How to make Ghee2013-08-08
- Yield : 200g
- Cook Time : 5m
I grew up to the aroma of my Mum making ghee on most weekends. I can still remember my grandma making ghee. In my mind’s eye, I can still see her with her ravi ( wooden whisk ) churning away the buttermilk in the barni (ceramic large bowl) for a long time till the butter started floating on top. Then that butter was collected and heated on the gas on a slow fire.
My Dad was the real expert, though, at making ghee. He made the transition from barni to mixie to food processor and, I remember, he did add loads of ice as well. There used to be so much ghee, so many bottles full every Sunday, that it was humanly impossible to consume that. The diyas (lamps) in the everyday pooja always had ghee in them, in my father’s time at least.
Over the years, I too started making ghee at home. So addicted to the flavour and aroma of home made ghee, I can never really bring myself to buying ghee. Specially the ones in London. They do sell big tins of desi ghee, but they are either de-odourised or smell of cardamom. I think that ghee should smell like ghee. It is the food of the Gods after all.
I had this long drawn process of collecting the cream from boiled milk, while I was still in Bangalore, but now, in London, I use the short cut method and it serves me fine!
- Unsalted butter 250 g
Take a thick bottomed pan.
Put the butter into the pan and turn the heat on. You will notice that as the pan gets hotter and hotter, the butter just melts. It is imperative not to get too carried away and turn the heat very high, because the butter will start to burn.
You will notice that slowly the ghee starts separating and the milk solids collecting at the bottom. It really helps if you keep whisking and prevent the milk solids from sticking to the bottom of the pan. This is vital to help make washing up a breeze.
I know that a lot of my friends who also make ghee, are tempted to stop the process now, when they see the milk solids at the bottom, and loads of liquid floating around. But, please, do not get tempted at this moment, because, remember the ghee is not well cooked yet.
Keep the fire low, and keep stirring and you will notice the milk solids changing colour. They slowly start getting brown. There is no need to keep the fire on till they are the colour of chocolate, because sometimes, the ghee gets brown as well in that case.
It is a fine art of figuring out when to take it off the gas, and I am sure you will figure out after a few tries. I find it helps to turn the gas off when it is just light brown, and then move the pan off the heating element. Because the mixture is so hot, it just keeps boiling by itself for some more time. After a bit you will notice some deposits at the bottom. Of course, I expect that you have been moving it around all this while, and not gotten bored and gone off to do another chore while the ghee is burning away.
Let cool and then strain into a clean dry bottle. Remember that if you let it cool down completely, it will thicken and then will need reheating again. So, let cool slightly and when you are sure that it is not so hot that it will crack the glass bottle that you will pour it into, then grab a metallic strainer and pour it through.
As it cools in the bottle, you will see some brown bits that have escaped the strainer sitting at the bottom of your bottle. And the ghee, well, it would’ve thickened into the most glorious golden looking thing that you have ever seen!
Do try this out and let me know how you’ve been getting on!