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Making traditional Ghee Recipe

Ghee is made by removing the moisture and the milk-solids contained in Makhan (Indian Butter) are toasted and removed. Ghee is pure milk-fat

Traditional ghee is made by either cow-milk or buffalo-milk. The cow-ghee is golden brown. Buffalo ghee is off-white cream color. Buffalo-milk is is popular in Punjab. Buffalo-milk has a higher butter-fat content and results in higher ghee yield than the cow-milk. Here, we will assume cow-milk. The color of ghee and yield depends on the species of the dairy animal, animal feed, and the lactation time.
On average, 21 pounds of milk will yield one pound of Makhan, one pound of Makhan will yield 1 cup of ghee.


Step 1 Make Dahi yogurt

Bring fresh whole milk (un-pasteurized, un-homogenized) to a boil. Let it cool to warm. Stir in starting culture. Wrap the container in a blanket to keep warm. Incubate for six hours. You have made the Dahi (yogurt)

Regular Dahi (Yogurt) Recipe

Step 2 Make Makhan (cultured butter)

Churn Dahi in the early morning hours when it is cool. In about 10 to 20 minutes of continuous churning, the butter-fat 'breaks' from the yogurt as butter-globules. The butter-globules clump together to form Makhan. The Makhan is skimmed-off to make Ghee.
Makhan (Cultured Butter) Recipe


Step 3 Make Ghee

This whole process process will take about 45 minutes for one pound of Makhan.

1. Transfer Makhan to a heavy iron Karahi (Indian wok). Turn on low flame-heat at slightly-warm temperature to melt Makhan. This is about 110 F, same temperature at which starting culture is added to make Dahi. High heat will burn the Makhan resulting in bitter taste.

2. After the Makhan has melted, the heat is increased to simmer. This is kept at about 190 F. This process is same as reducing milk to make Khoya. If the milk-solids bubble up, stir the foam back in to melted Makhan. Cook on simmer till all the moisture is gone. You have golden yellow butter oil with milk-solids sunk to the bottom

3. Increase heat to medium. The temperature is kept at about 250 F. This process is same as deep-frying Khoya balls to make Gulab-Jamun. During this step, the milk-solids are toasted to light brown. The color of butter-oil becomes yellowish brown. It adds nutty flavor. As soon as the milk-solids turn light brown color, turn off heat.

4. Let the ghee cool to warm so we can handle it without fear of getting burned. Filter the ghee using multi-layered cheese cloth or a thin muslin cloth to remove toasted brown milk-solids.

5. Store ghee in an opaque jar such as freshly fired terracotta jar (Gharia), or a crock-pot (Imrit baan). You may also use dark brown or blue glass jar.
For long-term storage, the lid may be sealed with wax. Properly cooked and stored ghee will not become rancid for several decades at room temperature. Properly cooked ghee has no moisture, all the milk-solids have been removed. Ghee must not be exposed to light.


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