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
- In a heavy medium saucepan heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Be careful not to let it burn.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.