Clarified butter is anhydrous milk fat rendered from butter to separate the milk solids and water from the butterfat. Ghee is a class of clarified butter that originated in South Asia and is commonly used in South Asian (Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani), North African (Egyptian and Berber) and Horn African cuisine.
Method of Preparation
Clarified butter is prepared by melting butter and allowing all the ingredients to separate by density. The water in the butter evaporates, milk solids sink to the bottom. Other solids that float on top are removed to acquire clarified butter.
Commercially, clarified butter can be prepared by direct evaporation. However, companies employ methods like decantation and centrifugation to obtain clarified butter.
Ghee is made by simmering unsalted butter in a cooking vessel until all water has evaporated and the milk solids, or protein, have settled to the bottom. The froth on top is spooned off intermittently. The ghee obtained is then strained into a container and cooled at room temperature till it solidifies.
Variations around the World
Clarified butter is prepared differently in various parts of the world. In the Middle East and South Asia, the process of obtaining clarified butter remains the same as anywhere else in the world, except that the milk solids which sink to the bottom are allowed to caramelize. This lends a nutty flavor to the end product. In France, this is known as beurre noisette, loosely translated as "hazelnut butter," and it is known as brown butter in English. In Arab countries, it is known as samnah and in Tigrinya, it is known as Tesmi.
In Ethiopia, ghee – or niter kibbeh as it is regionally called - is prepared with the same procedure as ghee above. However, locals add spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, or nutmeg which gives it a distinct aroma. Moroccans let the spiced ghee age for months and sometimes, years. This results in the final product, which is known as Smen, which has a strong cheesy taste and smell. In Brazil, a very similar form of ghee is used which is known as manteiga-de-garrafa (Butter-in-a-bottle) or manteiga-da-terra (Butter of the land).
Nutritional Information Per Tablespoon
|Calories||112 kcal||130 kcal|
|Saturated fat||7.9 gm||9gm|
Health benefits of Ghee