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How To Swap Out Butter For Nutritious Ghee During Festival Cooking

  • By Swati Gaikwad - Content Writer
  • •  Sep 27, 2022

Festive cooking and baking offer many joys, but also many challenges. First of all, it’s quite a lot: I barely cleaned my kitchen from my culinary adventures before I put it back on the counter for my next project. Any clever hack that saves time and effort, and reduces mess is worth its weight in gold. So I’m here to share one ingredient swap that made my festival cooking and baking so easy...and it will do the same for you. I substitute ghee for regular butter.

What Is Ghee?

Ghee is clarified butter that has a shelf life and is cooked long enough to develop a slightly nutty flavour. It’s often used in most Indian cooking because of its high smoke point. This allows you to bloom spices or pan-fry food over high heat without risking burning. Clarified butter, also known as "liquid gold", is made by separating the milk solids and water from the butterfat. Take advantage of the higher smoke point when deciding whether to use ghee in your recipes. It is precisely this quality that makes ghee my best friend for festive cooking. You want to incorporate all the buttery flavour into your recipes, but butter can be finicky and may flip on you.

This is how ghee can simplify festive cooking. You can caramelise onions or sauté vegetables without fearing that butter would burn while I’m away for 30 seconds. You can easily grease baking tins and pans without worrying about the bottom of your ever-soft, cherished gingerbread man turning black. It means that Ghee is great for everything from fried eggs to pancakes and French toast. You get all the flavour, but no burnt black pieces.

Substituting butter for ghee is a good idea for people who are lactose intolerant and on a dairy-free or Paleo diet. {Welcome to the new Magic Ingredient!} Butter and ghee cannot be used interchangeably, hence ghee can be substituted for butter but not vice versa. Keep in mind that the nutritional values ​​of the two are different and ghee is a healthier alternative.

Ghee can be used as a one-to-one butter substitute. Keep in mind that ghee lacks some of the solid ingredients that make regular butter a good binder. However, as ghee is quite moist, you’ll need to add more flour to balance it out and make it bind properly.

If your recipe calls for ghee to be heated on the stove, do not substitute butter because it can burn and smoke. Using oils with a low smoke point spoils the flavour of your food. Further, this robs you of the oil’s nutrition and releases harmful contaminants like free radicals that are harmful to your health.

Ghee has made a spectacular return to Indian grocery stores in recent years. Ghee is currently trending as the new superfood, after being long associated with weight gain and poor health. The reality is that it maintains a healthy stomach, provides good dietary fats and works wonders for your skin, too. Nutritionists throughout the world prescribe proper ghee doses.

But why is butter a problem? Is Ghee truly superior to butter in terms of nutrition? What about flavour and its uses? The butter or makhan is extracted directly from the physical churning of curd or malai. The churning process separates all of the water, yielding tasty and light white butter. The leftover water called buttermilk or Chaas is also a popular ingredient in Indian kitchens. Today’s butter is either an emulsion of milk fat with milk proteins or further processed with additional salt.

If you want to replace your old Indian Ghee with Butter, here are quick tips to get you started. 

Three Ways To Substitute Ghee For Butter:

1. Baking

It’s incredibly easy to switch to ghee for baking pumpkin pies and breads. After all, this may simply be an improved, processed version of what you’ve already used. Use a simple 1:1 swap ratio. For example, substitute 3 tablespoons of ghee for 3 tablespoons of butter specified in the recipe. For dough recipes, add a tablespoon of flour to offset the extra moisture the ghee causes. If you bake bread with ghee, use about 25% less ghee than your recipe requires as it also removes moisture. If the dough seems drier than usual, add a little water to help it retain its consistency. Ghee casseroles are often crunchier than regular butter as they soften when lacking moisture. Works well in recipes that call for melted butter, such as brownies, but be careful if you have recipes that call for creamy butter. A ratio of 1:1 gives excellent results, especially for pie crusts.

2. Stovetop Recipes

Many foods, from mashed potatoes to mac and cheese, use butter to lend a savoury flavour and texture. Use a similar 1:1 ratio to swap, just like baking.

3. Frying

Ghee works well for shallow frying thanks to the same high smoke point. Simply add the appropriate amount to the pan and heat before frying. Try brussels sprouts for extra crispiness, shallots for savoury topping, or turkey drumsticks for a fresh spin on deep-fried chicken.

Now that you know whether butter can be substituted for ghee, it’s time to shop for the best quality ghee. Praakritik Ghee is prepared from butter that is made only from grass-fed cows, which is also 100% pure and non-GMO verified. Praakritik's 100% organic ghee is USDA certified and compatible with the keto and Paleo diets. It could be the best ghee brand for you. Therefore, remember to include some ghee on your festive grocery list

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