Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Ghee / Clarified butter (Neyyi)

Ghee is a Sanskrit word for a clarified butter used primarily in Indian cuisine. Because the preparation of ghee involves heat, it has a distinctive toasted nutty flavour. Unlike other butter-based products, ghee can be stored without refrigeration for months. As long as ghee is stored in air-tight containers, it does not spoil easily.

The butter available in stores consists of 80% butterfat, 18% water and 2 % protein solids. When the butter is cooked, the water it contains will boil off and the protein solids separate from the butterfat.

Unsalted butter makes the best ghee. It is easy to make at home and it is much more economical. Unlike butter ghee does not require refrigeration. So you can even prepare this in large batches depending on the consumption, especially in the families with kids. One thing is for sure that no cooking oil can match ghee for its pleasant taste and ease of digestion.


Cut the unsalted butter into large chunks and melt it over a moderate heat in a heavy bottomed pan and cook slowly.

Unsalted Butter

Stir occasionally until the butter melts completely to ensure that it does not brown. Bring the melted butter to boil. Slowly the butter becomes frothy.

At this point reduce the heat to very low. Do not stir further and simmer until the solids have settled on the bottom. Just before removing from the fire, drop a piece of beetle leaf which spreads the nice aroma. You can also substitute beetle leaf with few fenugreek seeds. I have used fenugreek seeds (Methi seeds / Menthulu).

Turn off the heat and filter the ghee into a clean dry container and allow it cool completely without closing the lid.

Fresh Ghee

Solids at the bottom

Solids looks like this

No need to throw the sediments. You can mix this with atta flour while making rotis.

Enjoy the delightful, slightly nutty flavoured ghee which is perfect to prepare Indian sweets. Not only that you can add this to spicy chutneys.

Solidified ghee

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