Learn to make yourself Ghee at Home

By Maria Nakirya, Program Coordinator, CELAC Program

From my interaction with cattle keeping tribes in Uganda, I learnt more about ghee. It is a lot more that an appetizer put in beans or groundnuts to give it a more exotic taste.

Ghee is clear butter fat made out of goat, cow or sheep’s milk. It is made in many different areas of the world. In Uganda, it is common among the cattle keeping tribes in western, eastern and north eastern Uganda.

Farmers say that milk extracted from sheep is usually of higher quality because sheep milk has high fat content and more solid contents compared to goat and cow’s milk. Also goats and sheep being, small ruminants are important for milk during the dry season and during droughts periods since they are easy to look after during such periods.

Ghee is digestible and rich in Vitamin A and E which are valuable nutrients for our health. It is good for improving memory and lubricates the connective tissue. Ghee also helps to prevent wounds and scars if applied quickly to the affected body part. Scientists say that ghee promotes all the three aspects of mental functioning i.e. learning, memory and recall there by upholding ones mind.

Ghee has an advantage for people who are on low fat diet. This is because to get the food flavored, it needs very little amount of ghee compared to other cooking oil types where one needs higher quantities to get such flavor. Since ghee is traditionally processed, it gives a rich yellow colour with a fresh scent and flavor.

One can make ghee using either fresh milk or cream. Either way, one needs milk (it can be goat, sheep or cow milk; or cream derived), water, a gourd, clean cotton cloth and a saucepan.

To make ghee from milk, get milk of the needed quantity and put in a container or gourd, leave for 4 to 5 days to ferment. After, put in a container and stir for about 30 minutes until it begins forming curds separated from water. Get the ghee and boil for a few minutes to remove extra water then remove and store in a cool place ready to use.

To make ghee from milk cream, obtain 1liter of cream from cooled boiled milk and leave to ferment. Get about one full spoon of fermented milk, or yoghurt if you prefer and add it in the cream. This prevents it from getting moulds. Then leave for one night and shake the mixture for at least 30 minutes until the solid ghee separates from the milk. After, boil the ghee on low fire for about 40 minutes to drain extra water, sieve to remove extra dirty particles and store in a cool place, preferably in a plastic container.

To obtain a better flavor, farmers opt to keep the ghee for a longer period of time so as it is able to mature.

In India, they use butter to make ghee instead of milk. They get butter, put it in a heavy stainless steel pan, and melt it on low heat and leave to boil until bubbles start to form. Then, they remove the bubbles and cook until the boiling butter obtains a solid light yellow color. This is oil with no water content. They then leave the boiling butter, which is already becoming obtaining a solid form to cook until it is brown in color. This process takes about 45 minutes. Thereafter, they filter the brown boiling butter with the help of a thick cotton cloth to remove brown particles. The ghee is then ready and kept in a cool dry place for future use as desired

Irrespective of the method of ghee formation, ghee can be stored at a room temperature for a period of at least 6 months without refrigeration. Option to store it in the fridge prolongs its storage life to up to one year. Take extra care not to use a wet or stained spoon when scooping ghee for use. Contact with water or any other liquid or solids will result into rot.

Farmers use ghee to fry all types of food including vegetables, fish and beans. Use it ordinarily as a frying ingredient or as a flavor additive.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by r s on January 22, 2008 at 8:06 am

    It’s very interesting the diverse methodology in Africa, obviously due to different conditions of climate and life.
    I am surprised, though, about letting the milk or the cream ferment.
    On the other hand, the instructions I got from Indian ayurvedic books is totally different from what you say is the Indian method. They say, first, cow’s milk gives best ghee; second, don’t use yoghurt and don’t use salted butter. Then, they instruct to boil the butter and not take off the stuff that comes to the surface, because it has medicinal properties. Finally, separate the melted ghee from the bottom solids by filtering, yes.
    And recently, a lady from Nepal told me they do the same procedure, but start from whole milk, boiling and colecting the cream, then kneeding it with hands, etc., and finally boiling the butter the way described above.
    I tried the ayurvedic procedure with organic butter, and the result was excellent.

    Reply

  2. Posted by r s on January 22, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Just want to add another important detail: According to the recipes from the ayurveda books, you shouldn’t let the butter boilng until it becomes brown! When it becomes golden yellow, and there is no more froth on the surface, it is done–ready to filter.

    Reply

  3. Posted by CHRISTINE MOLNAR on March 8, 2009 at 3:17 am

    HELLO EVERYONE….I WAS SO EXCITED WHEN I SPYED THIS POST BECAUSE I MANAGED TO GET MY HANDS ON 40 LITRES OF UNPASTEURIZED SHEEP’S MILK AND AM EXCITED TO ROLL UP MY SLEEVES AND GET SOME GHEE! ANYWAY I FERMENTED APPRX 8 LITRES IN A HUGE GLASS CANISTER WITH A SEMI-TIGHT FITTING LID AND LEFT IT FOR 5 DAYS. I STARTED TO SEE THAT 1/4 OF THE MILK HAD FLOATED TO THE TOP AND A LAYER OF WATER SAT UNDERNEATH IT. I DID STIR FOR A FEW MINUTES. THERE WAS SOME CURDS(NOT TOO MANY). I WAS CONCERNED THAT I DIDN’T FERMENT LONG ENOUGH. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP??? I DON’T WANT TO DESTROY 10 LITRES OF MILK UNEEDINGLY. SHOULD THE MILK BE A CERTAIN COLOUR? MINE JUST STAYED UNIFORMLY WHITE. THANKS VERY MUCH…I HOPE SOMEONE SEES THIS POST. I AM GONNA LEAVE THE MILK TO FERMENT FOR ANOTHER DAY UNTIL I GET SOME SOLID ADVICE.

    THANKS AGAIN

    CHRIS

    Reply

  4. Posted by parth on March 30, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    i want to know how much liter of milk is required for the making of 1kg of ghees

    Reply

  5. How to planting on seed beds

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  6. Posted by Dr. Husein arusha on May 1, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I lean how to make ghee. We have lot of top layer of freash milk. Now i will make from that. Thank u

    Reply

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