happiness is...

happiness is...
kenya 2010

Monday, January 2, 2012

oh ghee!

so the official "14 days of nepali eating" hasn't started, yet, but the prep has. in order to do this right, i need to have something called ghee on hand, which is a staple in indian and nepali cooking. ghee is clarified butter- basically, butter with all of the water and the milk solids boiled off. what is left is a nutty, amber brown, clear liquid/oil that doesn't burn at high temps, smells like heaven, tastes even better, and can be stored at room temp in an airtight container for over a month. it can be used to cook, or to drizzle over rice or veggies. why, oh why, haven't i discovered this before?

i could purchase ghee, since it is sold commercially, but i felt that would be cheating. i decided to do it the old-fashioned way. before i attempted to make the ghee, i did a little research. first, i found a really simple recipe online. i should have probably done a little more research before just jumping in, but it sounded SO simple that i didn't realize how much i didn't know. i shouldn't make it sound like a total disaster. the results were wonderful...but there are things they didn't fully explain, like when they say it "foams" what they really mean is that "it froths and swells to triple the volume of what was originally in the pan and will surge over the edge of your pan and cascade over your stovetop if you don't use a much bigger container than you think you'll need". good info to have. you can thank me for that later!

here is the recipe:
take one pound of butter
put in a BIG pan and heat on medium high heat until it melts and comes to a boil
turn heat to medium and keep boiling
a foam will form on top (see above explanation on what to expect) which will then go away- this takes about 3 minutes
it will foam a second time (actually more dramatically than the first)
when the foam/solids settle to the bottom and the liquid on top is deep golden brown and clear, take off heat (about 11 minutes total cooking time)
strain through sieve or cheesecloth into a heatproof container, leaving solids in bottom of pan

store in airtight container and keep away from moisture. does not need to be refrigerated.

after my first attempt, i did a little more research and watched a youtube video on ghee-making. i think i will add another resolution to my list and make a teaching video myself. that will save thousands of people from having to see what i saw. the video was 15 minutes and 39 seconds of a really obese, mostly naked older man who looked like santa with pierced nipples and wearing prayer beads melting a 15 pound block of frozen butter over a 2 hour (time-elapsed) period. what can i even add to that?

if you're following along, you've got a couple of days to make your ghee. no worries, it really only takes 11 minutes. bon appetit!


  1. Nice job of sharing Karin...looking forward to your video...sorry I missed the other dude...8-)}

  2. Good luck. I think I'll past on making the ghee. If I feel the need to try it, will cheat and buy some.