by Kevin Farrell for USA TODAY 10Best

What ghee is and why you should cook with it

What is ghee?

Ghee is a type of clarified butter, which is butter that has been cooked and strained to remove water and milk solids. Ghee goes one step further though.

After you clarify ghee, you slowly simmer it until the milk solids caramelize, imparting a rich, nutty flavor on the clarified product. When the liquid butter is allowed to cool and return to a solid, you’re left with ghee.

How does it taste?

Ghee tastes like a cleaner, richer, more decadent version of butter itself – more buttery butter, if you will. And even among ghee brands, there's a spectrum of flavor and quality.

Why not just use butter?

By removing those milk solids in advance, you dramatically increase the smoke point. Butter has a relatively low smoke point, but ghee has a smoke point of 485 degrees, making it a perfect cooking companion.

But it’s still butter, right?

Well, yes and no. Ghee is concentrated. The useless water and milk solids, having been burned off, leave behind a higher vitamin content.

And those milk solids that have been removed? Well, those are what hold all of the lactose and casein, making it a great butter for those with lactose intolerance.

Where can I get some ghee?

Ghee is actually shelf stable, meaning it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Even so, it's sometimes stocked near the butter in the refrigerated section. If you don’t spot it there, check the baking aisle near the cooking oils.

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