I have seen people preparing Ghee from Butter. No harm in that, but it still cannot be considered the “real” Ghee with fermented properties. The “proper” Ghee that comes from butter made from yogurt and not milk. Here in this post, I have gone the lengthy route of culturing my milk into yogurt, gathering the cream from it, beating that to make butter and then finally to ghee. This is the traditional way of doing it and this ghee obtained has numerous medicinal properties.
How to make ghee:
- Collect the clotted cream/top of milk from your pot of fresh milk every time you boil the milk. Refrigerate this cream until you have enough. When I was in India, I saw my mum doing this and her home supply of a 1 to 1.5 liters of whole fat milk yielded about 4 cups of cream at the end of the week. So you could do the math as per your home supply
- Once you have enough cream, add fresh, unflavoured natural yogurt culture. To those 4 cups of cream, Mum added about 2 tablespoonfuls of dahi (yogurt). Leave this to sour for about 6-7 hours. If you live in a cold place, even 10 hours or overnight will do it no harm.
If you are using store-bought fresh Double cream to make ghee (like I did), simply transfer to a bowl and keep it in the fridge to chill for a few hours before adding Yogurt and then follow the rest of the procedure
- Add the yogurt to the cream and gently stir it to mix. Keep this mix outside for about an hour and then refrigerate it for the next 4-5 hours to get it set properly.
- If you live in Colder climate/area, then you could leave the cream+yogurt mix outside at room temperature for about 4-5 hours and then refrigerate for 2 hours just to chill. Refrigeration is important since it makes it easier and faster for the butter to come up while churning. Making the ghee immediately with the mix at room temperature would yield lesser ghee
- Transfer all the sour cream to your blender and add about ½ cup of cold water. Run at the lowest speed for about 5-6 minutes. You will see the butter and buttermilk separate. This step requires a lot of patience since it doesn’t come off easily. Sometimes it takes me more than 10 minutes to get it all out of the jar.
The trick is both water and the butter should be cold enough and your Jar should be big enough to accommodate the shifting of liquids inside.
- Once the buttermilk looks thin enough and the butter has risen to the top, switch off and transfer to a bowl.
- Now, dip one palm in the bowl and turn once or twice anti-clockwise; this helps the butter to form a ball. Now simply pick up the Butter using your fingers as a strainer and wait for almost all of the buttermilk to strain off. Transfer the butter to another bowl. Use the buttermilk to make a kadhi or any Buttermilk based curry, or drink it just like that with a bit of rock salt and coriander leaves.
- Refrigerate the butter. This butter is excellent to bake with, by the way. And is excellent with your Punjabi Parathas and Sarso ka Saag
- Now, to make the ghee, simply put the butter in an iron wok or kadhai and boil gently until the solids separate and a clear liquid remains. This process will again take time, and depends on the quantity of butter you have taken. I have given step by step pictures below, from the moment you start heating up the butter till it separates well.
- Strain and store in an Airtight container for up to 6 months.
- Don’t put just the cream on the boil. Adding a natural yogurt culture is important as it gives the butter (and therefore the ghee) the correct taste and texture. Don’t be very stingy with the quantity of culture you add–a little extra will do no harm, less will make your buttermilk bitter and your butter and ghee will have a peculiar smell.
- In hot and humid weathers, give the cultured cream at least 6-7 hours to sour.
- If you are not adding yogurt add pinch of salt to keep the ghee for longer shelf life.
- While making ghee, start with the medium flame then slowly reduce to low flame to avoid burning.
- Allow the milk solids to turn brown–it will not burn your ghee but instead, will give you a rounded, even flavor and smooth texture. Also, your ghee will last longer.
- The milk solid that settles at the bottom should be in light brown color. If you allow it to become dark brown it means the ghee is burnt then you will end up with a burnt smell in ghee which is not good 🙁 So always keep an eye while making ghee.
- You can always flavor the ghee by adding curry leaves or your favorite herbs(rosemary,thyme) .
- You can use the herbs(roasted herbs in ghee smells yuuuuuumm) mix it with rice and little salt and serve it with your favorite vegetable.
I love eating the residue milk solids on its own, just by sprinkling some sugar on it. Although this simple combo in itself is heavenly, here are some more ideas collected from the internet ..
- Add few tbsp of wheat flour or multigrain flour, roast slightly with milk solid residue (do this in low flame) until raw aroma of flour disappears. Then put off the flame. Now add powdered sugar and mix well until everything is blended. Cool and store in an air tight container. You can have them as a snack whenever you feel like eating sweet. It tastes yummy with nutty flavor.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of milk solids with 1 clove of minced garlic. Heat on low till the garlic sizzles. Add a pinch of salt. Spread this on toasted pita or baguette slices for a rich tasting, yummy snack
- Heat 2 tablespoons milk solids along with 6 roughly crushed peppercorns. When the peppercorns are fragrant, add 2 cups cooked rice and some salt. Mix well. We call this vennai chatti sadam (butter pot rice) – a recipe specifically created to use up the by product of ghee making.
- Make ghee laddus/barfi: Add handful of wheat flour, crushed nuts, powdered sugar and mix it with the residue. Make small balls or flatten and relish
**Disclaimer – Parts of this post are taken randomly from the internet like the uses of Residue and Ayurveda statements.