What is Ghee?
Ghee is made by heating Makhan over flame heat. First, yogurt is made
from fresh whole dairy milk.
The yogurt is churned to let butter-fat breakaway as globules that clump together
to form Makhan (cultured butter). The Makhan floats and is skimmed-off.
three components: butter-fat about 79% to 81% by volume, milk-solids (proteins consisting of whey and casein)
about 1.5% to 2.5% by volume,
and moisture (water) about 17% to 19%.
The Makhan is melted in an iron Karahi (Indian wok) on low flame-heat. After the Makhan has melted, the heat is
increased to simmer. The simmering process is similar to reducing milk to make Khoya.
During simmering process whey rises to top with bubbles as a white foam. You may skim the white-foam off or
stir it back in the melted Makhan. The casein starts to sink to bottom. The simmering continues till all the moisture has evaporated and
the milk-solids have sunk to the bottom of Karahi
The heat is increased to medium to toast the milk-solids to brown but not burnt.
Toasting of milk-solids adds to nutty
aroma and brownish color. This process is similar to toasting Khoya balls to make Gulab-Jamun. After the
milk-solids have been toasted, the liquid is strained through a thin muslin cloth to remove milk-solids.
Eventually, you have pure butter-fat without moisture and milk-solids.
What types of dairy milk is used to make Ghee?
In the olden days, many different animals were domesticated in different
regions of India for dairy:
- Milk of goat sheep buffalo and cow were used for milk, Khoya (reduced milk), yogurt
butter-milk Lassi and Chaach), butter (Makhan),
Color of cow-ghee is brownish yellow. The yellow tinge is result of carotene from
grass feed. The brown color comes from milk-solids that were toasted.
Color of buffalo-ghee is off-white cream. There is a slight tinge of yellow from the
low level of carotene in the milk. The brownish tinge is added when the milk solids
Color of goat-ghee and sheep-ghee are very light beige. There is no carotene. The
light beige is caused by toasting of milk-solids
butter-fat globules in camel-yogurt are small, difficult to break out as well as
difficult to clump
together to butter. ghee via conventional methods. Camel milk is as
conventional milk and make yogurt, and cheese. The yogurt has a light green tinge. The
yogurt may be churned for to make Lassi. Lassi is than filtered in muslin cloth to obtain
Yak milk is used in Nepal and Bhutan area for milk and yogurt. Butter is made from
What different names are used to describe Ghee?
Asli means genuine, and refers to unadulterated ghee made
from dairy milk.
Shudh means pure, and refers to pure unadulterated ghee made from dairy
Milawati means combination. Milawati ghee is made by combining buffalo-ghee
Vilaiti means 'of foreign origin'. Dalda (hydrogenated peanut oil) was imported
from Netherlands and came to be called as Vilaiti Ghee.
Vanaspati means 'of vegetable origin'. Vanaspati ghee is hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Original Vanaspati ghee made with palm oil. Blend of various edible plant oils may be
hydrogenated to make Vanaspati Ghee
Desi means 'native or of local origin'. During 1940s, term Desi was used for dairy ghee
to distinguish it from Dalda (an import called Vilaiti ghee)
How to store Ghee?
Properly made and properly stored ghee can be stored for decades at
room temperature. All the following must be met
1. All the moisture must be removed during making ghee.
2. The milk-solids must have been cooked brown before removal by raising temperature
to 250° F.
3. All the milk-solids have been removed. The ghee is pure butter-fat, all the
moisture and the milk-fats have been removed
4. The storage-jar must be opaque to keep the ghee from being exposed to sun-light. In
the olden days earthen-pot, crock-pot, and tin-cans were used. You may use dark-brown
glass jar, or dark-blue glass jar.
5. The lid of the storage jar must be tightly fit to prevent air flow.
Oxidation and moisture are two major causes for the ghee to become rancid.
I buy green empty wine bottles and corks to store ghee. Wine bottles come in blue,
smoke, amber and many shades of blue.
UV rays from sun, florescent lights, and other UV emitters accelerate
oxidation process of ghee to effect its flavor and color. The color of glass helps
filter out most of the UV rays. Wine-bottles come in blue, green, amber, and smoke
The milk-fats attribute to buttery flavor of the butter, it is lost
with ghee as the milk-fats have been removed. However, the milk-fats were toasted
before being removed, so the ghee has a nutty caramel flavor added. The process also
elevates the smoking point.
No splattering or burn-on during sautéing
Increased puff for pastries such as Samosa and pie shells
Long shelf life
The cow-ghee has been used for centuries in Hindu as well as Moghul
royal kitchen. Ain-I-Akbar describes the ghee pots stacked up in the royal kitchen of
Akbar. The Hindu temples are the largest consumer of cow-ghee as an organization. The
cow-ghee is used to prepare sweets such as Laddu or Halwa distributed to devotees in
the Hindu and Sikh temples.
One Tablespoon of Ghee has 33 milligrams of cholesterol. The fat
composition is as follow
Saturated fat: 62%