Ghee is made differently from European clarified butter. Rather than being slow-melted and skimmed, butter for ghee is simmered until it clarifies. Any impurities and milk solids adhere to the bottom of the pot. It becomes slightly golden brown, and acquires a light nutty flavor. Pure butter ghee is also known as “usli ghee,” and if you do not want to make it yourself, you can certainly buy some at Indian markets labeled as such.
Ghee is actually so prized in the Indian culture that it is used in ceremonial lamps as fuel, given to Brahmin (highest caste) newborn babies and children daily by the spoonful to promote intelligence, and of course, used in cooking, such as to roast spices for the topping of the coconut chutney.
© 2008 Robert Danhi. All rights reserved.