Homemade Ghee

Posted · 23 Comments

Ghee has a rich history in the Indian culture.  It has been used nutritionally and religiously for over 2,000 years.  A rich, aromatic, clarified butter with a depth of nuttiness.

Like any clarified butter, ghee is composed almost entirely of fat.  However, as I have discussed before, fats are essential to life and help the body assimilate nutrients.  Ghee contains the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Another nutritional benefit of ghee is that it helps aid in digestion. It has been used in Indian medicinal practice to help with ulcers, constipation, and the promotion of healthy eyes and skin.

It’s also known that in the Indian culture, many mothers give their children a tablespoon of ghee a day to keep them healthy.  A tradition I may start in my own home.

Because ghee has such a high ‘smoke point’ of around 375F it is also a very useful oil to cook with. The smoke point determines when an oil actually starts to burn and generate oxidisation. As it has a very low oxidisation rate ghee stays fresh and shelf stable for a long time. Another benefit of using ghee is that the heating procedure removes the lactose content making it a suitable replacement of butter for those that are lactose intolerant.

The process of making ghee is quite easy!  I learned how to make ghee from Jennifer McLagan’s book, Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes.

Ghee is made by slowly cooking butter on the stove top until the it separates into 3 parts.  The water which is boiled off, the butter, and the milk solids which are left on the bottom of the pan to brown.  It’s these browned milk solids that infuse the ghee with their characteristic nutty flavor.  According to Jennifer McLagan, the browning of the milk solids creates antioxidants that help delay rancidity.

I have seen many Indian blogs where they add spices or herbs to the cooking butter to impart flavor.  I’ve seen mint and curry leaves.  Something I’ll definitely try in the future.

As easy as this was to make, I encourage you to give it a try.  I used farm fresh butter from a local farmer and the taste was unbelievable.  I’ve been using it on rice, toast, vegetables, fried eggs, and have even found myself eating it plain.  It’s really that good!

Homemade Ghee
Recipe by Jennifer McLagan


  • 1 cup / 1/2 pound unsalted butter


  1. Cut the butter into small pieces and place them in a small, heavy saucepan over low heat.  Once the butter has melted, increase the heat just until the butter simmers.  As the butter simmers, a layer of white foam wil form on the top and the butter will bubble and spit as the water boils off.


    After about 10 minutes the spitting and bubbling will stop.

  2. Now the milk solids on the bottom of the pan will begin to color.  Watch the butter carefully at this point, using a spoon to push aside the foam to check the color of the milk solids.  When they turn brown and you smell a sweet, nutty aroma, remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes, allowing the flavor of the browned milk solids to infuse the ghee.
  3. Carefully strain the ghee through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth into a clean glass jar, leaving the browned milk solids behind. 

    When cool, cover the jar and keep the ghee refrigerated for up to 6 months.  It can also be frozen.

I have seen other recipes where it’s okay to keep the ghee at room temperature for up to 2 months.  It’s up to you.  Also the milk solids left over from making ghee taste great!  Save them to add to rice or vegetable dishes.

Buen Provecho!

23 Responses to "Homemade Ghee"
  1. Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal says:

    Diana, that is such a rich info on ghee. I did not know a lot of it, so thanks. I love the smell when ghee is being prepared @ home as the entire home smells this nutty smell (as you mentioned) and I love those leftover brown milk solids :)

  2. jose manuel says:

    Una receta curiosa e interesante. Me la apunto que me gusta aprender de todo. Un saludo

  3. Diana Bauman says:

    Thank you Priya! I can't get enough of ghee. It tastes so wonderful!

    Jose – Gracias para el comentario. Soy igual, me gusta aprender el gastronomia de otros culturas. Esta receta es requisimo! Un saludo!!

  4. Artistta says:

    This is great! Thanks Dianna

  5. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Cool that you are making it on your own! I love ghee but never knew all these great health properties. Thanks!

  6. Simply Life says:

    I recently made aloo paratha and it called for ghee but I wasn't sure how to make it so I just used butter. It turned out great but this post definitely helps for next time!

  7. Sanyukta Gour(Bayes) says:

    hey diana,must tel u hv done a great job…bravo..i hv also a post for ghee in my blog…but urs seems to b so perfect and far far better ….yummmm….and very good and useful info on ghee…
    hv mailed u an entry for the MLLA24 event..wil send the other today,,,,tc..

  8. Kelli says:

    I've loved ghee when it was served to me, I have to admit I never thought of making my own, I usually substitute butter like the other poster, but now you've made it look so shockingly easy!

    ~Kelli @ Smidgens

  9. Premalatha Aravindhan says:

    wow nicely presented! thanks for sharing…

  10. Fresh Local and Best says:

    I enjoy cooking with ghee, it adds a nice buttery flavor and like you mentioned in the post it doesn't burn as easily.

  11. Chow and Chatter says:

    oh thats cool that you made it tasty

  12. The Duo Dishes says:

    Love that you made your own. We're halfway through a jar that did wonders for recent Indian dishes. Other than that, it's used rarely. The flavor is great though.

  13. Brie: Le Grand Fromage says:

    this is great! i have seen ghee increase in common recipes and needed to learn how to make it. thanks for the awesome step by step photos and background info – fat is good! :)

  14. CC Recipe says:

    We use ghee in our home, I really enjoyed reading all the info you posted and I will definitely have to give this recipe a try, thanks!

  15. girlichef says:

    So simple!! I hope this inspires everybody to make some at home…I know it inspired me =)

  16. Kristen says:

    I am so glad you posted this. I was just thinking that I would attempt making ghee. Now I think I can do it with no problems. Thanks.

  17. Kathy Gori says:

    beautifully done!

  18. Ruby says:

    Lovely photo of something difficult to photograph! My mom used to make ghee but I buy mine. I get big tubs at Costco and use it for everything! Maybe I'll try your instructions and make it next time – thanks!

  19. FitRosie says:

    Have to be careful not to burn the solids as you said. Can also be made in the oven.
    Ghee is cooling so good for burns in a pinch. I like it with spices like ginger & cardamon for variations with flavor.
    Ayurveda values Ghee very highly for good health. What do you do with the foam?
    It has religious significance for many people.
    Thanks for your method, nice photos.

  20. Amy D. says:

    So…if you are a first time ghee-maker, like me, and you do burn the solids (hence turning the ghee a really dark brown color), is it still usable? I was planning on using it in place of oil for cooking. It doesn’t smell or taste burnt to me (though, I’ve never had ghee before, even the non-burnt variety, so I don’t have anything to compare it to), it’s just a dark color. Can I still use if for cooking or should I throw it out?

  21. Amy D. says:

    Nevermind. Did some research and found that I apparently ruined it. Really sad…but I know better for next time!

  22. Sylvia says:

    I have made Ghee several Times never had a problem.
    This Time however, after it sat on my Counter Top, it separated. I don’t understand why?
    One inch or so is like Oil and below that is the Ghee.
    Does anyone know what I did wrong?

  23. Deb says:

    I used to do my Ghee on top the stove, but started doing it in the crockpot and like doing that better now! Makes it so I don’t have to watch it so much…and don’t burn it. I also keep mine at room temp for way more than 2 months, and haven’t had it go bad on me…well, that I know of anyway. LOL Love having Ghee to use, since we have our own cows it’s the cheapest oil we have to use…so use it the most although do still use olive and coconut oil at times too.

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