Ghee: The Golden Elixir of Indian Cooking


Ghee, often referred to as clarified butter, is a staple in Indian kitchens and has been cherished for centuries. This golden elixir is not only a culinary delight but also holds a significant place in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine.

In this post, we’ll explore what ghee is, its benefits, and how to make it at home.

What is Ghee?

Ghee is a type of clarified butter made by simmering butter to separate the liquid and milk solid components. The result is a rich, aromatic fat that is highly prized for its flavor and nutritional benefits. Ghee has a high smoke point, making it ideal for frying and sautéing, and it also imparts a unique taste to dishes.

Benefits of Ghee

  1. High Smoke Point: Ghee can be heated to a high temperature without burning, making it perfect for frying and sautéing.
  2. Lactose-Free: The process of making ghee removes the milk solids, making it suitable for those with lactose intolerance.
  3. Rich in Nutrients: Ghee contains essential fatty acids, vitamins A, E, and K, and antioxidants.
  4. Digestive Aid: In Ayurveda, ghee is considered beneficial for digestion and is used to treat various digestive disorders.
  5. Enhances Flavor: Ghee adds a rich, nutty flavor to dishes, making it a favorite in Indian cooking.

How to Make Ghee at Home

Making ghee at home is a simple process that requires just one ingredient: unsalted butter. Here’s a step-by-step guide:


  • 1 pound (450 grams) unsalted butter


  1. Melt the Butter: Place the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and melt it over medium heat.
  2. Simmer: Once the butter is melted, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer. The butter will start to foam and bubble as it cooks.
  3. Separate Milk Solids: After about 10-15 minutes, the milk solids will start to separate and sink to the bottom of the pan. The butter will turn a golden color and emit a nutty aroma.
  4. Strain: Once the milk solids turn light brown and the bubbling ceases, remove the pan from heat. Let it cool for a few minutes, then strain the liquid through a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer into a clean, dry jar. Discard the solids.
  5. Store: Let the ghee cool completely before sealing the jar. Store it at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Uses of Ghee in Indian Cooking

  • Cooking: Ghee is used for frying, sautéing, and as a base for many Indian dishes like dals, curries, and rice.
  • Flavor Enhancer: A spoonful of ghee can be drizzled over cooked rice, lentils, or vegetables to enhance their flavor.
  • Baking: Ghee can be used in place of butter or oil in baking, adding a rich, nutty flavor to baked goods.
  • Ayurvedic Medicine: Ghee is used in various Ayurvedic preparations and is believed to promote overall health and well-being.


Ghee is more than just a cooking fat; it is an integral part of Indian culinary tradition and culture. Its rich flavor and numerous health benefits make it a valuable addition to any kitchen. Whether you’re using it to cook, bake, or enhance the flavor of your dishes, ghee is truly a golden elixir worth incorporating into your culinary repertoire.


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