Traditional Indian Ghee Butter

ghee-butter“Ghee” is a Sanskrit word that describes a form of clarified butter primarily used in Indian culinary traditions. It is a characteristic of a toasted, nutty quality.

Traditionally, ghee would be produced from the milk of the indigenous Indian buffalo. Today, it is common to see it produced from other varieties of milk. Whichever milk may be used in its creation is churned into standard butter, which is then boiled in a large saucepan or kettle.

A solid layer forms on the bottom of the vessel, while a thick layer of oil gathers in the center and the excess moisture in the butter gathers in a foamy layer on top. This top layer boils away, and the middle layer is spooned away and allowed to cool. It is this layer that becomes the ghee.

Though ghee is an animal-based fat, and therefore considered a saturated fat, some research has indicated that it is healthier than alternative fats like lard or margarine. This is because it can be better preserved without refrigeration for weeks at a time without spoiling, and does not require the use of hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils. Further, it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, and potent antioxidants, and its high smoke point allows you to fry with the butter without breaking it down into free radicals.

At Spice Route in Bellevue, you can experience the great taste of ghee butter with many of our South Indian-style dishes. Try our ghee dosa, our ghee masala dosa, and more.