Ghee has become more common to see on grocery store shelves over the past few years, and for good reason. The liquid gold, as I like to call it, is a staple in my pantry and I use it to cook almost anything that hits the pan. Since I love it so much, I’ve rounded up a list of recipes with ghee for you to try. You’ll find traditional Indian dishes, seafood recipes, quick and easy recipes with minimal ingredients, desserts, and even instant pot friendly options.
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What Is Ghee?
Ghee is a staple in Indian cooking, but is used in cuisines all over the world. It is made from butter that has been simmered down to separate the milk solids and the butterfat and remove the water content. The pure butterfat is strained to remove the milk solids. In Indian technique, the milk solids are caramelized before straining to impart a nutty flavor and create a deeper golden color. In French technique, the butterfat is strained right away and is more pale in color.
Ghee is similar to clarified butter. What’s the difference? Ghee is cooked longer, and sometimes at a lower temperature, to remove all of the moisture.
Flavor wise, ghee is a bit stronger than regular butter with a nutty, roasted flavor. Texturally, it is not creamy like regular butter. In liquid form at room temperature, it is oily. When it is stored at cooler temperatures, it hardens slightly and is slightly grainy until it is melted again.
Ghee Shelf Life and Storage: Ghee can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature in your pantry, or in your refrigerator. Ghee, once opened, can be properly stored and kept in the pantry for up to three months, and in the refrigerator for up to a year. As always, if you’ve purchased store-bought ghee, it’s best to refer to the expiration date on the package.
How To Use Ghee
Ghee is a versatile product that can be used in place of butter and oil in many recipes. You can swap it out for regular butter, coconut oil, vegetable oil, etc. in baked goods.
Ghee is great for deep-frying, searing, and sautéing because it has a high smoke point, making it less likely to burn or turn carcinogenic. Regular butter has a smoke point of 350 degrees, while ghee has a smoke point of 450.
When you add butter to your sauté pan, if it heats too long or at high temperatures, the butter often burns and leaves that icky brown stuff on your pan (and your food if you’re not careful). With ghee, you can cook for a longer time and at higher temperatures without damaging or burning the oil so you get that rich, buttery flavor, and perfectly golden pan-fried food.
Some people use ghee much the same as regular butter, for everything, but keep in mind that it is stronger in flavor and greasier in nature, so experiment with ghee by starting out with smaller doses to see if you like the flavor for things like spreading on your toast or topping your baked potatoes. Personally, I use ghee most frequently for stir fries, sauteing, frying, and adding to soups, stews, and casseroles. I use it less frequently in baking.
Is Ghee Good For You?
Ghee is made from butter so it’s bad for you right? Well, that’s debatable. Ghee is high in fat. Some of that is healthy fat, but there is a significant amount of saturated fat as well, so use it in moderation. When made properly, ghee is simmered at very low heat. This low heat method allows it to retain more of the vitamins and nutrients that are present. It is rich in Vitamins A and E, as well as antioxidants and Omega-3s, and eating ghee with other fat-soluble nutrients allows your body to better absorb those nutrients.
Ghee has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, and is known to have anti-inflammatory effects both internally and topically. We are not professionals, so always consult your doctor before using alternative treatments, but some studies show that ghee contributes to healthy digestions, reduced obesity, improved memory, better flexibility, and has healing properties that can reduce the effects of skin rashes and burns.
As far as diet and allergies go, ghee is made from cow milk, but the milk solids have been removed. Because of the removal of the casein and lactose, many people with dairy allergies and lactose intolerance have no issue or reaction to ghee.
One popular lifestyle diet, Whole 30, frequently uses ghee in place of butter thanks to the anti-inflammatory nature of the product, and the absence of allergenic ingredients.
Where To Buy Ghee
Ghee is now available in most major grocery stores, international markets, online grocers, and sites like Amazon. Some of our favorites are: