Clarified Butter vs. Ghee: Some Clarification



Whether lactose-intolerant, following a paleo diet or looking for a flavorsome fat with a high smoke point, clarified butter and ghee may be the right choices for you. Free of common allergens, clarified butter and ghee are basically the oil, called butter fat, that is left behind when you heat butter and remove the milk proteins, casein and whey. (Butter is roughly 82% fat, 16% water and 2% protein. Evaporate the water, skim off the protein et voila, “butter oil”.)

Each preferred by different cultures for their slightly different tastes, clarified butter and ghee begin the same way, a hunk of butter in a pan on the stovetop; however, where clarified butter is quickly strained of the milk proteins, with ghee those proteins are left to brown for a few minutes before being filtered off, which gives the final product a nutty, roasted aroma and flavor – perfect for one of our family’s favorite recipes for naan.

Wondering what to do with all that creamy stuff at the bottom of the pan – known in French as bas beurre?  Do what the Lyonnaise silk workers of the past used to do. 

Need more information on the differences between clarified butter and ghee? Check out this NYTimes article.