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Dave Martell
01-09-2013, 09:58 PM
Any of you guys use this to cook with? If so, what type do you use? Also, what do you think of it in general?

Zwiefel
01-09-2013, 10:06 PM
I've used it a few times...homemade, though you can get jars of it in Indian grocers.

It's really just clarified butter. Much like other forms of butter, it's quite rich, but Ghee seems a bit more neutral to me.

Overall, I think it's too much trouble to keep around...I just use EVOO for everything :)

Also, all those saturated fats aren't the best thing for heart health.

knyfeknerd
01-09-2013, 10:34 PM
I've used it a few times...homemade, though you can get jars of it in Indian grocers.

It's really just clarified butter. Much like other forms of butter, it's quite rich, but Ghee seems a bit more neutral to me.

Overall, I think it's too much trouble to keep around...I just use EVOO for everything :)


Also, all those saturated fats aren't the best thing for heart health.
+1
Very well said

wenus2
01-09-2013, 10:36 PM
Any of you guys use this to cook with? If so, what type do you use? Also, what do you think of it in general?

Just clarify some butter :)

Pensacola Tiger
01-09-2013, 10:51 PM
Ghee is useful if you are doing high-temperature frying, as its smoke point is higher than most common oils. Whether it's worth the bother to make your own or the expense to buy it is up to you. I've switched over to coconut oil.

El Pescador
01-09-2013, 10:58 PM
Ghee is useful if you are doing high-temperature frying, as its smoke point is higher than most common oils. Whether it's worth the bother to make your own or the expense to buy it is up to you. I've switched over to coconut oil.

+1. I like the flavor of the coconut oil much better. I did fried chicken in it for the BCS on Monday (BAMA!) and liked the sweet component(I still think lard is the best). I wouldn't recommend it thought because its prohibitively expensive ($30 for all the oil.) I did like telling my sister-in-law the yoga instructor "Don't worry, its healthy because we're using coconut oil and its good for you." with a greasy smile.

Zwiefel
01-09-2013, 10:58 PM
Ghee is useful if you are doing high-temperature frying, as its smoke point is higher than most common oils. Whether it's worth the bother to make your own or the expense to buy it is up to you. I've switched over to coconut oil.

Thanks Rick...I forgot about the smoke point.

The smoke point for coconut oil is the same as peanut oil though (450F vs 485 for Ghee) ....but is the predominant oil in some parts of India...so there's an "authenticity" point if you are cooking Indian cuisine :) And at room temp it's a solid and can be used as a hair product! Smells good too.

Mustard Oil is also common in some parts of India...and I was surprised to see the smoke point for that is 489F.

Safflower oil is 510F, and pretty common.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point

Vertigo
01-10-2013, 12:09 AM
We use ghee for our hashbrowns. And nothing else. Not for the eggs or frying or serving with french toast... just for cooking the hashbrowns. It's totally asinine, lol.

labor of love
01-10-2013, 12:21 AM
i briefly worked at a place where our primary cooking fat was clarified butter. the food cost mustve been sky high. still scratching my head about that one, lol.

hambone.johnson
01-10-2013, 12:25 AM
^ I may have labor beat. ... our primary cooking fat on meat station for ALL searing is duck fat. basting is just good butter but everything gets seared in duck fat. kinda blew my mind when i first started, but .. i just work there

eshua
01-10-2013, 12:32 AM
The difference between ghee and clarified butter is that you toast the milk solids before clarifying ghee... tried to work out the flavor but its never turned out quite like the stuff my Nepali friend keep at home. Might be time spent on the heat, might be the breed of dairy or maybe its just additives in store bought stuff, but I quite like it.

labor of love
01-10-2013, 12:49 AM
^ I may have labor beat. ... our primary cooking fat on meat station for ALL searing is duck fat. basting is just good butter but everything gets seared in duck fat. kinda blew my mind when i first started, but .. i just work there
thats just crazy!

chinacats
01-10-2013, 12:57 AM
Just replenished my supply today...I buy Laxmi brand. I alternate between coconut, peanut and ghee depending on what I'm cooking.

sachem allison
01-10-2013, 01:21 AM
The difference between ghee and clarified butter is that you toast the milk solids before clarifying ghee... tried to work out the flavor but its never turned out quite like the stuff my Nepali friend keep at home. Might be time spent on the heat, might be the breed of dairy or maybe its just additives in store bought stuff, but I quite like it.

It's cultured butter, try using European style butter such as Plugra or one of the other fancy butters.

Dusty
01-10-2013, 01:21 AM
I use ghee at wk as a primary fat for all proteins. I find it especially good for searing fish skin. I probably wouldn't use it, except that I can get it for less than a dollar a liter.

ecchef
01-10-2013, 05:36 AM
The difference between ghee and clarified butter is that you toast the milk solids before clarifying ghee... tried to work out the flavor but its never turned out quite like the stuff my Nepali friend keep at home. Might be time spent on the heat, might be the breed of dairy or maybe its just additives in store bought stuff, but I quite like it.

So, beurre noisette without the solids?

scotchef38
01-10-2013, 08:43 AM
Easiest way to clarify butter- Find the biggest clear container that fits inside your microwave.Fill it with butter and nuke on high for 5 minutes or so.The milk solids and buttermilk should separate,this will be obvious when it is ready,hence the clear container.Skim any thin layer of froth from the top and then slowly decant the butter solids into a clean container.Alternatively you can put the whole container in the fridge for a few hours and the butter solids will solidify,once this happens poke a whole through it and you can pour off the buttermilk.You can use the buttermilk for pastries,pancakes etc and the clarified butter will keep for ages in the fridge.It is particularly good for pan frying.

Dave Martell
01-10-2013, 10:26 AM
So I was given a container of ghee to try out and we used it for pan frying for two weeks as well as making popcorn in a kettle and I was VERY impressed with the high smokepoint, taste, and most of all the slickeryness of this stuff - nothing sticks.

I realize that ghee is otherwise known as clarified butter but I did some researching and found that there's some variations in how it's made that effect all is attributes quite significantly and hence my questions to you guys.

I'm now looking for some different brands to try to see if there really is a difference in attributes because I can say that the pricing is all over the place for this stuff. I'd also like to figure out if making it myself will yield the same results or not, seems by my research that this might not be the case.

Dave Martell
01-10-2013, 10:28 AM
Just replenished my supply today...I buy Laxmi brand.

That's one of the brands I'm considering trying.

Zwiefel
01-10-2013, 10:51 AM
I'll talk to some of my Indian friends to see if they have any particular recommendations.

Zwiefel
01-10-2013, 03:33 PM
I might get some more responses, but here's what I have so far:

The main preparation differences between Ghee and traditional western clarified butter are that with ghee you let the milk-solids brown which gives a nice nutty flavor, and sometimes other spices are added to make an infused fat. Fenugreek and curry leaves are more typical for this in the Southern parts of India.

Also, I was surprised to discover that in India Ghee is frequently made from yogurt instead of fresh milk. It's supposed to have a deeper flavor due to the fermentation products from the yogurt.

Finally, I was even more surprised to learn that the milk solids that are left behind from Ghee production are sometimes used to make desserts...and that I've had one of these desserts before!

Here are some videos from YouTube:

Vah Reh Vah

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS9uYroj0LE

Vah Reh Vah has a very extensive playlist of videos on Indian food prep...his recipes tend to be the simplest version of each thing as he is trying to show the techniques not the frills...so they are especially good for beginners. Also, I just really like his attitude and how much he enjoys what he's doing.

Show me the curry

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pker6csSAg

This is the first time I've come across these ladies...their approach for this is different from VahChef's...but they also have a lot of other videos that might be good.

HTH!

stereo.pete
01-13-2013, 01:00 AM
Much thanks Zwiefel!

mr drinky
01-13-2013, 01:35 AM
I have Purity Farms Organic Ghee in the fridge at all times. With that said, even though I thought I would use it because of the high smoke point, I don't really. I'd still rather use a high-smoke-point, neutral oil. I also don't care for it on low-to-med heat things like eggs. I just don't like the taste. Maybe it is my ghee, but if you don't have to worry about smoke point, then choose a butter you really like (lurpak, plugra, homemade...) and use that instead. Butter impurities mean nothing at that heat point, so I choose the butter that tastes best to you.

I find that I only use it in that mid-range, like searing scallops when I want a higher heat butter taste.

Just my opinion. I think I would like making my own better than store bought.

k.

Zwiefel
01-13-2013, 02:27 AM
I mostly agree with you K. The only time i have truly enjoyed it is with the spice powders Indians sometimes serve with rice....mix the powder with a little warm ghee, then mix into the rice.

Other than that, i think its more trouble than its worth.

Salty dog
01-13-2013, 07:59 AM
Generally the oil we use for cooking coresponds with the dishes region. Because we do a bunch of French, clarified butter is our primary saute oil.
Although I have to admit I've been thinking about cutting costs and "cheating". (In Wisconsin we like our butter)

Zwiefel
01-13-2013, 12:17 PM
In Wisconsin we like our butter

we ain't too shy with it down south either :)

Dave Martell
01-13-2013, 01:11 PM
Thanks for all the input guys.

Burl Source
01-13-2013, 02:07 PM
Ghee is what the farmers use around here to extract the active ingredients from herb to make medicinal baked goods.

Zwiefel
01-13-2013, 03:27 PM
Ghee is what the farmers use around here to extract the active ingredients from herb to make medicinal baked goods.

That's really interesting Mark. I haven't done any digging on it, but I'd bet that's a tradition that goes back 100's of years or more.

Dusty
01-13-2013, 03:47 PM
Ghee is what the farmers use around here to extract the active ingredients from herb to make medicinal baked goods.

Ghee is what the hippies use around here to extract the active ingredients from herb to make recreational baked goods.

Talal
01-13-2013, 04:31 PM
I've used it a few times...homemade, though you can get jars of it in Indian grocers.

It's really just clarified butter. Much like other forms of butter, it's quite rich, but Ghee seems a bit more neutral to me.

Overall, I think it's too much trouble to keep around...I just use EVOO for everything :)

Also, all those saturated fats aren't the best thing for heart health.

Depends on the kind of saturated fat, not all should be demonized in that way :)

Zwiefel
01-13-2013, 08:02 PM
Depends on the kind of saturated fat, not all should be demonized in that way :)

I'm not familiar with any evidence that any saturated fat is better for heart health than any unsaturated fat. :)

But, point taken...they aren't all the same either.

ajhuff
01-13-2013, 09:35 PM
I'm not familiar with any evidence that any saturated fat is better for heart health than any unsaturated fat. :)

But, point taken...they aren't all the same either.

Tala may be right. The evidence is actually not clear. I first stumbled on this perspective on saturated fat when I was on the Eades Protein Power diet which doesn't promote fatty foods, it just says don't worry about them.

Here is an article I present not as an endorsement but as a data point. One should draw their own conclusions:
http://www.menshealth.com/health/saturated-fat?fullpage=true

-AJ

Zwiefel
01-13-2013, 10:00 PM
Extremely interesting read AJ....Seems like, again, the common wisdom--even among the supposed experts--might be overhyped or even completely wrong.

Thanks for the new perspective AJ/Talal!

Talal
01-13-2013, 10:20 PM
Extremely interesting read AJ....Seems like, again, the common wisdom--even among the supposed experts--might be overhyped or even completely wrong.

Thanks for the new perspective AJ/Talal!


thank you for the link indeed..

Yea Zwiefel, a little of topic but I have been cooking with coconut oil (which is VERY high in saturated fat, but medium chain ) for over 4 years. i go through about 2 liters a month, not including at least a liter of grass fed butter, coupled with enormous amounts of meat, and ive since lost weight.. and havent been over 60kg ! lol

Zwiefel
01-13-2013, 10:28 PM
thank you for the link indeed..

Yea Zwiefel, a little of topic but I have been cooking with coconut oil (which is VERY high in saturated fat, but medium chain ) for over 4 years. i go through about 2 liters a month, not including at least a liter of grass fed butter, coupled with enormous amounts of meat, and ive since lost weight.. and havent been over 60kg ! lol

Sorry Dave....:threadjacked:

Actually, I'd read about both Coconut and Palm oils as having been incorrectly demonized...but had never heard such a thing about animal fats...until this article.

Sounds like you are following an Atkins-like diet...which have received pretty mixed reviews from studies + experts in various studies. Honestly, I don't follow this stuff very much...I eat whatever pleases me but have a lot of variety and keep an eye on portions...and try to ride my bike 3X/week. Numbers are always in tolerable ranges with the docs :)

Sambal
01-20-2013, 02:34 AM
Ghee is more commonly used in northern India, coconut oil more in the south. I think ghee is more popular than butter in India because it keeps rather well without refrigeration for quite a while. I have a tub in my fridge most of the time and use it when I cook northern Indian or moghul type curries like a korma or when I'm making Indian roti on the griddle. I love its nutty creaminess. Butter is a good substitute if you don't use it enough to warrant buying a tub or tin of it. In terms of brands I've found that those made in India from Indian milk and butter fats are superior. 'Amul' is great; 'QBB' which I think is made in India but from Australian milk and butter fats is not as aromatic or nutty in flavour. Dave, if you have a tin of it already try using it for omelettes, rich stews, etc. A good dollop of ghee in a hot pan with some mustard seeds or cumin seeds thrown in and quickly taken out (just as they pop!) to add on top of stews or soups can be surprisingly good!

Zwiefel
01-20-2013, 04:10 AM
Sambal, I do love a black mustard seed & curry leaf tadka! I even use it with raita sometimes to make it a little special.

I understand that coconut oil is used predominantly in Kerala...but mustard oil would be more likely than coconut in Andhra. Not sure about Tamil though.

Sambal
01-20-2013, 06:48 AM
[QUOTE=Zwiefel;173754]Sambal, I do love a black mustard seed & curry leaf tadka! I even use it with raita sometimes to make it a little special.

A bit of trivia: When you pop mustard seeds in hot ghee and immediately add this to a bowl of dhal (split pea) curry just before serving, it's called "chaunk", just like the sound it makes. The flavour and aroma is amazing! Do try a chaunk sometime.

Talal
01-20-2013, 07:19 AM
[QUOTE=Zwiefel;173754]Sambal, I do love a black mustard seed & curry leaf tadka! I even use it with raita sometimes to make it a little special.

A bit of trivia: When you pop mustard seeds in hot ghee and immediately add this to a bowl of dhal (split pea) curry just before serving, it's called "chaunk", just like the sound it makes. The flavour and aroma is amazing! Do try a chaunk sometime.

chaunk is a staple in my household! especially when making a nice moong dal curry.. mm

Zwiefel
01-20-2013, 12:32 PM
A bit of trivia: When you pop mustard seeds in hot ghee and immediately add this to a bowl of dhal (split pea) curry just before serving, it's called "chaunk", just like the sound it makes. The flavour and aroma is amazing! Do try a chaunk sometime.

Interesting...I've never heard this word before...always heard this called a Tadka or Tarka, which is probably Hindi. What language is Chaunk?

The only other word like this I know is Chatak...which is like the sounds you make when you eat something very tasty...I think that's a Hindi word.

Talal, yup, I use this everytime when I make Moong Daal. One of my favorites.

Here's some photos from a batch of Moong Daal a while back:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150274025394415.349422.144012669414&type=3

Talal
01-23-2013, 03:35 PM
Fantastic looking .. ive never made dosas myself to be honest.. always enjoyed moong dal on a mountain of rice! but you have certainly inspired me to try it out! :)

Dave Martell
01-23-2013, 07:32 PM
Ghee is more commonly used in northern India, coconut oil more in the south. I think ghee is more popular than butter in India because it keeps rather well without refrigeration for quite a while. I have a tub in my fridge most of the time and use it when I cook northern Indian or moghul type curries like a korma or when I'm making Indian roti on the griddle. I love its nutty creaminess. Butter is a good substitute if you don't use it enough to warrant buying a tub or tin of it. In terms of brands I've found that those made in India from Indian milk and butter fats are superior. 'Amul' is great; 'QBB' which I think is made in India but from Australian milk and butter fats is not as aromatic or nutty in flavour. Dave, if you have a tin of it already try using it for omelettes, rich stews, etc. A good dollop of ghee in a hot pan with some mustard seeds or cumin seeds thrown in and quickly taken out (just as they pop!) to add on top of stews or soups can be surprisingly good!


:thumbsup: Thanks

joec
11-23-2013, 10:09 AM
Dave I use Ghee when doing steaks in a pan. I make my own from 1 pound of unsalted butter. It isn't hard to do as I've listed the steps below, though it doesn't take a bit of time but makes the kitchen smell like buttered popcorn. The dog and cats love the foam by the way.

How to Make Ghee


use 4 sticks (or 1 lb.) of regular, unsalted butter.

Melt the Butter
Put all the butter into a pot, and cook it on a low heat. In a few minutes, the butter will melt, the foam will rise to the top, and bubbles will be bursting.

Scoop the Foam From the Butter

Once the foam appears, lower the heat to an even lower degree and scoop off the foam with a spoon.

Continue to cook the butter on a low heat for about 5-20 minutes, or until the butter becomes very clear and the milk solids on the bottom become a light brown.

Pour the Butter Through a Filter (coffee filters work good or fine cheese cloth)

Now turn the heat off and let the pot stand for 2 minutes, allowing everything to settle before straining everything into a jar through a coffee filter or a cheese cloth.

Once everything is in the jar, let it cool and solidify.

Store the Ghee
Your clarified butter is now ready and can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. You can now use it a as a dip for lobster sauce, an Indian food, or as a substitute for any recipe at all that calls for butter.

Chef Niloc
11-23-2013, 10:33 AM
I use it all the time, always made it myself. Sometimes I'll flaver it, like this time of year a vanilla pod, cinnamon stick, star Anees, sauté butternut squash, or butternut squash ravioli.

Zwiefel
11-23-2013, 01:58 PM
You can also do "brown ghee" and "black ghee" by cooking the milk solids for differing periods of times...gives a significantly different flavor profile to the finished product.

brianh
11-23-2013, 02:01 PM
I've used leftover ghee to cook steaks and burgers in a cast iron pan over coals in the Weber. Worked well!

gic
11-23-2013, 02:17 PM
For neutral oils, I like rice bran oil lately. Also good for high temperature situations, good fat composition and the same 450 smoke point as peanut oil. ALso fewer allergy problems...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_bran_oil

Dave Martell
11-23-2013, 05:24 PM
The range of flavor profiles I've got from different brands purchased is crazy. What drives me nuts is when I get one I like and then return for more the flavor is always different. I need to start making this stuff myself.

Sambal
11-23-2013, 06:28 PM
The range of flavor profiles I've got from different brands purchased is crazy. What drives me nuts is when I get one I like and then return for more the flavor is always different. I need to start making this stuff myself.


Well, I assume you're getting Indian ghee and in my experience with India having spent quite a bit of time there on several extended trips from the 70s till recently, consistency is generally a bit of a challenge with most things Indian. I'm not being disparaging in a prejudiced manner I assure you. It's just how it is. Also, levels of freshness has a lot to do with it I suspect. 'Amul' is the brand I like most.

On a tangent, there's a growing interest here in Melbourne with people churning their own butter. Any of you doing this? Seems like something I can get into and enjoy doing.

DWells
12-03-2013, 05:31 PM
This will be a little on, and a little off topic.

Not all fats are created equally. When talking about the health effects of saturated fats, especially animal fats, where they come from is vital. Not only does pastured butter taste better, but it is genuinely healthy for you (provided you stay within appropriate calorie ranges).

http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm

This has a slew of credible research that differentiates between corn-fed and grass-fed/pastured animal products, and illuminates the vast structural differences that result from the two separate food chains.

This might also have a great deal to do with the taste differences that people are finding.

Justin0505
12-03-2013, 07:39 PM
I also use the purity farms ghee. Not cheap, but good and a little goes a long way.

In approximate order from low to high heat I mostly use:

EVOO
Butter
Coconut oil
Sesame oil
Sunflower oil
Lard
Ghee
COO (cheap olive oil)
Grape seed oil

I like Ghee on veggies when I want to sear them at higher heat than butter or coconut will tolerate.
I've also been meaning to try clarified chicken fat. I think there was a book written recently about that.

EDIT.
This one: http://ruhlman.com/2013/08/the-book-of-schmaltz-available-today/