Ghee is a staple in every Indian kitchen. It is added in everything – to lentils and curries, to roti’s, naan and parathas (flatbread), and the flavorful varieties of rice and biryanis. None of these would be as tasty without the addition of ghee. Enjoy this homemade ghee recipe, made with grass-fed unsalted butter. Make it in your favorite Instant Pot for perfect and consistent results. You can also make it on a stovetop saucepan.
What is Ghee?
I love this description of Ghee from R.K. Narayan who was asked to write an excerpt to explain what Ghee is – “Ghee is, no doubt, clarified butter, but it is also something more, in the same way that wine is more than the juice of a squeezed grape. The origin of ghee is, no doubt, butter, but ghee is like a genius born to a dull parent… A perfectly boiled ghee is considered fit for the gods. Ghee is a litmus test of integrity: One could measure the morals of a shopkeeper or the fine qualities of a host by the purity of ghee offered.”
So perfectly put, the essence of Ghee for the Indians! Oh..and now all over the world!
Ghee is primarily saturated fat, and good fat. It is popular for its high-smoke point and nutty, toasty flavor! Buying good quality (read organic grass-fed) ghee is quite expensive. But it is significantly cheaper to make it at home from grass-fed butter.
Benefits of Ghee
I am not going to list all the benefits of Ghee. There are many sites that do that. However I want to mention some that stand out for me and have made me consistently include it in my everyday cooking.
- Omega-3s (monounsaturated fats) are healthy forms of fat that can be found in ghee.
- Ghee is rich in butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid which is linked to an immune response that can reduce inflammation and help improve the digestive system. These also help decrease levels of unhealthy cholesterol.
- Ghee is rich in fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
- There are other benefits such as improving energy level and strengthening the immune system.
- Ghee is lactose free and can be consumed even if you are dairy intolerant (check with your physician)
How to make Homemade Ghee from Butter?
Ghee is made by boiling butter until the milk solids separate and caramelize. The milk solids are removed and the ghee can be stored at room temperature and does not spoil. When you make this ghee, your house with fill up with the aroma and you will want to slather it on a paratha right away…Yum!
I use Kerrygold butter to make Ghee as it is made from grass-fed cow’s milk. I created a video to show the best way to make ghee in the instant pot in less than 20 minutes. You can use a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer to strain the ghee. Then store it in glass or steel jars. Ghee is ready to be used.
Here are some of my favorite recipes where I use ghee –
A staple in every kitchen in India...and gaining popularity worldwide for it's health and nutritional benefits. Make it organic at home in less than 20 minutes.
- 16 oz Unsalted butter perferably unsalted, grass-fed
Add the butter to the instant pot insert
Start the instant pot in Saute Mode (Normal). Butter will start melting.
At about 6 minutes the butter will be completely melted.
At about 7 minutes, change the setting to Saute (Low). Press Adjust to get to the Low setting. We do this, so the ghee cooks slowly else it can burn.
Milk solids will start to separate. Initially they will float on the top, but they will settle down to the bottom of the insert and caramelize. You can stir in between, but it is not necessary after you have changed to saute (low) setting.
Turn off instant pot at about 16 mins. Leave it in the instant pot, and it will continue to cook for few mins.
Remove the insert from the instant pot carefully in about 10 minutes. We want the milk solids on the bottom to turn golden brown, but not blacken. Remove sooner if they darken sooner.
Strain the ghee using a fine mesh filter or cheesecloth into a dry glass or steel jar. Let the ghee cool completely before closing the lid.
Store ghee at room temperature, away from sunlight. It will stay fresh. You can also store in a refrigerator.
Stovetop Variation: Follow the same steps. Initially start cooking at high flame until the butter melts, then reduce the flame to medium-low. Stop cooking when the milk solids settle down and start to turn brown.