The noise of the slotted ladle against the stainless steel milk pot worked like a morning alarm for us. Stepping out after a bath and with the towel still wrapped around her head, she skimmed malai (cream) from the milk that had been boiled and left to cool off in the refrigerator overnight, often complaining how the times have changed, people are no more honest for the quality of product from the milkman deteriorated each day.
From the malai she had collected for weeks together, the yield was a small bowl of ghee. I never understood the point of slogging over for something you can easily pick up in stores for a few bucks. But badi mummy (my grandma) said that homemade was incomparable in taste and aroma. Not only was the ghee used in the kitchen but also to light up cotton wicks of the evening lamp in the mandir (temple in the house).
In India, ghee is a comfort, a reverence, a source of nourishment. It is offered to God, massaged on body and hair as a moisturizer, also consumed for healing when sick. It is a way of showcasing love,warmth and indulgence.
It is one of the things that I make sure to keep well stocked in my pantry.Once you make it at home, you will never go back to store-bought.Its tad easy to make. Not only is it good and hearty; best of all, it’s so much healthier! On lazy days, when I do not cook dinner, I leisurely plan to make a lot of homemade stuff , ghee is definitely one of them. Lets just say, with few bottles of ghee in the refrigerator, I sleep better.
Over the years, I have now learnt to make this always perfect, grainy ghee. I’m so in awe of how it tastes when brushed on top of a crusty bread, or dolloped over a bowl of warm dal (lentils),simply added to marinades or basted over roasting meats.It has been doing so much in my kitchen for all these years that its nothing short of it if I choose to call it the liquid gold.
Slather liberal amounts of ghee on a crusty bread and toast to perfection on a skillet, sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar or seasoned salt. Pair with chai. Delicious!
Traditionally, cream from buffalo milk is used in India to make ghee. However you are good to go with organic butter.
Ingredients (Yields about 2 cups of butter)
- 1 lb organic, unsalted butter
- Heavy bottomed, large sauce pan
- A spoon to stir
- Your Soup/Tea Sieve
- A stick of butter yields about 1/2 cup of ghee. You can make as much as you want, adjusting the boiling time in the recipe.
- Any kind of spices or dried herbs can be mixed in to make add a robust flavor. You can alternatively add whole spices during boiling for a mellowed down flavor.
Place the unsalted butter in the saucepan over medium heat. Let the butter melt for 5 minutes. Once melted, you will observe a foam on the top. This takes about 4-6 minutes. Immediately reduce the heat to low. As the butter melts,it slowly begins to boil. Do not cover the saucepan. The solids settle to the bottom, while a thicker layer of oil forms in the center, the foamy layer on top begins to settle.You will hear a spluttering sound while the butter boils away.
Slowly, the boiling process will reduce and you will see a middle layer having a clear, golden brown appearance. This can take up to an hour . This is the ghee. Carefully spoon off the top layer of scum, making sure not to disturb the layer of solids on the bottom.
( See 3rd picture from top in the post. After straining, ghee is a transparent liquid with NO white deposits at the bottom.)
Line your sieve with cheesecloth, then strain off the ghee into air-tight canisters. Discard the solids at the bottom.
Homemade ghee can be stored at room temperature during winter months for upto 1-2 months, keep it refrigerated during summers.
Use as required for baking or cooking.
Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!