From your favorite recipes to your go to beauty treatments, ghee is a staple in the practice of Ayurveda. If you are unfamiliar with this product, ghee is cow’s butter that has been heated slowly, then strained, to remove all of the milk solids. It is then further heated to give it a beautiful golden color, a nutty flavor, and delightful fragrance. It is lactose free and shelf stable; giving it many beneficial properties and uses.
Ghee’s origins can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization where it was used in a variety of ways from food preparation to being a requirement for sacred Vedic rituals.
Today the healing properties of ghee continue to be appreciated and its use has become more popular than ever.
You can use ghee as a replacement for butter to eliminate lactose and impart a delicious flavor to your meals. In Ayurveda, it is said to help nourish and lubricate the body both inside and out by either ingesting it or using it to massage onto the skin. Other benefits include improved gut health, anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidant properties, increased immunity, improved mental capacities, and the ability to assist other medicinal herbs when used as a carrier.
Here’s how to make your own ghee at home.
STEP 1: Melt unsalted butter.
Use a pot with a heavy bottom so that the milk solids don’t burn rapidly. It’s best to cut the unsalted butter into smaller pieces so it melts evenly and consistently. Apply medium heat to melt the butter, then reduce to medium-low to simmer.
STEP 2: Allow the solids to separate and then remove them.
Once the butter has completely melted, it will start to bubble and begin to separate. As the butter simmers, some of the milk proteins rise and sit on the surface.
Use a spoon to skim the majority of the white solids on the surface and discard them. Keep removing the white solids until the butter becomes clear.
STEP 3: Allow the remaining solids to sink.
Once most of the milk solids have been removed from the surface of the butter, there will be some white solids lingering on the bottom. You will leave those there for completion of the next step.
STEP 4: Brown the butter solids
Continue to simmer the butter over medium-low heat. You will begin to see it change from a yellow to a golden color and brown solids will form at the bottom of the pan. When you see this change and notice a toffee-like smell, it’s time to turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove.
Allow the ghee to cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth. Place the lined strainer over a heatproof container like a glass measuring cup. Carefully pour the ghee through the strainer and collect the browned solids into the cheesecloth.
Pour the ghee into clean, dry glass jars. (I use canning jars.) Let them cool completely before sealing with a lid. The ghee can then be stored at room temperature for up to 3 months or refrigerated for up to 1 year. It becomes solid at room temperature, allowing you to scoop out your desired portion.