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Suvir Saran

What to do with ghee that got almost burnt

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I was making ghee and forgot all about it.

My mother came out from their room smelling the lovely aroma of the browning solids... but it was too late.

What can I do with the ghee I have now?

It is amber colored.... does not taste bad...

Ghee (clarified butter) is what the doctor has asked us to cook with. My dad is very happy.. the little he eats, we cook with ghee.

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What can I do with the ghee I have now?

Season it!

I have talked with Babu again recently and he tells me that seasonings in ghee are also known as Tarka or Tarda? You could gently fry some zeera in the amber ghee then drain and store it for use later.

No waste is good. It's also nice to here you make mistakes like the rest of us mere mortals, Suvir :biggrin:

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What can I do with the ghee I have now?

Season it!

I have talked with Babu again recently and he tells me that seasonings in ghee are also known as Tarka or Tarda? You could gently fry some zeera in the amber ghee then drain and store it for use later.

No waste is good. It's also nice to here you make mistakes like the rest of us mere mortals, Suvir :biggrin:

Totally mere and even more mortal. :smile:

And I learn from each of the many mistakes I make daily.

Yes tadkas/Vaghaar/Baghaar/Chaunk are all words for seasoned or tempered fat.

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p2, idli is an excellent idea. you're making my mouth water.

i was thinking along the same lines: plain rice, basic toor dal with jeera tarka, slather it on a freshly made chapati, put some brown sugar and make it into a roll. delicious. besan ka laddu.

but, most importantly suvir, <b> i don't think your ghee is burnt!</b> my family always made the ghee so that it turned out amber coloured. my konkanastha neighbors always teased my mother that she constantly burned the ghee and we all would just smile tolerantly ..... IMHO, that caramelized milk solid flavor is the best.

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Thanks all!

Indiagirl, my mom kept telling me not to worry.. that the ghee would be fine.... and now, a day later, as it has cooled and solidified, it has taken a sandy blonde color. It has become much lighter in its solid state. From the deep brandy color, it has taken the color of a very pale whisky (maybe diluted with some water).

And it actuallys does not taste bad.

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There is not much one can do with burnt ghee, except use with other fats to mask its burnt flavor. However, to prevent this in future, a good remedy is to add a teaspoon of stirred yoghurt, which absorbs the excess heat in the ghee (when cooking).

Frying spices in an almost burnt ghee is not advisable. You may however try to do this using with oil in the ratio of 1:1.

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Thanks, indiachef !

Don't you think the burnt ghee will ruin the oil and eventually what ever you are cooking?

Will try and burn some ghee and then see what happens. I am sure SUVIR perhaps finished his burnt ghee or did you Save it SUVIR?

P2

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Hello Prasad2!

Good question.

You need to add the ghee after the oil has been heated well and just before adding spices. In some cases, you may add it after tempering the spices as in mustard seeds.

No it should not spoil the oil nor give it a burnt aroma.

And please do not burn any more butter at your place, isn't it expensive.

From what I can make out from Suvir's explanation, the ghee has not burnt through

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However, to prevent this in future, a good remedy is to add a teaspoon of stirred yoghurt, which absorbs the excess heat in the ghee (when cooking).

Would even a small amount of yoghurt added as you describe change the flavour of dishes added to very much? How would it affect any dishes where yoghurt would not usually be used?

Also, welcome to the wonderful Indian forum on eGullet. I, too, will look forward to your posts :smile:

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An Indian dish normally would be balanced with spices, gravy thickeners and souring agents like tomatoes, yoghurt or tamarind being the most commonly used ones.

Adding yoghurt to a dish is specified by "a" Recipe.

If you want to omit yoghurt where it is specified, it would certainly make a difference in its flavor and mostly taste. Again that depends on the quantity of yoghurt used and its purpose in the recipe. If it is a manufactured recipe, in a lot of cases as in Restaurants - yoghurt spelt out in the recipe maybe an adition to the already specified tomato or some other souring agent.

yoghurt is also specified where the color of dish needs to be more on the creamier side.

In my previous post I spoke about adding a teaspoon of yoghurt to a slightly overdone clarified butter. This helps in lowering the fat (ghee) temperature and thereby arresting any further cooking as also the yoghurt particles turn brown instead. The purpose of adding yoghurt here is not to enhance the flavor or taste of the ghee. :smile:

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Thanks, indiachef !

Don't you think the burnt ghee will ruin the oil and eventually what ever you are cooking?

Will try and burn some ghee and then see what happens. I am sure SUVIR perhaps finished his burnt ghee or did you Save it SUVIR?

P2

I saved the ghee. And it really did not burn through. Just darker than usual.

It is being used almost daily.. I made some fresh ghee for the besan ke ladoos I made for the prayer ceremony for my grandpas death anniversary.. so now I have two batches of ghee. One perfect in color and one a little darker.

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In my previous post I spoke about adding a teaspoon of yoghurt to a slightly overdone clarified butter. This helps in lowering the fat (ghee) temperature and thereby arresting any further cooking as also the yoghurt particles turn brown instead. The purpose of adding yoghurt here is not to enhance the flavor or taste of the ghee. :smile:

My grandmother had taught me this trick.

But unfortunately, I had raita in the refrigerator that day. No plain yogurt. :sad:

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I often come upon ghee at my Indian market in Curry Hill/ NYC what exactly is it and how do you cook this item. Is it fattening?

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Ghee is Indian clarified butter.

Is it fattenning? Sure...

In India, many cook all their foods in ghee....

I have used only ghee for cooking food in Denver for the last many months.

Ghee imparts food with a great flavor..

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DavidJS, to answer your question about using Ghee in Indian cooking.

First, if you slowly heated butter until the milk fat solids came to the surface and you skimmed those - what you would be left with is ghee, clarified butter. The kind you get in the stores is a little pale for my liking, I prefer a slightly more caramelized version, but you can always caramelize it slightly as you use it to cook.

If you cook Indian food, you know that the basis of most dishes is to heat fat of some kind, flavor it with spices and then adding the main ingredient. For example, you heat some canola oil, add mustard seeds, dried red chillies, asafoetida, fresh green chillies, turmeric, cumin seeds, etc, until the mustard seeds splutter, then you would add, say, potatoes and you would have the beginnings of a potato curry. The first step is called a "tarka", also spelled tadka, or called "tempering".

Using Ghee for this process would be similar to substituting butter for canola oil to fry onions or something like that. It has a lovely lovely flavor but the milk fat also burns at lower temperatures and so a little more care is required. It is easier to make a cumin seed based tarka with ghee (since they fry faster and release their flavors to the fat at lower temperatures) than say mustard seeds.

Some Indian dishes, such as say a dal, also taste great with some cilantro and green chillies fried in a little ghee, being poured on top like a garnish just before serving. Even adding a teaspoon of ghee to a finished dish also smooths out the flavor quite nicely.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg, it is also used on desserts (a la butter) and to deep fry.

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I often come upon ghee at my Indian market in Curry Hill/ NYC what exactly is it and how do you cook this item.  Is it fattening?

Welcome David

Suvir and Indiagirl explained it the best how ghee is prepared and used. Just to add to that my quote: What cream and butter does to french food, Ghee does that to Indian food. It brings in the richness to food with aroma, taste and textures.

P2

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What cream and butter does to french food, Ghee does that to Indian food. It brings in the richness to food with aroma, taste and textures.

P2

Prasad, you have explained it beautifully. :smile:

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