Holiday Season has arrived.
I can hear Holidays songs like this one reverberating through my ears.
“Have a holly, jolly Christmas;
It’s the best time of the year I don’t know if there’ll be snow, but have a cup of cheer.”
We began this season with a small vacation at Orlando. Once we were back, there was Christmas party at work & friend’s church, get-togethers and birthday parties to attend. It reminds me that it’s time to share gifts. This year I making homemade ghee and packing them in really tiny glass jars that I saved months ago. You can it in my previous post on confetti cake in a jar. I am going to send this as my Holiday Gift this year.
Ghee known as clarified butter is one of the most sacred ingredient in an Indian kitchen. I serve white rice with a dollop of ghee as the first thing in a meal. Ghee has the property to lower body heat and it is an excellent moisturizer. I use it on my chapped lips and they heal and recover so fast. Since they are edible and it remains frozen in my part of the world during winters. It works wonderfully as lip balm. Traditional deep fried Indian sweets are made with ghee as they have a high smoking point. Ghee can be stored at room temperature in air tight container for weeks together. Store bought ghee (16oz bottle) costs approximately $7.50 and homemade version will work way cheaper.
The butter contains good amount of moisture. To make clarified butter, it is key to get rid off the water content in it. Hence sticks of pure butter is placed in a large saucepan and they are cooked to a rolling boil. The solid settles to the bottom of the vessel, while a foamy top layer is formed by the water which boils away. Making ghee is a family tradition. I generally start with 1 pound butter and cook them on medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
Since I don’t really follow a recipe, I am sharing Alton Brown’s recipe here. His steps are food proof and you can never fail.
HOMEMADE GHEE FROM SCRATCH + ALL NATURAL LIP CREAM RECIPE
- 250-300gm unsalted butter sticks
1. Stove top Method:
Recipe Source: Alton Brown plus my mom’s tips
Place butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring butter to boil. This takes approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium. The butter will form a foam which will disappear. Ghee is done when a second foam forms on top of butter, and the butter turns golden. Approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Brown milk solids will be in bottom of pan. Gently pour into heatproof container through fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. DONOT USE A PLASTIC TEA STRAINER. It will melt in the heat. Store in airtight container being sure to keep free from moisture. Ghee does not need refrigeration and will keep in airtight container for up to 1 month.
2. Pressure Cooker Method:
Recipe Source: Rama Krishnan of United by Food Facebook Group
Step 1: OPOS test – add 1/4th cup of water to the cooker and cover it with weight. Heat on a high flame. If you get the first whistle between 1 and 2 mins, your PC is perfect for an OPOS start.
- In a 2L pressure cooker, add butter and cover with the lid. Put the whistle on.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes on high. It will whistle every 8 to 10 seconds.
- When there is no whislte for 30 seconds or so, then it means that all moisture in the butter is evaporated. When you hear a cracking sound, turn off the flame and let the pressure settle down
- Open the cooker after 15 minutes. The ghee is ready with zero effort.
- I use the pan to make rasam.
- Please make sure to remove the ghee from the pressure cooker immediately after the pressure has settled down as you don’t want the water to be formed on the lid after it had cooled completely. Remember our science lesson – condensation will happen and water droplets will be formed on the inside of the lip. You DONOT WANT ANY WATER in the ghee for longer shelf life.
DIY ALL NATURAL LIP CREAM RECIPE
My lips are so chapped and I was taught since childhood to apply ghee or coconut oil on the lips. I was inspired by my holiday handmade lotion bar recipe to make this. Make a small batch as we use only little for lips. This is a great gift too.
Makes : About 40 ml
1/3 cup ghee (I followed pressure cooker recipe – scroll up)
1/3 cup coconut oil
4 tablespoon beeswax pellet
- Heat a large saucepan with water. Once it boils, place a glass or stainless steel container on top. Make sure the bowl is steady and the hot water doesn’t spill and burn you. Add beeswax and slowly mix it with a spatula until it melts, pour coconut oil and ghee and mix them well. You can now add your flavorings like few drops of any essential oil. I didn’t add any as I don’t like any flavors on the lips.
- Unlike last time where I used a muffin liners for lotion bar, I poured it directly into a glass container. I don’t use plastic as the heat might trigger some chemical reaction between plastic and oil.
- I prefer to make the lip cream in a bottle as my son and daughter will also use it. I am not comfortable to share the lip cream made in a chap stick container as it touches our lips and saliva. So using from a bottle is lot cleaner and hygienic.