Ghee - Clarified Butter, How to make it from Butter
Ghee Banane ka Tarika
Indian recipes often use ghee or clarified butter, instead of oil. It is basically butter where milk solids and water have been removed by cooking it. In Indian heat, it is impossible to keep butter for long and ghee can last indefinitely, without need for refrigeration. It also has a higher burning point than butter, where solids can burn quickly during cooking and spoil a dish. In most countries, you can buy it ready-made from Indian grocers. However, it is very easy and much cheaper to make at home. It can be stored for quite long periods. Quantity depends upon how often you use it. Try making a small amount first.
250-500 gm. butter, unsalted is better but not essential. Get whichever brand is on special offer.
Place butter in a heavy bottomed pan and melt on medium heat. Do not put lid on.
Simmer. You can remove froth from the top during simmering, but this is not strictly necessary. You have to continue stirring from time to time, to stop it from boiling over and the sediments 'catching' at the bottom.
Continue simmering until all bubbling stops and the sediments at the bottom of the pan look light beige/brown in colour*. Clear, golden coloured ghee is visible now. Remove any leftover scum.
Rest it for a 10-20 minutes, very hot ghee can cause severe burns if spilled.
Strain through a fine sieve or muslin/cheesecloth while still warm and liquid.
Store in a clean jars.
*Do not over cook butter. If you do, the solids at the bottom turn brown, as does the ghee. It can still be used in cooking but has rather a different, smoky sort of flavour, not my favourite!
In India, people often make ghee directly from malai, the thick top skin of the boiled milk: While collecting malai over a few days, store in a freezer. If kept in the fridge for more than 2-3 days, it begins to smell. Cook as in butter, stirring very frequently. When ready, the clear ghee comes to the top and the sediments become light brown and settle to the bottom.
After straining the ghee, the left over sediments can be added to the dough, as long as it is not burnt, and then used to makes lovely and crisp Parathas.