We’re giving away a 5-Piece Laguiole Knife Set! Enter to win today →

Perhaps are you in the process of crafting an Indian-inspired dish or maybe you are someone who has heard good things about the Paleo diet. Either way, you’ve probably heard of ghee before. After all, it’s a commonly used substitute for butter. But what exactly is ghee? And is it better than butter?

For starters, ghee originated in ancient India and is a highly clarified form of butter. There are a number of Indian, Middle Eastern, and Southeast Asian dishes that use ghee. When it comes to sweet and savory dishes, it is a great replacement for butter and/or vegetable oil because it’s more flavorful than butter. It’s also more shelf-stable, making it a more reliable choice for many.

Ghee is made by taking a larger amount of butter and melting it as slowly as possible. The heat is set very low and impurities are scooped away from the top. As the butter’s water content starts to evaporate, all that is left is the purest of butterfat.

Photo: Unsplash

Other flavorings and spices can be added, but in most instances, ghee remains unflavored. Before anyone asks, no, ghee is not the same as clarified butter. It is merely a form of it. The process is similar but ghee is actually cooked for a longer period of time than most forms of clarified butter. Since all of the water has been removed from the ghee, it won’t spoil nearly as easily.

So, are there any advantages to cooking with ghee over butter? Ghee is great for high-heat cooking and sautéing. Those who have more sensitive stomachs may also find ghee to be much easier to digest than butter. When it is made from grass-fed butter, it is very rich in vitamins and minerals. However, the health differences between ghee and butter are negligible.

To use ghee, you would utilize it in the same manner as any other form of cooking fat. It works best in spicy curries or warm beverages like golden milk or moon milk.

While it’s not nutritionally superior to butter, it does have a longer shelf-life, a richer flavor, a higher smoking temperature, and can be easier on digestion for those with sensitive stomachs. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference on which is best for you.

So, which do you prefer? Have you ever tried ghee? Let us know!

Subscribe to 12 Tomatoes