How to Make Ghee

How to Make Ghee - Simple home recipe

Ever used ghee? It is the best of both worlds. It has the benefits of butter without the casein and proteins that some people react to in butter.

What is Ghee?

In technical terms, Ghee is a clarified, unsalted butter with the milk proteins removed. It has a high smoke point, making it perfect for cooking, and an incredible flavor. Many people who cannot tolerate dairy can handle ghee and it is a revered food in Indian cuisine.

The Benefits of Ghee

I’m a sucker for traditional foods. I love reading about them and re-creating them. I’m a big believer that traditional cultures knew things about food that science is still catching up to, and ghee is one of these foods!

Ghee is considered “liquid gold” and revered in Indian culture (and has been for centuries). When made from high quality butter, it is a great source of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin K and is great for teeth, hair, skin and nails.

Ghee is like butter on crack. More intense flavor and more nutrients. A little bit goes a really long way and the flavor is great in many different recipes and dishes.

I like using ghee for making stir frys in a wok since it has such a high smoke point and with wok cooking, only a tiny amount is needed. Ghee is also incredible on a baked sweet potato, in eggs or on steamed or roasted vegetables.

Ghee is expensive to buy but simple to make. Unlike butter, it does not need to be refrigerated (though I typically still store in the fridge) and it is great for traveling. If you’ve never tried it, I highly suggest making ghee and using it in your cooking.

How to Make Ghee - Simple home recipe

27 votes

Print

How to Make Ghee

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 2 cups

Ghee is a traditional food that was considered sacred in some cultures. It is a form of clarified butter, made my separating the milk proteins from the pure healthy fats, creating a flavorful and delicious fat for cooking or on vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces (1 pound) of butter- preferably unsalted, organic and grassfed
  • Equipment: A medium size saucepan, a fine wire mesh strainer, cheesecloth, a spoon, a 16-ounce or larger measuring cup, a clean jar for storage

Instructions

  1. Cut the butter into cubes and place in the saucepan.
  2. Heat the butter over medium heat until completely melted. Reduce to a simmer.
  3. Cook for about 10-15 minutes (this will vary based on how hot your stove is). During this time, the butter will go through several stages. It will foam, then bubble, then seem to almost stop bubbling and then foam again. When the second foam occurs, the ghee is done. At this point, the melted butter should be bright gold in color and there should be reddish brown pieces of milk solids at the bottom of the pan.
  4. Let cool slightly for 2-3 minutes and then slowly pour through the wire mesh strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth. The small bits of milk protein are usually discarded, though a friend told me that her grandmother used to mix those with flour (or almond flour) and a small amount of honey to make a flavorful fudge-like treat.
  5. Ghee will last up to a month at room temperature or even longer in the fridge. I typically store mine in the fridge, just to me safe.
  6. Use as a cooking oil for stir frys, to top sweet potatoes, or melted on steamed/roasted vegetables. Ghee is much more flavorful than butter, so use sparingly!

Courses Condiment

Like this recipe? Get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

If you’re a visual learner, here’s a photo walk-through of all the steps to make it.

Ghee is a clarified butter made from removing the milk proteins from butter. It is a traditional sacred food in many cultures and has incredible flavor.

Ever made ghee at home? Ever tried it? Share your experience below!

You May Also Enjoy These Posts...

Reader Interactions

It Shouldn’t Be This Hard to Be Healthy…

Become a Wellness Mama VIP member for free and get access to my handbooks & quick start guides to help you detox your home, become a master of home remedies, make beauty products from scratch, and conquer mealtime madness!

Yes! Let me in!

Wellness Mama widget banner

Reader Comments

  1. This seems so simple. I also like traditional foods, but this is one that I have yet to try- probably because I just use butter most of the time. I’ve also heard that ghee has a long shelf life, or that you can preserve it to make it have a longer shelf life for emergency food storage.

  2. Its good to see the popularity of ghee here. I am from India and it was a staple in every house as we were growing up. We would get raw milk that would be boiled and the thick layer of cream would be collected every day. My mom and grandma would make ghee out of butter churned out of this cream every other week or so.

    We would use ghee everyday in our cooking as well as taking it directly over the warm rice and lentils. It was spread on hot tortilla right off the griddle and would taste amazing.

    Now I have 3 kids(10, 5, 1.5 yr old) and my mom still brings homemade ghee from back home whenever she is here to visit us. She advised me to used aged ghee on my kids chest when they suffer from cold and cough. Another use we have is simmer a tsp of ghee with dried date until its fragrant and let it cool for few secs and just eat it for soar throat and cold. It should be just warm, not too hot.

    A quick question for you and would appreciate the reply. I know you suggest to use unsalted butter but I really love Kerrygold salted butter from Costco. Is it ok that my ghee is from salted butter?

    One last comment. Ghee has a long shelf life. It can be stored at room temperature for a long time without any issue.

    Thanks

    • Hello, I am from Armenia and I grew up seeing my mom and every family making ghee all the time. This is the first time that I heard someone is using it here in USA. I just want to add that you should boil it enough so all the water part is gone, otherwise you can’t keep it longer. What I do, I store it in the refrigerator and next day when it’s firm, I make little whole with knife and the bottom if you see there is watery milk, it means you needed to boil it little more. Or you can carefully empty the water part. Second advise is , the brown milk solids at the bottom of the pan, my mom used to make scones with that. I don’t have her receipt, but it can be used for any receipt. One more thing, just want to add we use it for broken part of the body too. Thank you.

      • What do you mean you use it for a broken part of the body?

        Do you put Ghee on the skin?

        Please elaborate…..

        Thanks

    • You can get unsalted Kerrygold now!

  3. I love ghee 🙂 Eating Ifreshly made Indian pickle mixed with ghee and rice was a tradition every summer back home in India.Ghee is also great for oil massage for body and it can be washed using chickpea flour paste with curd and turmeric .

  4. I just made ghee this week. It’s delicious, and smells amazing. We use ghee in making desserts and in a lot of curries too. It is very traditional to give ghee to pregnant and lactating ladies in Indian culture. I’m so glad people are appreciating our food. I use it myself too once in a while but give it to my kids almost daily.

  5. So if you need unpasteurized butter for joints, then ghee would lose those properties, right?, as when you’re cooking it to remove milk solids you’re in a sense pasteurizing it since your heating it. I’d love for it to keep those properties.

    • as with everything, there is a time and a place for butter… and a time and a place for ghee. If you are into natural fats, then ghee is going to have the highest smoke point of all of them. Say you bake some dish at 450oF …. well, none of your natural real food fats is going to be able to handle that high temp except ghee. Also, you can cook on medium heat with butter… but you always have to be careful with butter bc it burns. You can use ghee instead.

      If you want raw butter on your bread… or in your tea… on your squash, whatever! then yes, your raw butter is best there. That is not the time or place for ghee (if you are looking for raw butter properties). BUT, you can use ghee there if you want…

      different products/different properties/different uses.

  6. Ghee is SO EASY TO MAKE! It just requires attention and patience. Lower heat is better than medium heat on my stove, but each stove is different! The first time, I got it a little TOO toasty. The second and subsequent times were PERFECT! (I went lower).

    Ghee works really well for my super allergic daughter. She is VERY ALLERGIC to dairy, yet she can tolerate ghee incredibly well. The cleaner I can get it, the better! (meaning the least amount of dairy protein… take care when filtering it. Don’t be too aggressive to get every last drop of ghee if your child is allergic. the dregs will have the most dairy protein.). HOWEVER, I find the toasty milk protein yummy! I actually try to skim it off while it’s cooking and put it in a little container for myself.

    Definitely DO NOT use salted butter to make ghee.
    I forgot why… It could be bc it affects how it foams while cooking? don’t quote me on that. look up the “bring me the curry” tutorial on youtube, for how to make ghee. Those ladies tell you why.

    • For those who might have trouble finding it, ShowMeTheCurry.com has a YouTube tutorial for Ghee (Clarified Butter)

  7. I freaking LOVE ghee! I tried making it once and it turned out ok, but I need to try again. I have mainly been buying mine from Ancient Organics. Their ghee is a-maz-ing!!! It tastes like toffee and makes everything I put it in taste super yummy. It has almost spoiled me to the point that I won’t use anything else which is not good on the wallet 😉

    Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Where did you get this recipe?

  9. I tried this today and had a question – for those of you experts who have made this before 🙂 My final product looks almost like a golden yellow in color with some cloudy floatables and the solids I poured off were a creamy yellow in color. Does this mean I didn’t cook it long enough? Never made ghee before so I might google it too to try to troubleshoot if I did this correctly.

    • the milk protein solids will “solidify” and sink to the bottom. If you had floaties, then no, you didn’t cook it long enough. Think of it like this.. you are cooking the milk solids, they *deep fry* for lack of a better term (tho it’s not deep fried), so then they solidify and sink.
      look up a youtube video, just search “how to make ghee”

  10. So… Ghee is basically browned butter?

    • clarified butter. 99.9% (or so) of milk proteins removed. as close to pure butterfat oil as possible.

      • Clarified butter and ghee are different. It has to do with cooking temperature, and remaining sugars/solids and water present in the finished products. This effects color, shelf life, and smoke point.

    • Not quite- if you cook it too how or too long, then it’s browned butter (aka burnt).

      • Browned butter has all the milk solids still in it. Ghee has ALL the milk solids removed. If you cook ANY fat at too high a temperature for too long it will burn. So no, ghee is different.

    • More like caramelized butter

  11. Thanks for the post. I make ghee in a slow cooker / crockpot where it goes for around five hours, resulting in a clear golden ghee with the dark brown bits thoroughly settled out. The trick is to ease open the lid of the crockpot with something like a fork handle or a chopstick, and give it a stir every hour to release the steam.
    I use it every day for cooking – my other fats being coconut oil and macadamia oil. I make it in batches of 4 kilos (around 7 pounds) using New Zealand grass-fed butter, and just store it in a big tub in the food cupboard where it keeps for up to two months.
    I’m in a subtropical area of New South Wales, Australia and have no problems with it going rancid, even in the summer.

    With regards to a couple of other posts: no it isn’t just browned butter. That is called “beurre noisette” used in French cuisine. Ghee goes a whole stage further than that.

    Also, if there are still pale milky looking bits then it hasn’t been cooked long enough. That’s why a crockpot is brilliant as you can’t burn the ghee.

    • Do you use the low or high setting on the slow cooker? And what do you use the solids for?

      • I use the low setting. The solids tend to stick to the sides and bottom and I don’t need to strain the ghee, just ladle it out into a big jar.
        I’ve used the remaining solids just on toast.. yum.

    • Excellent tip. Thank you for posting!

  12. I love ghee! Have made it just as you directed several times so far…great on veggies and potatoes. Husband tolerates rice well so I put the milk solids in the rice and it is so flavorful!

  13. Thank you for the post, will be making this today. Just watched how to make it on YouTube by dr.lina. She said not to refrigerate it because it becomes a saturated fat. She also said that as it ages it becomes more potent. There’s more interesting info in the video, anyone interested can check it out.

  14. When I was growing up in Russia, our and Indian cultures were very close, probably because our governments were friendly at the time, what a miracle 🙂 ; and ghee, which we called ‘melted’ butter was very popular. Back then dairy wasn’t pasteurized (and soo delicious!) so regular butter would go bad within a week, even in the fridge, and making ghee was the solution to extend the life of it. Moms would massage their babies with it and it was known to be a cure for eczema, rash and dry skin. I use it in almost all of my cooking, and also as a moisturizer. I make mine in a slow cooker (here is my recipe: http://www.beetsandbones.com/how-to-make-clarified-butter-and-ghee/) because I tend to burn it on the stove top more often then not, especially with a couple of little munchkins running around 🙂

    Love your blog, Katie!

  15. I love ghee, most with over cooked rice 😉 My mom just collect the cream of milk each day when she brings it to boil and cool it in a particular pot and store it in freezer, and at the end of month when it gets full,,she then took it out to the room temperature until its ice consistency melts and just before getting to bed she adds about 2,3 tbs of curd to it and keep it outside in dark…next day she blends the mixture and separates out buttermilk and butter,,,, this butter is used for preparing ghee..like this each month my mom prepare a new batch and use the old one. [mama’s tip ; At the last step of preparing ghee.. she takes of the pan from stove and add few garlic clove and 1 betel leaf or just garlic or 2 cardamom and let it remain until she strain the ghee… which makes it taste more better then the taste of ghee]

  16. In the past year, I discovered Trader Joe’s Ghee and I love it. It’s the best thing I’ve found to make grilled cheese. I can’t wait to make this myself!

  17. T, saturated fat is healthy. The polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils oxidize extremely fast, and they’re the fats that are unhealthy. (Any kind of vegetable oil in a bottle.) We have been lied to by the food industry.

    I use butter, ghee and bacon fat. I use very small amounts of the best extra virgin olive oil, and I never heat the olive oil.

    Christine

  18. Oooo. I love ghee. And the only ghee I have ever eaten is the one my mum makes from homemade butter churned from homemade buttermilk, Looong process but totally worth it. She sends me pots of these regularly and there are some Indian foods that simply aren’t the same without ghee.

  19. Never made ghee, so thought I would give it a try. Started with 8 oz of butter, since that was what I had on hand. Wandered off and when I checked it, I had browned butter, but luckily not yet burned. Had to strain several times to get clear, and decided to make it into seasoned butter by adding Himalayan pink salt, garlic powder & red chili flakes (stirred these in after it semi-solidified in the fridge). I was on a roll, so I ran to the store for more butter, started over and ended up with beautiful, golden ghee. I skimmed the foam off before straining and stopped just short of pouring off the milk solids in the bottom. Added these to the foam, plus about a tablespoon of honey, a good shot of vanilla, a tiny dash of pink salt, 4 T of almond flour & 2 T of coconut flour (added flours 1 T at a time until I liked the consistency, which is similar to cookie dough). Made a yummy little sweet treat based on what your friend’s GM did.

    I’m an ex-pat living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and though we have several organic farms for veggies, grass fed beef, milk & butter, and free range chickens & eggs, and have many more organic products available than when I moved here 16 years ago. However, other organics, like spices, almond & coconut flours, ghee, etc., as well as gluten free products, are imported and, therefore, crazy expensive. So great to be able to now make ghee at home.

    Been on your mailing list and visiting your site for quite some time. In fact, learned about the Hashimoto’s Institute from you, which was hugely helpful, since I also deal with this autoimmune condition. Thanx for all you do, Katie!

    • We holidayed in San Miguel for one month in December and love it to death and we are coming back in December for three months. Can you share where you find all these “organic farms for veggies, grass fed beef, milk & butter, and free range chickens & eggs” and if you have a found a good supply of virgin coconut oil
      Thanks
      The organic market did have some of these things but any help would be appreciated.

  20. what do you do with the the part you strain off?

  21. Tasty but, high in calories. Just to be aware of intake.
    45 calories per teaspoon.

  22. We do ghee too! My husband normally makes it, but we find it hard to get the stove to heat it low enough.

    However, the reason I write has little to do with the ghee . . . and more to do with your adorable jar.

    Where did you come upon this cute ghee storage container?

  23. I have a question: I made me some ghee in my crock pot and from what i understand the finished product should be liquid, but mine softly solidified when it cooled. is this normal or did i do something wrong? I didn’t use organic due to the price, so I used unsalted butter from Aldi.

    Thanks,
    Rebecca

      • Kool thank you so much. Can’t wait to use it then.

  24. I am so happy to have found your website after doing some research on a Ketogenic diet for my advanced breast cancer. Some of the recipes called for ghee and I have never seen or made it before so had to find out how to make it and this is perfect, especially the slow cooker method rather than the stove as that can be difficult for me.

    I have the same question as Brooke from December 2014. I would love to know where you found the beautiful jar for your Ghee. I find that I enjoy my kitchen time more if I have beautiful convenient storage bottles and those types of jars/bottles are much easier for me to use than screw lid mason type jars. I hope you can remember where you got the jar, although it looks like something may have been in the family for a while or something along those lines like my similar bottles.
    Thank you for your time and all that you do.

    • I think this one might have been passed down. I get some jars on Zulily when they have sales and have also found jars at places like Target, Big Lots and thrift stores.

  25. Ok. Tried making it for the first time. I guess I burnt it, because it is VERY dark. Is it still useable?

  26. I just make ghee for the first time. I cooked it for 15min and it came out a dark brown. Was 15min too long. It was so hot it melted the mesh in the strainer. I also used cheesecloth.

  27. I decided to can butter a few years back and didn’t realize it until just now, but I was making ghee. (Butter will go rancid when canned due to the fats, but ghee apparently can remain stable indefinitely in the right environment.) Once the clarification process was over, I poured the ghee into a couple dozen half-pint canning jars and went through the recommended canning process. The product came out perfect and was set aside ‘for emergencies’. It has been on the shelf now for about 3 years and looks the same as day one. I believe I’ll open one up really soon and enjoy!

  28. Do you all use sweet cream butter or sour cream butter when you make ghee? Thank you!

  29. I have a question about the crockpot/slow cooking. I love the idea, I’m a “hands-off” cook whenever possible, but I killed my last crockpot and have not replaced it, yet. Is it feasible to turn the pan down as low as possible to simulate the crockpot effect? I DO NOT want to experiment with expensive butter and ruin my first batch!

  30. So if I didn’t cook my ghee long enough, but didn’t figure that out until I had strained it, what should I do?

  31. I am so glad to have found this recipe. I love Ghee so much more than butter. And now I can make it myself and trust it unlike the store versions. A funny on the side…my little sister called me Ghee when we were little girls. I guess she knew me better than I knew myself…lol.

    • You mean she knew you butter than you knew yourself? Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  32. Great recipe! Super fun and so easy! And WAY more affordable than store-bought ghee.

    Your blog is awesome. Thanks for much for all of your wonderful recipes and ideas.

  33. Hi
    I have access to REAL dairy,milk and cream, from grass fed cows.Got some heavy cream lately and made butter out of it.It is the most delicious butter you can taste.Now my next step will be to make my own ghee out of this butter.Can’t wait to get it done.So glad that I found this easy way to do it.

  34. Hi, There – I am new to Ghee. I had a question for you all! 🙂
    What do you do with the leftover solid clumps? Can you store and use those for things as well, or are they basically no good anymore? I am SO excited to make Ghee!!

  35. Using salted butter is not the end of the world. I have accidentally done this and the salt settles out of the oil and into the milk solids. The consequence is that if you are like me and enjoy the often discarded milk concentrate, it is VERY salty!

  36. I’m so excited, I just made my first ghee!! It’s a gorgeous clear, golden yellow and smells nutty and amazing. I’m about to make my breakfast and can’t wait to use it in my eggs! My brother the chef will be very impressed. I forgot cheesecloth, so I used an all-natural coffee filter and it worked perfectly. Thanks for the step by step instructions and pictures!! I have to go now, time to eat!

  37. I love to use ghee in baking, as the lovely buttery taste comes through. Our family are dairy intolerant, so ghee is a godsend. After making my ghee, I cool it slightly, then pour it into ice block containers. The ghee sets hard in the fridge in a few minutes. I then pop them out of their moulds and store then in a larger container in the fridge. When I use the ghee for baking, it so much easier to weigh out a few small cubes, than try and cut pieces off a very hard lump.

  38. I make my ghee in electric rice cooker !! Super easy and I don’t have to watch it and no mess either ! I just put my butter in the cooker turn it on and once the light goes off , I let it cool and filter the ghee into a jar !!

    • That’s my kind of cooking, although I don’t like cleaning out the grease from my cooker. Maybe that’s why I never used it. I’m a single guy, always looking for an easy way. I hope I try your method. I hope my cooker has a light that goes off. I just checked, no light. I have a Low, High and Off, maybe I’ll try it on Low, let it brown a little then turn it off. I really want to try ghee.

  39. I cooked and cooked my Ghee for almost 30 minutes. Never got the milk solids on the bottom and never turned a dark golden color. Good butter too. Not sure what could have happened. Advise would be appreciated.

  40. Here are some of the benefits of butter and ghee I have found at http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.ca/2009/12/butyric-acid-ancient-controller-of.html
    a most interesting read.
    • Harmful metabolic effects of a high-fat diet (lard and soybean oil) on mice can be prevented, and even reversed, using a short-chain saturated fatty acid called butyric acid (butyrate)~found in ghee and butter.
    • Fights obesity.
    • Lowers blood cholesterol by 25% and their triglycerides by nearly 50 percent.
    • Lowered fasting insulin by nearly 50%, and increased their insulin sensitivity by nearly 300%. The investigators concluded: “Butyrate and its derivatives may have potential application in the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome in humans.”
    • It also seems to suppress appetite.
    • Butyric acid suppresses inflammation in the gut and other tissues.
    • It is naturally produced by intestinal bacteria from carbohydrate that the host cannot digest, such as cellulose and pectin. The lining of our large intestine has evolved to use it as its primary source of energy. It does more than just feed the bowel, however. It also has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.
    • Butyric acid has been repeatedly associated with lower heart attack risk and reduced progression of atherosclerosis in humans. Butyrate also sharply reduces the harmful effects of type 1 diabetes in rats, as does dietary fibre to a lesser extent.
    • I have been using butter forever, and I have been giving my ageing Corgi (15yrs) 2 tsps of butter (now ghee) twice a day. Both of us have strong hearts. The vet is very impressed.
    Wellness Mama is one of my favourite health resources after finding out about making Magnesium Water.

    • Interesting article, thanks! Now looking up magnesium water :). By the way, I’ve only made ghee once, and I used organic, unsalted, cultured butter. It came out perfect and about to make more now!

  41. The “second foam” bit was helpful, thank you!

  42. I’ve always enjoyed Indian, Southern Asian and Asian cuisine… As well as Latin, Italian, Mediterranean, Caribbean … Heck, I enjoy it all. I am currently on a bread kick, favoring that famous San Fransisco Sourdough of my youth, and while looking at recipes for naan, came across ‘ghee’ as one of the ingredients… After searching the WWW, and landing here for how to make ghee, I will be giving it a try !!! And adding it my favorite recipes that call for butter and/or oils. Thanks Katie!!

  43. I just made ghee!! I can’t wait to try it:) Thank you for such an easy to follow recipe!!

  44. My butter’s expiration date is a week away, can I still use it to make ghee? Will it have a long shelf life even though the butter was due to expire soon after ghee was made?

  45. Wow! I just made my first batch of successful ghee! Thank you so much for the photos as they really helped me to figure out when the ghee was done. It smells wonderful and I can’t wait to use it with my yuca and plantain flatbread! I think this will win my husband over to grain-free auto-immune paleo cooking — NOT a small feat! Thank you again for your wonderful style of writing and educating.

  46. Nice clear instructions but where I live, only salted org. butter is available. Is this a calamity, or can I still make ghee? Tks.

    I see some people here say that you must not use salty butter; however, I don’t like the idea of using commercial, regular light colored unsalted butter. Those are my 2 options! What to do, what to do…I love ghee.

    • I only had salted butter the first time I made it and it was still amazing. Its not optimal, but certainly not the end of the world and you’ll still end up with a gorgeous golden pot of yummy goodness.

      • Thanks for your thoughts, Sophie. I’m glad you approve, because I was thinking the same thing. The dark, organically produced butter I buy is nice, and way better than the light colored stuff. Your last, highly descriptive, phrase evokes quite an image!

  47. I made ghee today with unsalted, organic butter- and it turned out beautifully! I had to grab a spoon just to sample… mmm! I wish I had known how easy this was to make years ago. Thanks for sharing the recipe :).

  48. Straining it, I didn’t get that many solids out from the ghee… I think I did it wrong. 🙁

  49. There is nothing like making your own ghee. Just awesomeness in a jar, I really enjoy making my own.

  50. Is that really Ghee? Ghee is made straight out of milk. Actually the butter it’s self is a bi product of ghee.
    Your version of ghee is very interesting for sure and i am surprised almost every one here is consenting with this. OMG!

    • Edgar – you are correct that butter starts out as milk, that’s boiled, cooled, curd added and then churned to create butter and then we make ghee from that. Whew! Buying the butter seems a heck of a lot easier to me.

      I appreciate your input, but this blog is a positive place where we can all learn from one another in a positive way. Peace.