Recipe to make organic Cultured Ghee from Cultured Butter
So you’ve decided to make your own organic Cultured Ghee (Clarified Butter). Congratulations!
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Ayurveda considers Cultured Ghee to be a highly potent medicine for all body constitutions (tridoshic) in small doses of 2-3 tsp daily. It has beneficial effects on memory, intelligence, digestion, joint health, brain health, reproductive health etc. Ayurveda indicates more than 1000 types of actions for Ghee as mentioned in the Caraka Samhita (2500+ year old Ayurvedic root text).
Making your own Cultured Ghee is a sound decision to take charge of your health as well as that of your loved ones. Why? Because the quality of store bought Ghee often doesn’t come close to what you can make at home using the best possible ingredients and safe cooking methods. Even some of the most premium, organic Ghee brands do not sell Cultured Ghee.
What are the 3 essentials to make the best quality Cultured Ghee? Happy Cows, Fermentation and Slow Cooking.
The best quality Ghee comes from organic milk sourced from happy cows. This means they eat grass, are raised on a pasture and are not fed hormones or GMO foods. Live cultures are used to ferment milk and turn it into cultured butter which is what we will use in our recipe. And finally, slow cooking is used transform butter into beautiful, yellowish golden liquid Ghee.
Unsalted Cultured Butter
I suggest using Unsalted Cultured Butter from Organic Valley. You may buy two of their 1 lb bricks that retail for $7.99 each at Whole Foods. You will not lose much volume of the butter while making Ghee so you will get nearly 2 lb of Ghee at the end from this amount of butter.
Alternatively, you may use Cultured cream (instead of cultured butter). You could use ‘French Cultured Cream’ from Bellwether Farms. Here is the recipe if you want to make Ghee from cultured cream.
Stainless steel pot
You will need a tri ply stainless steel pot (or any other kind that distributes heat well). I have used a variety of pots including the pot that comes with Instant Pot and it works really well. Any other stainless steel pot will work as long as it distributes and holds heat well. Ceramic, earthen or cast iron pots will also work. Avoid using aluminum or teflon coated pots.
Stainless steel ladle
You will need a stainless steel ladle to stir the pot: Make sure that it is a long enough ladle that can help you easily stir while keeping your hands at a distance from the contents of the pot.
A heat source that gives you good heat control
Ghee is cooked slowly on Medium to Low heat settings (never on high heat). Please make sure that your heat source or stove gives you good Medium to Low heat control. I have made Ghee using an open flame as well as an electric induction stove; both have worked just as well.
A fine mesh stainless steel sieve
At the end, we will be using the fine sieve to filter out all the milk proteins. Since the temperature of the Ghee will be hot, using a plastic sieve may not be advisable.
Cooking time: 60 – 90 mins (depending on the pot and flame used)
- 2 lb unsalted cultured organic butter
- Stainless steel pot
- Stainless steel ladle
- Stainless steel fine mesh sieve
- Heat source with good heat control on low to medium settings
Step 1: Take your stainless steel pot and pat it dry to minimize splattering. Start by emptying out all the butter into the stainless steel pot and place it on medium heat. Stir all the butter pieces so they get melted evenly.
Step 2: Allow all the butter to melt on medium heat. Make sure the heat is not high otherwise the butter will get burnt. Keep stirring the melted butter continuously so that the heat is getting distributed.
Step 3: Continue to stir and heat the melted butter on medium heat till it starts to simmer and froth. Let it keep simmering for a 5 – 7 minutes. Keep a close watch on the froth and yellow liquid because you will soon start to see important changes.
- The liquid will start to become less opaque and more transparent.
- The froth will start to turn into small white solid particles floating around in the yellow liquid. These are milk proteins which are separating out. Keep stirring and try to scrape off and mix in any solids that are getting stuck to the sides of the pan.
- The smell at this stage may remind you of slight milk curdling or fermentation.
Step 4: After a few minutes, you will see lots of whitish/ cream colored particles floating in the still slightly opaque bubbling yellow liquid. Now turn down the heat from medium to low.
Step 5: After a few minutes, you will see most of the froth is gone leaving the whitish/ cream solid particles floating. Continue to stir gently.
Step 6: Shortly, the solids will settle down on the bottom of the pan leaving a much more transparent golden liquid above. Continue to stir gently.
Step 7: After a few more minutes on low heat, the white solids on the bottom will begin to turn a light orange like the color of honey. The aroma will now begin to smell slightly nutty and toasty. You will see some froth resurface again. Continue to stir gently.
Step 8: Continue cooking on low heat and the solids will start to get more dry in texture as their moisture evaporates. Pay attention to their color, size and texture.
- The color will deepen to darker orange.
- The solids will become finer in texture (almost sandy).
- Size of the solids will start to reduce as the moisture evaporates.
- The aroma will be more nutty and toasty now. Enjoy this amazing aroma wafting through your kitchen. It may attract some unexpected attention!
Continue to stir gently.
Step 9: Continue to cook on low heat and keep watching the particles closely. Wait for more & more solid particles to turn smaller, finer and sandy. They will continue to take a darker, cinnamon like color. Continue to stir gently.
Step 10: When most of the particles have turned fine like sand and a deep cinnamon color, switch off the heat. Allow the Ghee to sit for a few more minutes without the heat. This will allow the remaining particles to also get cooked without burning the Ghee.
Step 11: After letting sit for 10 – 15 minutes, the temperature of the Ghee will be closer to room temperature and the milk solids would be completely cooked. They are now ready to filter out. Use a fine mesh sieve to filter out the solids leaving you with pure golden liquid Ghee. See the notes at the end for tips on making a sweet snack from the remaining browned milk proteins.
You are done!
Enjoy your beautiful, golden, rich, nutty home made organic Cultured Ghee.
If you’d like to join our Ghee Making workshop in San Francisco, please check our event calendar for the next available date.
What is the ideal color of Ghee?
It is normal for the color of Ghee to range from a light golden color to an orangish, amber color (depending on the milk used for making the butter).
How to store Ghee?
Ghee is very stable and has a long shelf life (many years) as long as you keep moisture or food particles out. It doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge. However if you would like the texture of the Ghee to be creamy and spreadable (like butter), you may refrigerate it 8-10 hours immediately after making it. You can take it out afterwards and store it at room temperature. It will not turn liquid or grainy.
How to use milk proteins?
The filtered out particles are milk proteins (like casein) and can be used in your cooking or baking. They are healthy if you don’t suffer from dairy intolerance. You can make a little sweet treat with these by adding some brown sugar, sesame, nut powder (walnuts, almonds, pecans etc) and rice. Mix them all together into little balls to enjoy as a snack or dessert.
How to use Ghee?
There are uncountable ways to use Ghee but here are some examples:
- Use Ghee for spreading (just like butter) on bread, pancakes or crepes.
- Use Ghee in place of oil for cooking, baking or grilling.
- Add Ghee as a seasoning to rice, soups or stews directly
- Mix Ghee with cocoa and brown sugar to make a creamy spread (instead of Nutella).
- Give a few drops to your pets including dogs or cats as part of their regular diet or when they are suffering from constipation.Older pets will benefit from Ghee for better joint health.
- Other than eating: Oilpulling (swishing mouth & throwing it out) with Ghee for oral care, add few drops to your navel to moisturize your skin, apply a drop to each nostril to clear up your breathing, massage with warm Ghee on your chest to relieve cough & congestion, apply to your ears to clear up your hearing
Did you notice anything that I may have missed? Please leave me a comment and I’d be happy to update this post.