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How to Make Ghee: Simple Recipe and Tips

ghee recipe
Photo: CC0 Public Domain /

Ever wondered how to make ghee? This special type of clarified butter is a staple ingredient in Indian cuisine. We’ll share a simple ghee recipe so you can learn to make it yourself at home.

Ghee is an important ingredient in Indian and Ayurvedic cuisine. In the United States it can be found in many specialty supermarkets. But if you learn how to make ghee yourself, you’ll never have to go searching for it again. Before you make your next curry or biryani, check out this easy ghee recipe. 

What is Ghee?

ghee recipe butter
You can remove the milk solids from butter. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Ponce_ Photography)

Ghee is a type of clarified butter; that is, butter from which most of the milk solids have been removed. It is one of the most important fats used in India and Pakistan. It is made from regular butter, but contains much less lactose— good news for anyone who is intolerant. Because ghee recipes call for the butter to be heated for longer than other kinds of clarified butter, it has a nuttier, slightly caramelized flavor.

Environmental Note: Making one pound of butter requires about 21.2 pounds of whole milk. With CO2 emissions of about 26 pounds for each pound of product, butter is number three on the list of common climate-damaging foods of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Since butter has such a large carbon footprint, try to be conscious about how often and how much you use it. 

How to Make Ghee: A Simple Recipe

how to make ghee
Ghee contains less lactose than regular butter. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / – Oleksandr Propenko)

All you’ll need for this ghee recipe is one ingredient: butter. Try to buy organic and locally made butter, to help soften the environmental consequences that the production of butter has.

Here’s how to make ghee:


  • Four sticks of butter

Ghee Recipe:

  1. Place four sticks of butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and slowly heat until the butter is fully melted and starts to simmer.
  2. Let the butter simmer for 10-15 minutes without stirring. Remove any foam that collects on the surface.
  3. When the butter reaches a deep golden color, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool.
  4. Using a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth, filter the butter into small jars. At cool temperatures, ghee can be stored safely for several months. 

How to Use Ghee

indian food
Ghee is an important ingredient in Indian cuisine. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – PublicDomainPictures)

After you learn how to make ghee, the next step is to learn how to use it. Besides being a necessary ingredient for many classic Indian recipes, ghee has many applications in and out of the kitchen.

Because ghee has such a high smoking point (482°F), it is ideal for deep frying and for toasting spices. It can also be used as a substitute for traditional butter to reduce the lactose content in any recipe. The traditional Indian ingredient also has cosmetic applications. Try applying a fingertip full to dry or chapped lips before going to bed to make your lips silky soft.

This article has been translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can read the original version here: Ghee selber machen – darauf musst du achten

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