I've recently started making ghee at home, from malai - the layer of cream that settles over boiled milk. I keep collecting malai through the week in a bowl (just store it in the refrigerator) and then make ghee from it every 7th day. Sharing the process here...
Malai collected over a week or 10 days
- Put all the malai in a big vessel and blend with a hand-mixer till it solidifies into butter and separates from the residual liquid. The quantity in the image below took me about 2 minutes of blending.
- Wash this white butter in cold water a couple of times, so as to remove any remaining smell of milk. What you have now is what our 'Bal Gopal' was famous for stealing from the neighbors!
- Collect all the butter in a heavy bottom dish & put it to heat on low flame, stirring in between so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the dish.
- In just about a minute or so, it starts separating into ghee and white solid particles (that look like crumbled cottage cheese). You can add a pinch of rock salt now - it helps settle the solids at the bottom. This is how it looked like after 2 minutes of cooking...
- After about one more minute, the white solids had settled down at the bottom. You can see the ghee floating on the top in the following picture.
- Leave it on the gas for just about 1 more minute, till the white solids become golden brown in color and the ghee also turns golden yellow. If it becomes brown (like mine, in the pic below), it means that it's been over-cooked. Yeah well, I got a phone call at the wrong time and this is what happened!
- Give it a few minutes to cool down slightly, and then you can strain it through a stainless-steel strainer into a glass/steel container. Last time I made it, I completely forgot that it would be really hot, and I poured it directly into a plastic jug! Luckily, it was heavy plastic, so the jug didn't melt altogether, but it became horribly distorted! :(
- After straining, if you see any powdery residue at the bottom of your container (like in the picture above), then just strain the ghee once more through an old, clean handkerchief.
That's it! Your fresh homemade ghee is ready... at a fraction of the price in the market. I get about 400 grams ghee from the malai of 7 liters milk. And all these years, I'd been giving away this malai to the maids at home! And even then, their attitudes did not improve! Huhhhh!
Anyway, the first two times I did this here, I didn't make butter from the malai first. I did blend it with the hand-mixer, but not for long enough. As a result, the 'cooking' process took a really long time... more than an hour, in fact. And it left behind a large amount of sticky brownish residue. Today, I did a little more research on this & finally did it the proper way. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the entire process takes less than 10 minutes and leaves behind just about 1 tablespoon of solid residue! Also, I've been told that the liquid separated from the butter can be used to make kadhi. So I'm going to try that tomorrow, see how it turns out.
As I've already mentioned above, I overcooked the above lot, so it turned brown. Here's a picture of the finished ghee from another batch that I prepared recently. The ideal golden yellow colored liquid ghee solidifies into this off-white shade on cooling.
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