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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Basics ~ Homemade Ghee / Neyyi / Thuppa

Ghee happens to be an important kitchen staple in India from ancient times. It is such an essential part of life that it is used ranging from preparation of delectable and elaborate Indian sweet preparations to religious ceremonies. A baby's traditional solid food is always fed with delicious, homemade ghee. A teaspoon of ghee served with Indian meal certainly enhances its flavor. 
Majority of Indian households prepare ghee at homes since it is a part of their everyday meal. Also the quality and flavor of homemade ghee is obviously far superior compared to store brought ones. I never thought of posting about ghee preparation since I assumed that every Indian knows about it. However a recent conversation with a friend made me realize that making ghee may be a tricky one if you have never paid attention to ghee making process and may end up burning the stuff. I had promised her to post a detailed pictorial of ghee preparation and here it is. Luckily I had some good sunshine on the day I took these pictures and I could take pictures indoors, which I usually don't do.

Ghee is usually made from unsalted butter. It is melted until all the moisture is removed. However unlike butter, it can be stored at room temperature for many months. We make ghee from homemade butter at my mother's place. Here I use fatfree milk and yogurt and so don't have a chance to collect any thick cream for making butter. I buy the 4 pounds pack unsalted butter from Sam's Club and use it.
Choose a sturdy pot / non stick pan / thick bottomed vessel to prepare ghee. I go with a pound of unsalted butter each time I prepare ghee. Add the butter to the pan and start heating it on medium flame.You can heat on medium flame if you are going to stay around. Or you can use low flame from the beginning. The butter melts, the white stuff disappears and remains pale yellow colored liquid. There will be a lot of bubbling sound through this process.

Next the foam starts to form on the top. Continue to simmer until the butter becomes transparent like water. By the time, the milk solids at the bottom would have turned from white to golden brown.

When the  butter becomes clear liquid like above, turn off the stove. If you don't turn off the stove at this point, the milk solids may get burnt and you may have to trash the liquid.
Let it cool and collect the clear liquid (which is your ghee) into a container.  The solids would be usually collected stuck to the bottom of the container and is discarded.

The final product of this process, ghee in liquid form is here.

At room temperature, ghee solidifies, as shown in the first picture. When ghee needs to be used, it is just reheated until it melts. There is no harm in using solidified ghee except that you end up eating more. :)

This is going to be my Day 6 post under "Preps & Preserves" during BM#11. Check here to know what my fellow marathoners are cooking today.



The Pumpkin Farm said...

divine, lucky me have loads of butter each fortnite as I stock up the milk cream and churn it to get my stock. your step by step pix are really helpful for novices who are yet to taste this bliss

Srivalli said...

Nothing beats homemade ghee..pictures are so good..

Jayashree said...

Nothing matches the taste and aroma of fresh, home made ghee.

Gayathri Kumar said...

Home made ghee is always aromatic than the store brought one. This is a very useful post...

Kavi said...

very nice pictorial! :)
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Rajani said...

Sniff sniff, I can get the aroma here...looks great and so comforting!

Priya said...

Nothing will beat the homemade ghee,fantastic.

Sireesha said...

If you add few methi seeds - it will be more aromatic. Just try and see.

Deeps @ Naughty Curry said...

i have never made ghee before.. should try this sometime :)

Kalyani said...

the pics are awesome !
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Chef Mireille said...

here it is called clarified butter and is what most restaurants cook with

moonwillow said...

How long does it take from start to finish when making Ghee? Should it be stirred while in process? Thank you so much for this post.

moonwillow said...

How long does it take from start to finish when making Ghee and should it be stirred during process? Thank you so much for this post.