How Does Ghee Differ From Butter and What Does It Mean?

In South Asia, clarified butter, or ghee, is frequently consumed. However, what precisely is it? And for what purpose is it useful? Continue reading for a recipe for handmade ghee that works every time, as well as the whats and hows of this adaptable fat.

Ghee is a pantry staple in South Asia and is believed to have originated in the Indus Valley around 8,000 years ago. Ghee usage has begun to increase in the West in recent years. Find out how to use this versatile, age-old fat into your contemporary kitchen.

Read More: Jhorna Ghee

What does ghee mean?

To put it simply, ghee is a clarified butter from South Asia that is created by removing the butterfat from the milk solids and water. In her groundbreaking 1980 cookbook, The Art of Indian Cooking, Julie Sahni states, “The French clarified butter is made by melting fresh butter, then straining the clear butter off from the milk residue that has settled at the bottom of the pot.” “‘Usli ghee,’ [or literally ‘authentic ghee,’] is also begun by melting fresh butter, but is then kept at a simmer for a long time, to allow the moisture present in the milk solids to evaporate.” Ghee is similar to clarified butter, but it has a somewhat stronger flavor due to the longer simmering period that allows more water to evaporate and enhance the flavor from the milk solids.

What flavor does ghee have?

Ghee tastes nearly caramel-like, with a hint of nuts. Compared to butter, it has a lighter, grainier texture.

What distinguishes butter from ghee?

Ghee, which is nearly all fat, may be kept in a pantry while not in use. Its smoking point is considerably higher (465°F) than butter (302°F) due to the removal of milk proteins. Ghee and butter have about the same nutritional value, with fat accounting for nearly all of their calories. They are both solid at room temperature. However, ghee is simpler for those with lactose sensitivity to digest since it is clarified and does not include casein, the predominant protein in milk, or lactose.

Is ghee available for purchase?

Large grocery shops, internet merchants, and wholesalers all sell ghee. (This wasn’t always the case; in the past, ghee was exclusive to Middle Eastern or South Asian grocery stores and was regarded as a specialty item.) You can get 16 fluid ounces of Swad brand ghee at Walmart for around $12. Other ghee brands that are widely accessible are Organic Valley, Pure Indian Foods, 4th and Heart, and Tin Star Foods.

How can I prepare ghee?

Without difficulty! Melt 2 sticks (226 grams) unsalted butter for 1 cup over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. A tiny coating of white foam will emerge on the borders of the butter as it starts to lose moisture, and it will start to crackle. Simmer for ten minutes or so, or until the froth stops and the cracking sound ceases; this indicates that the water in the milk solids has evaporated. become off the heat and let the brown residue settle as soon as the solids become brown, which should happen in a few minutes. Once the ghee has cooled down, pour the transparent liquid into a jar using cheesecloth as a strainer. After the ghee cools down enough, place a tight lid on the jar. Ghee that is homemade can be kept in the fridge for up to three months.

How should I apply ghee?

Ghee is a common ingredient in South Asian cookery. It serves as a foundation for tadka, a blend of herbs and spices that has become rich in fat. Roti and naan, or heated flatbreads, are brushed with ghee. It’s poured over saag or bharta and blended into rice and lentil recipes. Desserts from South Asia frequently use ghee as a key component.

In many dishes, whether they are South Asian or not, ghee makes a delicious replacement for butter or vegetable oil. Use ghee to fry pancakes or eggs, or spread it on a bagel or slice of sourdough. Use it for deep-frying fritters or sautéing fish and veggies. Use it as a brush or stir into oats before grilling meats. Additionally, ghee works well in baking recipes like shortbread or as a caramelizing ingredient for upside-down cakes.

Are ghee alternatives available?

You can need a substitution that is thick in consistency, has a high smoking point, tastes somewhat nutty, or is heavy in fat, depending on the recipe. Since butter is needed to manufacture ghee, it is the perfect substitute for ghee. Regarding substitutes that are vegan:

Ghee may be effectively replaced with coconut oil for baking.

Extra virgin olive oil is an excellent substitute for most cooking applications.

Due to its high smoking point, sunflower oil can be used as a reasonable alternative in recipes that need deep-frying.

Bottom row

A sort of clarified butter from South Asia, ghee is a versatile replacement for many other types of fats and oils in cooking. It is good for people who are lactose intolerant because it is devoid of both casein and lactose. Come celebrate with the billions of people who have been consuming ghee for millennia.