Ghee, that magical clarified butter, is one of those foods that is good for you body and soul--and a cinch to make! Basically, making ghee is all about separating the milk solids and impurities from the butter itself so that you are left with good-for-you fats, vitamins A, C, and E, anti-inflammatory properties, and a host of digestive benefits. On top of that, Ayurvedic wisdom tells us that ghee is one of the purest and energetically replenishing foods we can eat to nourish our spirit.
According to them, ghee is infused with the energy we put into it, helping us to replenish our natural life force. And it makes sense if you think about it. Like with anything you cook, you put your own energy and love into whatever it is you are making. It's kind of like a proverbial spell or kitchen magic that gets conjured every time we fire up the stove and prepare a meal for ourselves and loved ones. However you like to think of it, when you make this ghee--or anything else--it's a good idea to infuse your food with nourishing, happy thoughts. Who would want to eat food that's made with anything else?
My sister taught me how to make this over the weekend because I have long loved the depth of flavor ghee gives to the dishes she cooks. It has all the richness of butter, without the bad fats. You can also play around with the depth of butter browning. I like my butter to get a little toasty because it deepens the flavor to a smokey caramel. If you don't like that taste, you can always pull the butter off the stove sooner. Make sure to use unsalted butter because it is a higher quality than its salted cousin. Ghee's high smoking point makes it ideal for a stir fry and other high-temp cooking. It also elevates a simple piece of toast to something akin to the divine. This recipe is for a smaller batch so feel free to double (or triple!) it if you know you will be using a lot of ghee.
1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter
Place butter in a small saucepan and let melt on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until butter melts. You will begin to see the top get opaque. This is how you know the clear fats (below) are separating from the dairy fats (on the top).
Once you see that, continue cooking butter until it begins to bubble. Allow to keep cooking for about 5-10 minutes, or until butter browns and the bubbles begin to get smaller. Then remove from heat an strain through cheesecloth or a metal strainer into a mason jar for storage. Your strainer will have some gunk in it--the dairy fat and other junk--which you can just throw out.
Allow to cool completely before using. Store in pantry (no refrigeration necessary!) for up to three months (although really, you will gobble this all up before then). Makes 1/2 cup.
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