The word comes from the Sanskrit ghrita. The Tamil name is yennai.
Ghee is butter that has been clarified to separate out its three components: casein, fat and whey. This technique allows for longer conservation.
Another advantage is that ghee can be heated to a high temperature without developing a burnt taste, making it ideal for frying.
Its flavor is surprisingly different from that of butter, taking on real nutty overtones. In frying it develops the flavor of spices.
It is also used ritually in Hindu religious ceremonies such as âratî or to light cremation pyres.
Place the butter in a bowl or the top part of a double boiler set over hot water (use low heat). We suggest using at least 400 g (14 oz.) butter to make the process easier.
Remove the foam from the surface - you'll be taking off the casein (milk protein). It's best to skim the surface only once or twice, no more. The first time allows you to see if the butter is melted and transparent.
Remove from the heat; skim a second time if necessary; remove the clarified butter, leaving the whey (whitish liquid) at the bottom of the pan.
Store into an airtight container.
Hints & Tips