Clarified Butter

Makes about 1 1/2 cups Servings


  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, each stick cut into quarters.

Recipe Preparation

  • Place butter pieces in 4-cup glass measuring cup. Mircowave on high 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and let stand 1 minute. Spoon off foamy top layer. Spoon clear (clarified) butter into small bowl. Discard any milky liquid at bottom of measuring cup.

Recipe by Susan Feniger

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Clarified Butter Recipe

You will have Clarified Butter (also called Drawn Butter) when you remove milk solids from butter.

When you do so you increase its heat tolerance. It does not burn as easily as regular butter because the milk solids (whey) have been removed.

Once accomplished, you can use drawn butter for making dishes that benefit from buttery flavor but must be cooked over moderately high heat, such as sautéed potatoes, eggs, fish, and many other items.

It is also used to make Hollandaise sauce and several other similar sauces.

To make drawn butter (clarified) you slowly heat butter (unsalted or salted) over low heat until the butter separates into three layers.  The top layer is a foam (the whey) and should be skimmed off with a spoon.  A milky layer on the bottom of the pan is the milk solids. In between is a pure golden-yellow liquid called drawn butter.

Once separated you skim the foam off the top, remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes. You then strain the remaining mixture into another container through a very fine sieve or you can pour it through cheese cloth.

The resulting liquid is the drawn butter (butterfat) that can be covered and stored several weeks in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen. If you freeze it, do so in small batches.

What is clarified butter and ghee?

And why do I love it so much? Here’s why!

Clarified Butter is normal butter minus the dairy component and water ie just butter fat

Ghee is a type of Clarified Butter, best known as used in Indian cooking. Arguably the purest form because the method to make it ensures 100% of the dairy is removed, whereas some basic methods for clarified butter are not as thorough

They have a more intense butter flavour and in the case of Ghee, a slightly nutty flavour imparted by the browned milk solids

Is a gorgeous golden yellow colour

Is completely clear and pure, not clouded with milky bits and foam like normal melted butter

Makes things much more crisp than butter – such as the Potato Rosti pictured below and

Has a high smoke point of 230°C/450°F, compared to butter which has a smoke point of only 175°C/350°F. This is in fact higher than some vegetable oils, meaning you can use clarified butter/ghee just as you would a normal cooking fat, frying and sauteeing things at a high temperature without setting off the smoke alarm.

I’ve used clarified butter and ghee in a handful of recipes and in each of those I keep repeating the same directions for how to make it at home if you can’t find it, plus it’s about half the price to make at home.

So I thought it was about time I put up a separate recipe for it – because it’s so easy!

Ways to Use Ghee in Recipes

Dairy-Free Elixirs

It’s no secret that we are obsessed with dairy-free elixirs. These delicious drinks are mighty beverages that include nut/seed milk, protein, herbs and spices, natural sweeteners, and healthy fats. Drop a tablespoon of ghee into your next elixir and marvel at the creaminess!

As a Cooking Oil for High-Heat Cooking

There are a lot of cooking oils we can choose and one of our favourite ways to use ghee is for high-heat cooking methods like stir-frying, sautéing or roasting. Start off by melting a tablespoon in you pan and add more as needed.

Melted Over Steamed Or Roasted Vegetables

Butter on veggies can go a long way, particularly when it comes to getting kids to eat more of them. Try drizzling melted ghee over them instead.

Spread On Baked Goods

Spread ghee all over your gluten-free bread, gluten-free crackers, muffins or other baked goods. It works well for either sweet or savory recipes!

In Gluten-Free Baking

Aside from spreading ghee on gluten-free baked goods, it’s also fantastic when used in recipes. Anywhere you’d normally use butter or coconut oil — like cookies, cakes, breads, pie crusts, crackers, buns, bagels, etc. — you could try swapping for ghee.

Recipe to Try: Mini Gluten-Free Apple Galettes by Macy Diulus (*Honorary Culinary Nutrition Expert)

Popcorn Topping

Grab a bowl of popcorn drizzled with melted ghee and hunker down on the couch with a selection of great food movies. You can melt ghee with herbs and spices for a flavourful topping, and pop your popcorn in it too!

Mashed Potatoes or Mashed Root Vegetables

Add flavour and creaminess to your mashed potatoes with ghee. If you’re following a Paleo-style diet or are skipping potatoes, use it to mash up your root vegetables like parsnips, carrots, celery root, turnips, cauliflower, and more!

Chocolate Spreads

Make your own healthy chocolate spreads using your chocolate of choice, nuts or seeds (or nut and seed butters), and natural sweeteners. If the flavour in combination with chocolate is too strong for you, try half ghee and half coconut oil.

Recipe to Try: Hemp Chocolate Spread by Meghan Telpner (*Academy of Culinary Nutrition Founder + Director)


Your favourite oatmeal or porridge is a fantastic way to use ghee in your regular cooking, and amp up your morning with some healthy fats. Make sweet or savory porridge with ghee – and it also happens to work well in many other popular breakfast recipes too like hashes, omelettes, congee and pancakes.

Recipe to Try: Cranberry Apple Baked Oatmeal by Jaclyn Beatty (*Culinary Nutrition Expert) – swap the coconut oil for ghee

Cooked Gluten-Free Grains

Boost the flavour of gluten-free grains by cooking them with some ghee. Rice, millet, sorghum, quinoa, teff, buckwheat – dealer’s choice!

Recipe to Try: Ghee Rice by Food For Joy

Gluten-Free or Grain-Free Granola

Grab these must-haves for gluten-free granola and make your own! If you’re looking to mix up the traditional flavours that coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil lend to granola, incorporate ghee into the liquid mix. You can use all ghee, or combine it with other oils to mute the flavour.

Dairy-Free Butter Chicken

Yes, you can make butter chicken without butter or cream! Ghee and coconut milk will do the trick quite nicely.

Recipe to Try: Simple Dairy-Free Butter Chicken by Meghan Telpner

Whole Food Frostings

Get ready to drool – one of the unique ways to use ghee is in frosting! Many typical frosting recipes involve butter to make them creamy and fluffy, but you can certainly try ghee instead.


Turn this decadent dessert into a healthier marvel with ghee. If you’re dubious, you have to check out the recipe below to see what we mean.

Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce

Swap ghee for butter in a variety of dairy-free cheese sauces, from mac and cheese to queso to nacho cheese. And if you’re looking for more dairy-free cheese inspiration, check out these 22 Best Dairy-Free Cheese Recipes.

Sweet Sauces

Upgrade the sweet sauces you drizzle over fruit, oatmeal, dairy-free ice cream or cake by adding some ghee.

Recipe to Try: Warm Coconut Milk and Ghee Sauce by Sweet Lizzy (*Culinary Nutrition Expert)

Savory Non-Cheese Sauces

We are always delighted by the robust flavour ghee adds to homemade sauces.

Hot Chocolate

Make your hot chocolate recipes extra creamy by adding in a hunk of ghee!

Natural Beauty Care

As ghee is rich in nutrients that nourish the skin and hair, it’s especially useful in natural beauty care recipes you make at home.

Recipe to Try: 20 Best Natural Beauty Care Recipes by Meghan Telpner

Eat It Off The Spoon!

A classic method you will relish.

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How to Use Clarified Butter in Your Cooking

If you’re learning to cook, you’ll find that “clarified butter” comes up occasionally in ingredients lists. This is the cooking fat left behind when you remove milk solids and water from unsalted butter. Once you know the steps to make a batch of clarified butter, you’ll find it comes in handy for a number of applications.

Clarifying butter
Preparing clarified butter is easy, and when you have a supply you can use it for months to come. Alton Brown provided directions that call for a pound and a half of unsalted butter, but you can adjust the quantity to suit your needs. Cut the sticks into pieces about an inch long and place them in a saucepan.

Set the saucepan over medium heat to melt the butter. Drop the heat to a very low setting and let simmer for about 45 minutes. Skim the foam that appears on the surface and watch for the liquefied butter to turn clear.

Then, place a strainer or a few layers of cheesecloth over a heatproof bowl. Pour the butter through to remove the milk solids. Let the clarified butter cool, store it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to six months, using as needed.

Use clarified butter to add new flavor to your favorite baked goods.

Put a new spin on your baked goods
When used in baking, clarified butter adds a unique, nutty flavor to classic items. Cookie Madness suggested trying it out with chocolate chip cookies. In this recipe, clarified butter takes the place of the mixture of butter and shortening.

Start by combining flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Beat together clarified butter, both brown and granulated sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture and then the chocolate chips. Assemble the dough on a baking sheet and place it in an oven set to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 14 minutes.

Turn up the heat
One of the major advantages of clarified butter is its high smoke point. That makes it perfect for frying, and Serious Eats recommended using the butter to make fried chicken cutlets.

Season the cutlets with salt and pepper before dredging them in flour, egg and a mixture of panko and Parmesan cheese. Heat clarified butter in a cast-iron skillet until it reaches 375 degrees. Then, immerse the chicken in the fat and cook for about three minutes on each side.

Clarified butter is also great for potatoes, curries and stir fries. Anyone interested in basic cooking should get to know this tasty and versatile ingredient.

How to Make Clarified Butter in the Microwave

I’ve probably mentioned like a thousand times by now that Fall is just super crazy for us with all three of our kids’ birthdays, plus the hubby’s, happening in a short 6 week span. And that’s just in our little Gracious house. What I haven’t mentioned is that we also have 6 more birthdays (that I can think of at this particular moment… there might be more… I’m pretty scatter-brained…) in the extended family. Add that to Christmas and we have quite the expensive last third of the year going on!

To combat the expense, my dad decided to do a communal birthday celebration. Instead of having individual grown-up-style birthday parties we would just have one big celebration that he named “Festival of Seafood.” It was lots of fun last year, and we’ll be repeating the experience this year again in just a few short weeks. We finally nailed down the menu, so hopefully there will be a few new seafood recipes coming your way shortly.

Anyway, one of my jobs last year was making clarified butter. I had basically no idea what I was doing. We live in the Midwest, so not too much fresh seafood or drawn butter action happening in these parts too often. This project required lots of research (I didn’t want to waste the 4 pounds of butter I was in charge of!) and a little experimenting, but I found a ridiculously easy way to make drawn butter in the microwave.

So basically, when you’re making clarified butter, you’re just looking for the butter to separate. The clear, yellow part is pure butter fat and also the part that you keep. The other part is kind of brine-y milk proteins. That’s what you’re getting rid of.

If you want to be real particular about the straining process, you can use cheesecloth or even a coffee filter if you’re doing it on the fly. But if you care a little bit less and you’re just using it for a little seafood dipping like me, you can just carefully pour it to separate it. I didn’t have any issues, and the stuff that did get through, I just skimmed off the top with a spoon.

7 great things to do with ghee, Indian-style clarified butter

If you’ve spent any time cooking Indian food — or hanging out in Indian groceries and markets — then you’ll be familiar with ghee, the Indian style of clarified butter. Like clarified butter, ghee is butter that’s been long-simmered until the milk solids have separated, then strained.

Nutty and wonderfully aromatic, it’s used in cooking and baking as it has a much higher smoke point than regular butter. Unlike clarified butter, ghee is often cultured or flavored. Traditionally made with raw milk, ghee is also considered sacred (see: cows in India) and therapeutic in some Ayurvedic medicines.

So what to do with ghee? If you’re not well versed in Indian cuisine, you may not immediately know. You can use it as you would clarified butter, which is terrific for sauteing things, and in baking. It’s also great for brushing flatbreads and for making Paula Wolfert’s Madeleines from Dax. Or use it one of these recipes.

Lamb samosas: This recipe for ground lamb samosas, or keema samosa, is from Madhur Jaffrey, which is reason enough to make them. The ghee is in the pastry dough, which is folder over a mixture of lamb, peas, yogurt and spices and then fried. Enough said.

Rabri: An Indian-style dessert made by frying cashews and pistachios in ghee and adding it to flavored milk.

Carrot pudding: Also called gajar ka halwa, this pudding is made by simmering grated carrots in milk and ghee, then loading the mixture with nuts and spices.

Yellow lentil curry: This version of arhar ki dal is simple, inexpensive and very healthful. Cook lentils, then saute onions in ghee with cumin and chiles and add to the lentils — fragrant, colorful and kind of absurdly easy.

Shamiana lamb pullao: A Himalayan wedding dish of slow-cooked lamb sauteed in seasoned ghee with rice, this is a good weekend project even if you’re in L.A. and no one’s getting married.

Basmati pilaf: This is a far more simple dish than the lamb feast, a pilaf of onions, spices, broccoli and rice. The ghee gives the vegetarian dish even more of a rich, nutty flavor.

Spicy steamed potatoes: Fry spices in ghee, add the mixture to onions and cooked potatoes, top with a spicy yogurt mixture. Ta-da.


Total time: 40 minutes | Serves 4

1 pound small boiling potatoes
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter) or oil
1 small cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2 whole cloves
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, or 2 small chiles, seeded and sliced

1. Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water and boil, covered, 5 minutes. Drain. Prick the potatoes lightly with a fine skewer.

2. Place the onion, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of water and 1 teaspoon of salt in a blender and puree.

3. Heat the ghee in a saucepan over medium-high heat and fry the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf for 2 minutes. Add the turmeric and stir, then add the blended mixture and fry, stirring, until the onion no longer smells raw, about 1 minute. Rinse out the blender with 2 tablespoons of water, add to the pan with the potatoes and stir well. Cover tightly, turn the heat very low and steam until the potatoes are cooked, 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Roast the cumin seeds in a dry pan over medium-high heat, stirring until dark brown, then pound until roughly crushed. Combine the yogurt with the cumin, garam masala and a dash of salt. Serve the potatoes topped with the yogurt mixture and sprinkled with cilantro or chiles.
Each serving: 150 calories 124 mg. sodium 12 mg. cholesterol 4 grams fat 2 grams saturated fat 26 grams carbohydrates 4 grams protein 2.98 grams fiber.

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Amy Scattergood is the former editor of the Los Angeles Times Food section and a former member of the Food reporting team.

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A Millennial Companion- Ghee!

Be it any grand feast or a simple meal at home that encompasses huge varieties of cuisine, one never fails to notice a remarkable likeness in the aroma that lingers in the house. Of course, those dishes have their own set of exotic odours but the one I'm talking about is the distinguishable whiff of Ghee or Clarified butter.

From my growing up days to this day, it has been a friend that has never once left my side, with my love for it only increasing with each passing day. So,why don't we just delve deeper into how ghee came into being and how it went on to become an essential part of our everyday life.

Backpedaling in Time!

Studies point towards India being the home of Ghee. In ancient times, it was also known as Sacred Fat or Liquid Gold. It is believed that since, India was a tropical land, butter used to get spoiled easily and thus, to avoid this problem, people began clarifying butter at their place.

Gradually, ghee started to be used in various dishes that were made at that time and was and is still considered an important element by Ayurveda. It also occupied a crucial position in many of the Hindu religious functions and ceremonies.

Today, it is an essential item in many of the cuisines prepared in different parts of the world. It is used especially in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, certain parts of Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Ghee And Different Dishes!

It would be unfair to talk about ghee, without mentioning the ever- so delicious cuisines that are made out of it. If you&rsquore thinking what &ldquoyummy for tummy&rdquo things you can make, then you&rsquove come to the right place.

So, here are a few suggested dishes to relish:-

Ghee Roast Chicken

Chicken bathed in aromatic, dry roasted spices with a liberal amount of ghee spread across the gravy is something that is hard to resist. Well, if you are confused as to what all dishes you can make of clarified butter, then this is one of them.

Ghee Roast Dosa

A classic South Indian dish, Ghee Roast Dosa is yet another sumptuous dish that gives you a chance to showcase your culinary skills and it would surely spice up your event in no time.

Palak Dal With Ghee

Cumin spluttering in hot oil, simmered with ghee along with palak and dal is a great dish to prepare, if you wish to experience heaven on earth. A healthy item, it also works wonders with kids.

Ghee Ke Ladoo

This is one such item that must be made at different occasions and is surely gonna be a hitbe hit among people of all ages. These delicious sweet balls will definitely leave your palate craving for more with each morsel that you have.

Gajar Ka Halwa

Although a winter delicacy, this savoury item can be made at any time of the year. This sweet-pudding is endowed with numerous nutritional values and would surely ratchet up your event instantly.

So, what are you waiting for?

Let these tempting, and delicious cuisines made in ghee give you Bon Appetite in a quick wink!

The Health benefits!

Although, a general perception attached to ghee and ghee-laden dishes is that their over consumption can have long-term detrimental effects on the body. While it may be true, there still are two aspects of any coin and so does our humble ghee. Amazingly enough, Ghee too has numerous health benefits that are greatly beneficial for us all.

Ghee acts as an indispensable source of all the three vitamins, Vitamin A, E and K. These essential vitamins protect our cells and also reduce free radicals from the body.

Studies have shown that ghee keeps one&rsquos body warm from within and hence, is a major ingredient in many of the cuisines such as gajar Ka halwa or Panjeeri made during winters.

When you feel tired and exhausted and find it hard to grab onto something that can make you feel energised, then you&rsquore sorted because ghee- related items are a rich source of energy. This is also the reason why Ghee ke Ladoo is given to nursing mothers.

One of the greatest terrors of morning is not to get up early but the battle to have good and proper bowel movements, and this is perhaps true for many Indians because of our rich masala intake. Nevertheless, one is safe from this hard time, if they have a regular intake of ghee along with milk.

Ayurveda has always given high stature to ghee and its anti-inflammatory properties. It is thus, used extensively over burns and swellings. It has been found that ghee contains huge amounts of a good fatty acid that soothes inflammation. It also possesses Omega 3 Fatty acids (essential acids) that are required by our body.

Thus, to reap the real benefits of ghee, one must include this humble item in their day-today food habits!

The Closure!

Staple to the Indian kitchens, ghee has invariably been an essential item since the bygone days. Its slightly nutty and naughty taste has been etched in our hearts and are inseparable from our palettes.

With the numerous health benefits, it surely deserves the royalty that it enjoys and it may remain an unrivalled item for anotherother millenia or so!

Homemade Clarified Butter Recipe

Step One: Add desired amount of butter the saucepan. Turn the heat on low and slowly allow the butter to melt. No need to rush now.

Step Two: As the butter heats, you will notice a foam forming on the surface of the butter – these are the milk solids. Skim them off.

Step Three: Continue to heat the butter for 10-15 minutes, skimming off more foam as needed, until the butter remains clear. Yellow, but clear.

Step Four: Turn off heat and carefully pour the clarified butter into a storage jar. In my kitchen, that's always a glass jar. The butter can now be stored at room temperature for, well, a long period of time. I don't know exactly how long (ours never lasts!) but rumor has it to be years.

I love the idea of saving freezer space and utilizing this preservation method to build up our butter storage for next winter when Sally will be dried up prior to her calving. I'll be danged if I'm going to bring in butter from the store. Instead, I'll utilize what we have and be proactive in preserving a nice supply of this wonderful and naturally preserved product.

There's hardly anything more satisfying than seeing those beautiful golden jars lined up in the pantry.

I just want to… want to… smear it on my bread. And my oatmeal. And my face.

Time to strain the mixture.

The final step is to strain the mixture through cheesecloth to make sure that all the remaining milk solids stay out of the clarified butter.

Pour the clarified butter into a container. It will easily keep 3 to 4 months since the milk solids that can make butter go rancid have been removed.

It has a lovely golden color and no milk fats or water left. It can even be stored out of the fridge!

You use clarified butter in much the same way as regular butter, but I save it for those foods where I really want the flavor of the butter fat to shine. It is silky, rich and has a lovely flavor but is not quite as creamy as butter.

Don&rsquot use this in baked recipes unless it is specifically called for. Most normal recipes are intending you to use regular butter and if you substitute clarified butter, the recipe could taste flat and oily.

Clarified butter is Paleo, Whole30 compliant, and dairy free. Ghee is made with a similar process, but you allow the milk solids to brown slightly before straining. This gives ghee a more nutty flavor. It is a staple of Indian cooking.