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Becoming more popular in the West, ghee is clarified butter originating millenia ago in India. After being discovered, it spread across South Asia and parts of the Middle East, where it’s used in many regional cuisines. Ghee is made by heating the butter to a simmer until the milk solids separate, then straining them out.

By removing the solids, ghee ends up with a higher smoke point then non-clarified butter, making it ideal for higher heat cooking like stir fries where unmodified butter would otherwise burn. The simmering of ghee also gives it a nutty, more complex flavor — this flavor can vary depending on how ghee is initially separated from the milk solids. Ghee simmered at a lower temperature will have a milder flavor, while ghee initially simmered at a higher temperature will have a deeper, more earthy flavor.

Ghee has a higher concentration of healthy fatty acids than normal butter, and also doesn’t need to be refrigerated as long as it’s kept in a cool, relatively dark place; storing ghee in direct sunlight can cause moisture to form, altering the flavor and potentially limiting ghee’s otherwise long shelf life. Ghee can last for months unopened and unrefrigerated. After opening, it can still last for up to a year in the fridge or generally a couple months unrefrigerated.

Uwajimaya sells ghee in our grocery department.