Ghee (Indian Butter Oil)
To make about 1 ½ cups
- 1 pound unsalted butter, divided into ¼-pound pieces
In a heavy 4- to 5-quart saucepan, heat the butter over moderate heat, turning about with a spoon to melt it slowly and completely without letting it brown. Then increase the heat and bring the butter into a boil. When the surface is completely covered with a white foam, stir the butter gently and immediately reduce the heat to the lowest possible point. Simmer uncovered and undisturbed for 45 minutes, or until the milk solids on the bottom of the pan are a golden brown and the butter on top is transparent.
Slowly pour the clear liquid ghee into a large bowl, straining it through a fine sieve lined with a linen towel or 4 layers of dampened cheesecloth. If there are any solids (no matter how small) left in the ghee, strain it again to prevent it from becoming rancid later. The ghee must be perfectly clear.
Pour the ghee into a jar or crock, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator or at room temperature until ready to use. Ghee will solidify when it is chilled, and for those recipes that require liquid ghee it should be melted but not browned over low heat unless otherwise indicated. It may be safely kept a room temperature for 2 or 3 months.
NOTE: cooking the butter evaporates its water content and separates the pure fat from the milk solids – to create a substance that resembles clarified butter. However, cooking the butter over low heat for a relatively long period not only clarifies it but also gives it a distinctive nutlike flavor produced by no other method. There are no traditional substitutes for ghee, but if you are willing to settle for less than the real thing, you may when pressed for time use simple clarified butter in the amounts indicated for the ghee. To make it, cut unsalted butter into small bits and, in a small saucepan or skillet, melt it slowly over low heat. Let the butter rest for a minute off the heat, then skim off the foam. Spoon the clear butter into a bowl. Discard the milky solids at the bottom of the pan. A quarter-pound stick of butter (8 tablespoons) yields 5 or 6 tablespoons of clarified butter.
by : inforesep