Butter is something I missed a lot after my doctor suggested I stop eating dairy products, so I was happy to learn how to make ghee. I never liked all the fake butter alternatives, but I found that when I ate real butter I didn’t feel well afterwards. Ghee is basically butter fat separated from the milk solids and water that make up a stick of butter. The milk solids are where the casein resides, and butter without casein doesn’t cause digestive issues for people with casein sensitivity. Ghee has a very high burning point, unlike regular butter, so it’s ideal for cooking or frying at high temperatures. It has a wonderful buttery flavor and it’s a perfect substitute for other oils in many recipes. I bought a small jar of ghee from Whole Foods for $5.99 so I could give it a try. When I realized what a great product it is, I decided to make it myself. I was happy to discover that the homemade version costs half what the store-bought version costs, and it’s simple to make.
I looked at several recipes for making ghee before I made my first batch, including this one by the Nourishing Gourmet and this one by Deliciously Organic. My experience was a little different from theirs, but their pictures and suggestions were very valuable as I fully expected to burn the first batch. Somehow, I didn’t burn it! All I had to do was keep an eye on the melted butter simmering on the stove for about 20 minutes. I make this all the time now, and I can get a big stack of dishes done and clean the counters while the ghee’s cooking. Here is the process I use with a few photos along the way.
How to Make Ghee
2 sticks of butter
1. In a pot with a heavy bottom, melt the butter on medium-low heat (closer to low).
2. Let the butter simmer over low or medium-low heat until it starts to foam.
3. After several minutes, the foam will start to dissipate.
5. You’ll notice the foam beginning to turn golden and there will be little brown bits of the milk solids at the bottom and sides of the pan. This is when the ghee is done. If you leave it on the stove for a minute too long, it’ll burn. Pull it off as soon as you see a bunch of light brown flecks on the bottom.
4. Strain the ghee over a fine-mesh strainer lined with butter muslin. This works much better than cheese cloth because the holes in cheese cloth are too big and the brown bits will go right through it. Others have suggested using a clean coffee filter if you don’t have butter muslin.
5. Store the ghee in the refrigerator or in a cool place in a cabinet. It will last for several months.
One cup of butter yields about ¾ cup of ghee. This amount of store-bought ghee costs $3.00, but the homemade version costs $1.50. I’m so glad I learned how to make ghee myself, because I can save lots of money with this recipe.