Indian Cooking with Ghee (Clarified Butter) Explained

Ghee (pronounced as GHEE, a hard G) is a synonym for clarified butter or you can say with the word “fat”. It has its orientation from Indus Valley Civilization and it is also mentioned in Rig Veda.

If you see the book written by Om Prakash, “Food and Drinks in Ancient India” (From Earliest Times to C. 1200 A.D.), where the word madhuparka is given to the guest and is made up of ghee is depicted.

There is a mention of ghee from Buffalo’s milk which is considered the best source of high-yielding fat.

There is an Indian technique where the milk is simmered and the browning that solidifies with the milk gets you a nutty flavor that transforms into ghee as the end product.

What is Ghee?

Indian Cooking with Ghee

Ghee is a type of clarified butter that is commonly used in Indian and South Asian cuisine.

It is made by heating butter until the water evaporates and the milk solids separate, leaving behind a rich, golden-yellow liquid with a nutty flavor and a high smoke point.

Ghee has a long shelf life and is valued for its flavor, nutritional properties, and traditional uses in cooking, religious ceremonies, and Ayurvedic medicine.

It is used in a variety of dishes, from sweets and desserts to savory dishes and snacks.

Uses of Ghee in Indian Cuisines

Ghee embraces a sacrosanct value of Indian culture. It is widely used in both Indian and International cuisine as cooking fat.

It is used as alternative medicine, worship, and even cooking. In the Indian culinary world, ghee is used as a luxurious source of fat.

You May Also Like:  Pomfret Fish in Bengali & Indian Cooking: Things to Know

It has a grainy mouthfeel with a nutty flavor and ambrosia. It takes part in everyday cooking as well as festive dishes.

It can be used over chapati, rice, and garnishing the bowl of khichdi, used as a deep-frying agent for sweets and snacks for gods, blooming whole spices, used to make tadka, etc.

Sweets, Desserts, and Fudge

Ghee is such a fat which is called the purest fat of all. Thus, instead of refined oil many use ghee to make different types of ladoos, peda, fudges, pitha, payesh, gajar ka halwa, barfi, etc.

You can use ghee to keep the sweets even. You can also use ghee in making different types of cakes and cookies.

Food Frosting

Many types of food frosting are used in cakes and cookies. Usually, it is made up of butter but you can use ghee instead. it will add up to a real and natural nutty taste of its own.

Chicken & Mutton

You can use ghee in chicken and mutton recipes to take this to a next level. It will make the food interesting in every way. You can make recipes like chicken butter masala, chicken ghee roast, mutton kosha, etc.

Oatmeal/Porridge

You can cook porridge/oatmeal which can be cooked with a little bit of ghee in it. it not only enhances the taste but the quality of the end product too.

Mashed Potatoes or Mashed Root Vegetables

Any sort of mashed vegetables can be done with ghee instead of ghee. For instance, if you are making “aloo bhate” or “aloo chokha” (smashed potato) then you can use ghee instead of mustard oil. It will add much more flavors to it and similarly for the rest.

Melted Over Roasted Vegetables or Steamed

Generally, we use butter over roasted or steamed veggies but you can swap that and use ghee to get a better taste.

High Heat Cooking

You May Also Like:  Sponge Gourd in Bengali & Indian Cooking Explained

This is done generally when you are frying or to be exact when you are deep frying like poori, samosa, nimki, or any kind of snack, sweets, or food like paratha, etc.

“Dum” Recipe

Dum Palau, Biriyani, Veg Pulao, Basanti Palau, and Jeera Rice are some famous Indian rice recipes where ghee is used indefinitely.

Bread Recipes

Litti chokha, paratha, methi paratha, sattu ka paratha, and even any kind of paratha can be made with ghee.

How Do You Make Homemade Ghee?

Nandita Godbole said that it is very cost-effective and easy to make ghee at home. The homemade ghee tastes wonderful and at the same time, it tastes better than the mass produced.

First of all, get a good jar where you will keep the ghee. Then buy unsalted or cultured butter. It eliminates the process of making curd. You can simply transform the butter into ghee in just 30 mins.

The process involves cutting unsalted butter into cubes and then placing it in a small pot. Then simmer it to medium to high heat and stir it.

The foam will eventually go away from the butter and you will see the milk residue that is lying behind.

You will see that the butter is gone leaving behind the milk solids which will ultimately become light brown.

You can remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool for 10 mins. You can use a cheesecloth-lined mesh strainer to strain the ghee and in a pint jar store it nicely.

What Can You Make with Ghee?

Ghee has a different heating point compared to butter. You can cook a load of things in ghee by high cooking methods like grilling, stir-frying, searing, deep frying, and even more.

To use it as a melted over boiled veggie, cooking food like poori, samosa, nimki, etc. You can also cook sweets like ladoo, payesh, kheer, and more with ghee.

You May Also Like:  Chicken in Bengali & Indian Cooking: Things to Know

Topping on any recipes especially veg to take it to a next level. You can also use it to flavour up the food or to take the food to a next level. Ghee is also used in gluten-free baking cakes and cookies.

Any kind of rice recipe like Dum Palau, Biriyani, Veg Pulao, Basanti Palau, Jeera Rice, etc can be made with ghee as the best flavoring agent.

Questions & Answers:

Is Ghee Just Brown Butter?

Brown butter has a sweet and subtle taste of its own. Ghee is almost similar in looks with a nutty flavor. It has an earthy flavor for cooking sweets, desserts, and luxurious dishes like polao, biriyani, etc.

Can You Fry with Ghee?

Yes, you can fry it with ghee. There are recipes like poori, kachori, fried sweets, snacks, and more.

What is Ghee Called in Different Languages?

Ghee is known as “Clarified Butter” in English and “Ghee” or “Vanaspati” in Hindi.

Conclusion

Ghee is a type of clarified butter commonly used in Indian and South Asian cuisine.

It is made by heating butter until the water evaporates and the milk solids separate, leaving behind a rich, golden-yellow liquid with a nutty flavor and a high smoke point.

Ghee is valued for its flavor, nutritional properties, and traditional uses in cooking, religious ceremonies, and Ayurvedic medicine.

It is used in a variety of dishes, from sweets and desserts to savory dishes and snacks, and can also be easily made at home.

Was this helpful?

Yes
No
Thanks for your feedback!
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top