Now that I’m intimately familiar with the Paleo way of eating, ghee is a well-loved staple in my pantry. It took me a while to learn how to use it, but now I’m constantly using it in my go-to cooking recipes.
If you’re new to Paleo or you’ve been eating the Paleo way for a while but haven’t gotten comfortable with ghee yet, you’re in luck. I’m going to teach you some of the best ways to cook with this versatile product.
Before we dive into how to cook with ghee, let’s review what ghee is and what it isn’t. Ghee is a form of clarified butter that’s made by treating the butter over low heat until the water content inside it evaporates. Then, the milk solids left behind are strained or skimmed off. What you have left is clarified liquid fat.
One of the unique things about ghee is that it contains more nutrients than standard clarified butter. This is because it’s heated at a lower temperature (below 100 degrees in most cases). Since the Paleo way of eating is all about getting as many nutrients into the body as possible through food sources, ghee fits right in.
In India, ghee is used medicinally in combination with herbal medication. Ghee is a good source of:
Ghee also contains healthy fats that help our bodies function properly. It’s a healthy alternative to regular butter and tastes delicious in a variety of dishes.
How To Cook With Ghee
Now that we’ve reviewed why ghee is so great, let’s dive into how to incorporate this ingredient into different dishes. Here are some of my favorite ways to cook with ghee.
Use It Instead of Cooking Oil
The easiest way to start using ghee is to substitute it for regular cooking oils and butter. Whether you’re sautéing vegetables or cooking up salmon patties, heat a teaspoon or tablespoon of ghee in your pan before you add your other ingredients.
Ghee has a smoke point of around 465⁰F. Compare that to the smoke point of butter, which is around 350⁰F. Ghee even has a higher smoke point than olive oil! The higher the smoke point, the hotter an ingredient can get before it burns. As you can see, ghee works great for cooking hotter dishes because it’s less likely to burn than butter or olive oil.
Toast Spices in It
Toasting spices in ghee is a great way to make an Indian type of cuisine called tadka. If you like Indian food, try making tadka using ghee and your favorite Indian spices. Practically any whole spice or herb can be toasted in ghee to make tadka.
Here’s a simple tadka recipe to help you get started. First, heat a tablespoon of ghee on high in a saucepan. Once it’s heated, add approximately one teaspoon of cumin seeds to it. Toast the seeds for approximately five minutes. Add the toasted seeds to water, then cook rice in it to make a flavorful Indian dish.
Generally, it’s best to make tadka right before you plan to consume it. It can quickly lose a lot of its flavor and incredible aroma when it’s stored in the fridge.
Other Ways To Enjoy Ghee
In addition to the cooking suggestions mentioned above, I also love to spread ghee on toasted paleo-friendly bread in place of butter. It tastes great and I know I’m giving my body more nutrients than it would get from regular butter.
I also love to put a dollop of ghee in warm almond milk or herbal tea. It adds a slightly nutty flavor and a wonderfully creamy texture.
Are you ready to discover the benefits of ghee? Try my cooking suggestions above or look for popular ghee recipes online to get started.