I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was trying to adjust my diet according to Ayurvedic principles. One of the foods that this system uses in abundance is Ghee, or clarified butter. In Ayurveda, ghee is considered a pure food, and it is the best fat for cooking. It sure does have a great taste, and I love its subtle sweetness and very slightly nutty flavor.

The one problem with ghee, though, is its price. I have been going through $9 jars of the stuff every 2-3 weeks, which may be good for my dosha, but terrible for my budget. A few weeks ago I found some recipes and tried making my own ghee at home. The recipe I was following said that the butter would sizzle wildly for 15 minutes, then fall suddenly silent when it was ready.  Bull. Crap. After 10 minutes of steady sizzling, I had a pan full off coffee-brown oil and a burnt on crust and a kitchen full of burning smell. After spending an eternity scouring the burnt butter bits off the bottom of the pan, I tried again. The second time I managed to remove it from the heat before it started to burn, and the resulting ghee was infinitely better than the store bought variety (and 1/3 the price).

I made some again this weekend, and this time I remembered to take some photos to share the process with you.

makes 2 cups

  • 1 pound unsalted sweet cream butter
  1. Unwrap the butter and place it in a pan over medium heat.IMG_2551
  2. Melt the butter, and allow it to start to sizzle in the pan. It will make quite a lot of noise when it gets going. DO NOT WALK AWAY.IMG_2554
  3. At some point, the sizzling does quiet down, but only for about 3 seconds. Then it starts up again. At this point, it has stopped clarifying and started burning. The moment you notice the color start to deepen, remove the pan from the heat. A little browning adds a nice flavor, but too much burning is bad.IMG_2556
  4. Line a strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth, and pour the hot liquid through to strain out any loose burnt bits. Please do this into a heat-safe container.IMG_2574
  5. Let the ghee cool for a while in the heat safe container. When it is luke warm, pour it into a clean glass jar to store. I place the jar in the fridge for a little to help the ghee solidify, and then I store it in the cabinet near the stove.IMG_2584