Ghee is a form of clarified butter that comes from traditional Indian cooking. Clarified butter is butter that has had the milk proteins, sugars and water removed, which makes it a great option for preparing paleo foods and recipes. Ghee differs a bit from clarified butter, in that ghee is a form of clarified butter that has been cooked longer to ensure all the moisture is removed. When making ghee, the milk solids are caramelized in the fat and then strained out, which gives the ghee a rich, nutty flavor.
Ghee is free of lactose and casein, which can cause digestive problems for some people, and it’s also great for paleo cooking because it can withstand a very high heat setting during cooking, since it is a highly saturated fat. Its ability to withstand high heat makes it great for use in recipes involving stir-frying, sautéing and roasting.
Ghee or clarified butter is generally available from Indian food stores, or other specialty food outlets, but you can also make your own ghee. When making your own ghee at home, the most important first step is to ensure you’re purchasing high quality, unsalted, organic and grass-fed butter. There are two ways to make your own ghee; one involves slowly melting the butter and the other is a faster method involving boiling the butter.
To make ghee using the slow method, place it in a pot on a low temperature, and slowly let the butter melt, without stirring at all during the melting process. When all of the butter is melted, use a slotted spoon to remove the froth that came to the top of the pot. Using a strainer lined with cheese cloth or paper towels, pour the melted butter through the strainer and into a bowl. After pouring the butter through the strainer, let the butter stand for several minutes to allow the water and the fat to separate and then spoon off the remaining butter, being sure not to include any of the water that is located at the bottom of the bowl.
To make ghee using the faster, boiling method, melt the butter over a medium-high heat setting, and stir the butter occasionally to prevent the burning of the milk solids. The froth should be removed throughout the cooking process, using a slotted spoon. Once the butter comes to a boil, you should continue boiling it for about 15 minutes, and it should be stirred occasionally. When the butter stops boiling, this means the water has evaporated, and the ghee is ready to be removed from the heat. After removing it from the heat, line a mesh strainer with cheese cloth over a jar, and pour the butter through the strainer and into the jar.