.
- Another way to use the browned solids is to add them to some flour and honey and make a sort of fudge.
How to use ghee
You can use ghee pretty much as you would use butter in everyday cooking. Here are some of the recipes that uses ghee here: Mediterranean rice, Basbousa, Egyptian Cookies, Egyptian rice, Stuffed grape leaves and sadd el hanak.
You might want to check how to make ghee in the instant pot.
How to make ghee from butter
Homemade ghee is much cheaper than store bought ones and it is very simple and forgiving to make. Enjoy the nutty flavor of ghee with almost any recipe you have.
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How to make Ghee from butter
- 1 pound (453 gm)/ 2 cups unsalted butter, cut into half inch pieces.
- In a heavy bottomed skillet or dutch oven, add butter cubes and melt the butter over low heat 210F-250F. Note1
- You’ll notice that the butter will melt after about 8 minutes and starts to foam.
- Use a spoon to remove some of the white foam that will rise to the surface. Or you can gently stir the surface just to have a look at the butter underneath.
- The butter will clarify and some of the milk solids will sink to the bottom. Keep the butter boiling into a gentle simmer and not rolling boil.
- When it turns golden and clear, raise temperature to 250F -280F and wait until the solids at the bottom of the pan turn golden brown. Keep an eye on the pan as this will probably take anywhere from 3-5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and strain ghee through a fine mesh lined with cheese cloth. Note2