Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ghee: You won't believe its just butter

Ghee is a type of clarified butter that is a staple of Indian and Pakistani food, and a sacred oil used in Vedic rituals as a sacrifice to Agni, the spirit of fire.  But this is a cooking blog, so I will leave the Theology out of it.  It is also the main reason your Indian food at home never is quite as good as it is in the restaurant.  While it is clarified, the method of which it is made is different than how the french make it. While the french method simply melts the butter, and skims the fat out, Ghee is prepared by melting whole unsalted butter, then letting the whey evaporate leaving milk solids and fat, you then let the milk solids brown, giving the fat a nutty flavor, and golden color. simply put, its delicious.

1 pound of butter

the pound of butter I got came in 4, 4 ounce sticks, unwrap your butter and put it in a sauce pan over medium low heat.

after about 5 mins it will start to melt, you don't want to let it melt to quickly by turning the heat up, this is where patience will be rewarded.

once the butter is completely melted, you want to let it come to a boil, well, you want the liquid under the layer of fat to boil, once it is evaporated, the foam on top will start to sink to the bottom of the pan and turn brown, when the milk solids on the bottom are a nice nutty light brown, remove and strain through cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer.  or a paper towel works fine too.
this is the Ghee, as you can see it is darker than your normal clarified butter you see served with lobster, it also smells slightly of toasted almonds, 1 pound of butter results in roughly a pint of Ghee

Most recipes for Ghee will tell you to discard the milk solids, but as a Ketoer, I have a use for these, so I save them.  the use will be the subject of a future blog, so for now, it's a secret...but trust me, you will want to save these. let them cool and put them in a food storage container then stick them in the fridge.

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