How to Make Ghee (Clarified Butter)

Clarified butter - Ghee

The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 48 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
149 Calories
17g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 48
Amount per serving
Calories 149
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 11g 53%
Cholesterol 45mg 15%
Sodium 9mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 5mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Ghee, which is also known as clarified butter is used in countless Indian dishes. It is in fact, a great alternative to cooking oil. Homemade ghee is fragrant and adds an incomparable richness to any dish. It has a nutty taste and is used in plenty of Indian and Middle Eastern recipes. Learn how to make ghee using this recipe.

Why do people use ghee? First, it doesn't burn as easily as butter. It can be purchased in the grocery store, but also made at home. If you can afford a high quality butter, you'll really taste it in the ghee. Another reason to use ghee is that ghee becomes solidified at lower temperatures but can easily be melted when required; it spreads easily. Ghee also is beneficial if you need to avoid lactose. The process of making ghee removes the milk solids, making it suitable for someone who is lactose intolerant.

This recipe makes approximately three cups of ghee. Add it to curry and dal dishes, use it in baking (such as this banana bread), or try it on popcorn with fine sea salt and pepper.


  • 2.2 pounds/1 kilogram unsalted butter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A pinch of kosher salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for ghee
    The Spruce
  2. Heat a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on a medium flame and put the butter and bay leaves in it. Simmer the ingredients and allow to melt and then cook.

  3. When a froth appears on the surface of the butter, spoon it off and dispose of it.

    Butter heated so the milk solids separate to make ghee
    The Spruce
  4. Keep cooking till all the froth has risen and been removed.

    Butter simmering to remove the milk solids
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  5. Allow the mixture to cool, remove the bay leaves, and strain or filter the ghee. It should be a pale golden color.

    Allow mixture to cool
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  6. Add a pinch of salt and mix it well. This gives the ghee a lovely grainy texture when solidified.

    Salt added to ghee
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  7. Store unrefrigerated for 4 to 6 months or keep it refrigerated for even longer.

More About Ghee

Clarified butter, which is also known as drawn butter, looks more like oil than butter. It is commonly used in Holland, Australia, and Scandinavia. It cooks at a higher point than other oils, so it won't break into free radicals that are known to be harmful.

Health Benefits of Ghee

Ghee has numerous health benefits. It has been used not only in food but for holistic healing. It is known to do the following:

  • Boost the immune system, as it contains vitamins A and E, as well as carotenoids. 

  • Reduce inflammation, as it lowers leukotriene secretion and prostaglandin levels -- both are things tied to inflammation. 

  • Reduce stomach acid and repair the stomach lining, as well as producing digestive enzymes and lowering indigestion

  • Decrease cholesterol in the intestine and blood

  • Transport herbs throughout the body

  • Aid in weight loss when it comes from grass-fed cows, as the butter contains cancer-fighting fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is known to help people shed pounds

  • Cure blisters and burns, healing irritated skin