Ghee is clarified butter that is available in many grocery and specialty stores for a somewhat hefty price. It is used in cooking and can also be used as a base for herbal salves and oils. Even though butter is a dairy product, Ghee is lactose free because the milk solids have been skimmed from it, which makes it suitable for those with lactose intolerance.
Ghee has a long shelf life of six to eight months, even at ambient temperatures and does not require refrigeration like butter. The low moisture content, presence of phospholipids, low-acidity levels and natural antioxidants contribute to the extension of its shelf life. The high temperature treatment used in manufacturing ghee also destroys most of the bacteria, micro-organisms and moisture, making it light, pure and resistant to spoilage. Butter also tends to scorch when used for cooking due to the milk solids, but since these solids are removed, Ghee can withstand higher cooking temperatures; its smoke point is 485 degrees. Ghee is so simple to make that you may want to try it yourself.
1 pound butter
Place butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring butter to boil. This takes approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium. The butter will form foam which will disappear. Ghee is done when a second foam forms on top of butter, and the butter turns golden. Approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Brown milk solids will be in bottom of pan. Gently pour into heatproof container through fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Store in airtight container being sure to keep free from moisture. Ghee does not need refrigeration and will keep in airtight container for up to 1 month.
I make my Ghee a little differently. Be sure to use unsalted butter. When the first foam appears, I remove from heat source and skim off the foam with a spoon. I return the pot to the heat, and repeat this process two more times, removing as much foam as possible. I let the butter cool down for a few minutes and then pour through a fine mesh strainer and stop pouring before the brown bits at the bottom of the pan get to the strainer. I then pour the Ghee in a glass container, let cool completely and cover. Although Alton Brown’s recipe indicates that Ghee can be kept in airtight container for a month, store bought Ghee can be kept in the pantry for 6-8 months. The high temperature treatment used in manufacturing ghee also destroys most of the bacteria, micro-organisms and moisture, making it light, pure and resistant to spoilage.
Body Renewal: The Lost Art of Self-Repair by Jay Glaser, M.D.
Ayurveda for All”; Ch. Murali Manohar, M.D., Ayurveda
The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth”; Jonny Bowden, Ph.D.,C.N.S.