How to make Ghee (clarified butter)
Ghee has been used extensively in India for thousands of years, where it is recognized for its healing properties for injuries and intestinal inflammations. It increases digestive fire, improving assimilation and enhances the nutritional value of foods. Ghee is great for prolonged high-heat cooking as it does not burn like butter or taste rancid as with some vegetable oils. Because ghee is pure butterfat, people with allergies to dairy are usually fine with it, because it is the protein or lactose (carbohydrate) in dairy that causes the allergic reaction.
Ghee/ clarified butter is available from Asian stores and some supermarkets and you can easily make it yourself...
To make Ghee
Place a 500g block of butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Over a low heat melt the butter and VERY gently simmer for 15-20 minutes. During this time the water content will evaporate and the milk solids will separate from the fat. Skim off any foam (salt and milk solids) which rises to the surface. Once the butterfat becomes golden clear remove from the heat. Pour off the ghee into a glass or ceramic dish and discard the milk solids remaining in the pan. Ghee will keep for several month, well covered in a cool place.
*It is important to store fats and oils in glass or ceramic rather than plastic as the chemicals in the plastic can leach into the fat.
How to use Ghee
I use ghee for cooking pancakes, fritters, hot cakes... anything that requires prolonged heat where butter would burn and taint the food. And my favourite is to use ghee for pan-frying fresh fish dusted in seasoned flour and cooked until golden on both sides. A squeeze of lemon to finish, delicious!