Homemade ghee is low-cost, delicious, and super easy to make.
As a cooking fat it is stable at higher temperatures, and adds a unique flavour to curries and risottos, and pretty much any other dish requiring butter or oil!
Ghee is simply clarified butter: pure butter fat with virtually no protein residues left. This makes it tolerable for some people with mild dairy protein sensitivities – though I wouldn’t recommend ghee if you have a dairy allergy as it isn’t guaranteed to be 100% whey and casein-free.
Here’s a step by step guide to making rich, golden, more-ish ghee…
You will need:
250g block of organic unsalted butter
A couple of pieces of cheesecloth to line the sieve
Glass jug to strain the ghee into
Jar to store the ghee; this can be an old jam jar or mason jar – anything with a secure lid
Let’s get started…
Dice the butter into small cubes and heat gently in the pan.
The melted butter will start to bubble and foam. After a few minutes the bubbles will go down, and then start up again.
After this second round of bubbling and foaming, you will see a dark reddish coloured residue at the bottom of the pan. The ghee is now done!
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then strain through the sieve into the jug.
Carefully pour the ghee into your storage jar, and allow to cool to room temperature.
By now, the ghee will be starting to set. Fasten the lid securely and allow it to set completely. Your ghee is complete -enjoy!
Fats and oils have had a rough time over the last few decades. Butter was banished during the late 70’s and 80’s to be replaced by so called ‘healthy’ margarines which we now know are essentially plastic and not healthy at all.
So which are the best fats and oils for cooking with?
Well, a lot of this depends on the temperature of the cooking. High temperatures alter the chemical bonds in oils and fats, changing their structure and the way they are absorbed and utilised by our bodies. Polyunsaturated fats like vegetable and seed oils (with the exception of olive oil which is richer in monounsaturated fats) are particularly prone to this damage and are best used for salad dressings or drizzling over cooked foods rather than cooking with. Personally I think oilve oil is best used this way too as you preserve the lovely taste of it though it is slightly more stable than polyunsaturated oils so can be used for very light, lower temperature frying.
For higher temperature stir frying and roasting, saturated fats like organic ghee and coconut oil are the best bet. Solid at room temperature, these fats retain their chemical structure when exposed to high temperatures and are metabolised well by our digestion. Ghee is clarified milk fat, with virtually no milk proteins or lactose remaining. You can make your own ghee at home from organic unsalted butter but if you are concerned about cholesterol or prefer a vegan cooking fat, opt for the coconut oil or coconut butter as both are completely cholesterol free.