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How to Cook With Ghee: The Liquid Gold

Ghee is a type of clarified butter with a strong aromatic flavor capable of uplifting any dish ranging from sweet to savory. Read on to learn more about ghee, and why it’s reffered to as “liquid gold”.

What is ghee?

Ghee is a caramelized butter that offers a fat-rich flavor similar to French butter. It’s leveraged in a multitude of dishes in Indian cuisine for richness and creaminess. 

The origin of ghee dates back to 1500 BC when Indians first prepared it to save butter from spoiling due to hot weather conditions. Resultantly, ghee gained popularity in the Indian subcontinent owing to its longer shelf-life than butter. It was called “liquid gold” due to its vivid, caramelized yellowish-gold appearance. 

Ghee is preferred for cooking and frying due to its high stability at elevated temperatures. Ghee’s smoke point is 475°F, which is twice as much as butter. As previously mentioned, ghee is advantageous due to its long shelf life. Ghee lasts up to 11 months in the refrigerator. Part of this longevity is because ghee doesn’t contain any water or milk solids. For this same reason, ghee can be consumed in moderation by lactose-intolerant individuals. 

How ghee is made?

Ghee is prepared from simmering fresh butter until its water content evaporates and the milk solids settled out. Once the milk solids turn brown, the flame is turned off and the butter liquid is separated into jars. The liquid can now be called “ghee” or “desi ghee” in the Indian native language.

What does ghee taste like?

The flavor of ghee can be best described as a slightly nutty, roasted, and richer than butter. Ghee is semi-solid and granular in texture compared to the fine creaminess of butter. The flavor of the finished ghee greatly depends on the type of milk used in the preparation of ghee. For instance, grass-fed cow milk produces a rich, and premium ghee in comparison to that of the buffalo’s. 

How to use Ghee

Ghee is traditionally used in Indian curries, rice dishes (biryani, pilafs), desserts, and confectionaries. In many parts of South Asia, ghee is used to top chapatis, lentil curries, and sweet desserts.

However, ghee can be used as a richer alternative to butter in any recipe. Take your cakes, cookies, and muffins to the next level with a strong, buttery, and sweet aromatic punch of ghee. 

To give a more melt-in-the-mouth touch to the classic Béarnaise and Hollandaise sauce, use desi ghee instead of butter. If you’re still wondering about how to cook with ghee? Then go ahead and try out our chicken tikka masala recipe for a rich savory, and spicy kick.

Feature Image: By Phadke09 – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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