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Ghee - or clarified butter - has been making headlines recently, and for all the right reasons.
This traditional Indian alternative to butter or cooking oil has been linked to a variety of health benefits. Last year, scientists from the National Dairy Research Institute (NRDI) reported in the Indian Journal of Medical Research that dairy ghee could help ward off cancer. The clarified butter has an abundance of enzymes responsible for the detoxification of some cancer-causing substances within the body and reduces the risk of active carcinogens.
Ghee is also good for our heart health as it improves blood HDL levels, making it a perfect cooking alternative for anyone suffering from high cholesterol.
When it comes to cooking with ghee, it's very similar to using oil or butter. However, as ghee is made by removing the milk solids from normal butter, it has a higher burning point (making it ideal for frying) and it has a much nuttier flavour than what you would expect from an oil.
Although you can purchase pre-prepared ghee from supermarkets and health food stores, it is really simple to make at home. Just follow our simple steps below to make your own batch. Once made, store it in a jar in the refrigerator and it will be ready for any dish - it's particularly good for any Indian meat dish - you whip up this week.
How to make ghee:
1. Melt 500g of cubed unsalted butter in a pan, stirring continuously until it comes to a boil.
2. Leave it to simmer for about 30 minutes.
3. The butter will have separated into an oil and dairy solids (that usually forms a scum on the top).
4. While it is still warm, strain the melted butter through a fine sieve or through a muslin cloth to separate the dairy solids from the oil.
5. Pour the oil into a container or jar and allow to cool completely - this could take 2 - 3 hours.
Your homemade ghee, if refrigerated, should keep for about six months.