Ghee is a butter oil that is used in Indian cooking for its excellent keeping qualities. The milk solids and moisture, which promote rancidity in butter, are removed, thereby ensuring the ghee a longer life, and also allowing it to withstand higher temperatures than butter without burning. In addition, ghee has a distinctive nutlike flavor produced by slow cooking before straining; this distinguishes it from clarified butter.

MAKES ABOUT 1ВЅ CUPS

1 pound unsalted butter

  1. In a heavy medium saucepan heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Be careful not to let it burn.
  2. Increase the heat to high and bring the butter to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to the lowest possible point. Skim off the foam that has risen and discard. Repeat this process once more.
  3. Keeping the heat at the lowest possible point, simmer the ghee, uncovered, for 45 minutes. The milk solids on the bottom will turn a golden brown.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the ghee through two layers of dampened cheesecloth into a storage container with a tight-fitting lid. (Note: If there are any solids left in the ghee, strain it again to prevent it from later becoming rancid. The ghee must be perfectly clear.)
  5. Store it in the refrigerator or at room temperature until ready to use. Ghee will solidify when chilled. It will keep safely at room temperature for 2 to 3 months. If chilled it will keep indefinitely.