Ghee 101

A dear friend who is living with a Yogi just showed me a video she took last night of him sitting across from her at dinner, eating curry, rice, and veggies while yelling into his Iphone and propositioning Siri for sex. I missed the humor of the video because I was mesmerized by the vat of golden stuff in front of him on the table.

“What’s THAT?”

“It’s Ghee.”

“What’s Ghee?”

And, like most inquisitive conversations I’ve had in the past ten years, she Googled it and we fell silent for awhile, following links online.

As any good Food Network junkie, I’ve seen many recipes that call for clarified butter. Ghee is the same thing, and is used in lots of traditional Indian Cuisine. Wikipedia shares a very detailed process on how to make it, as well as other traditional uses for it (prayer, ceremonies, a source of light).  

It lends a distinct, toasted, rich taste and texture to recipes and is generally considered to be “healthier” than using regular butter because it lacks hydrogenated oils and is lactose-free. Convenience-wise, it doesn’t need refrigeration if stored air-tight and free of moisture, a plus for all of us foodies when it’s Glamping season.

Thankfully, the web has several great-sounding recipes not only for actual Ghee itself (like this one from Alton Brown), but for tasty rices, vegetarian curries, chicken dishes, and even desserts.

I look forward to giving it a whirl once I’m out of the woods with my Post Holiday Season Dieting. For now, I’ll shelve the idea. It keeps well.