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Cover: Some like it hot

15Jun 12

Fragrant Ghee

Fragrant GheeGhee is Indian butter. My mother used to make it, especially in the winter to put on our toast or in Bengali spiced vegetable cakes. My grandmother used to make it from curd, but that takes a lot longer. It is much easier to make it from unsalted butter bought at the supermarket.

The leaves are added in to give it an herby aroma. It really has a lovely fragrance. Although it is usually a solid, it can easily be melted so you can drizzle it on top of your favourite Indian desserts such as Puran Poli. It can last up to 6 months in the fridge, but it’s so delicious, I doubt it will!

Ingredients:

  • 2kg unsalted white butter
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 10 drumstick leaves
  • 4 bay leaves

Preparation Method:

  1. Put the unsalted white butter in a deep-bottomed pan. On a medium flame, slowly stir the butter.
  2. Once the butter is melted, lower the flame. Leave it to simmer on the low flame for a few minutes longer.
  3. Slowly add in the fresh curry leaves. They should not be chopped as you are only adding them for the aroma. Stir slowly.
  4. Next, slowly add in the whole, fresh drumstick leaves. Stir gently.
  5. Finally, mix in the bay leaves.
  6. After some time, the milk will divide into two parts: one solid and one liquid. The clear, liquid butter should rise to the top and the solid portions will sink to the bottom. The solid portions will form little clumps. Leave this on the flame long enough for these solid clumps to turn a slightly brownish colour, but be careful not to burn them!
  7. With a wooden spoon, remove the curry, drumstick and bay leaves. When you do this, you need to be careful not to remove the solid clumps yet. You can just throw the leaves away.
  8. Continue simmering with the solid clumps for a few minutes longer.
  9. Remove the ghee from the flame. Put a sieve over a heat-resistant bowl and pour the ghee through it. This will separate the solid clumps out from the liquid ghee. Be very careful not to let it splatter, as it is very hot.

Takes: 50 minutes.
Makes: 1600ml of ghee.

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