Kripalu Recipe: Ghee

Ghee is traditionally prepared by gently heating butter until it becomes a clear, golden liquid. The lactose and other milk solids coagulate and are removed, so it doesn’t need refrigeration. This process also evaporates most of the natural water content, making ghee light, pure, and resistant to spoilage. 

The final product retains a rich, buttery taste and aroma. And, according to Ayurveda, ghee comes with a host of benefits. It is said to enhance absorption, aid digestion, promote balance, and relieve mild burns when applied to the skin. Talk about versatile!  

Here’s how to prepare ghee:

Place one pound of unsalted organic butter in a medium-sized pan. Warm over medium heat until the butter melts and begins to boil; turn the heat down in order to keep the butter at a low simmer. Do not cover the pot. The butter will foam and sputter while it cooks, and whitish curds will begin to form on the bottom of the pot.

Cook for about 30 minutes, watching closely, as the contents can easily burn. (You can tell if ghee is burned if it has a nutty smell and is slightly brown.) Use a clean, dry spoon to move away some of the foam on top in order to see if the ghee is clear all the way to the bottom. When it is a clear yellow and has stopped sputtering, remove the pot from the heat. The more butter you are using, the more time it will take.

Let the ghee cool until it is just warm. Pour it through a fine sieve or layers of cheesecloth into a clean, dry glass container—a wet container will create conditions for bacteria to grow and spoil the ghee—and seal with a tight lid. Discard the curds at the bottom of the saucepan.

Find out more about the Kripalu School of Ayurveda.