Making food/food products from scratch gives me so much satisfaction. It is fun for me & I enjoy it to the core. And once I get the final outcome right, I am all like a happy little girl, smiling and celebrating. But it is not like that for many people. They feel it's a waste of time and effort and you can indulge in so many other activities if you have that time ! Earlier during my initial days of marriage I used to try very often to make butter & ghee at home, but used to fail miserably. All those times I used to ask my mil how to make it & try it on my own. Finally, once when she came to visit us, I asked her to make and show me. Then I learnt the nuances of ghee making & then there is no stopping me.
I am a regular at ghee making now at home, that I stopped buying ghee from outside. I still buy butter as I use all of my homemade butter to make ghee as I use it for DD a bit more and not to mention for our weekly biriyani routine ! When I am writing this blog post what I remember is that during my preggy days my mil used to make this butter at home and send me and ask me to eat 1 spoon daily. That is coz she and her sisters strongly believe that eating butter daily while you are pregnant can help you get a normal delivery and the kid will be as soft and spongy as a butter :) But I did not share that belief and not only that I did not like the smell/taste of the unsalted butter during that time ;) So this might be a slightly lengthy post because I used to feel very bad when I couldn't get this right initially. So I'm sharing all the tricks & tips that I learnt so that you guys have a happy butter/ghee making time :)
Recipe Source: Amma
Makes: 1 cup butter from close to 3 cups cream/malai
Serves: 2-3 persons
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
from milk / Paal Aadai / Paal Paada
1. Boil milk on a medium flame. When it starts to boil and raise, simmer the flame and again allow to boil for 2-3 minutes. Then leave it aside and once it cools down, you can see a thin layer of cream on top.
2.Refrigerate the milk for 3-4 hours. Now, you can see that thin layer of cream has transformed to a thick layer of creamy cream :) Scoop out that thick layer of cream and store it in another container. It is ok if few tsp of milk also come along while you scoop the cream. But if you find more milk or find it hard to separate the milk alone, then use a strainer.
3. Keep collecting the cream for 2 weeks. Ensure that you refrigerate the collected cream. I keep the container in fridge. Whenever the cream is ready, I take out the container, transfer the cream and stash it back in the fridge.
4. I boil 1 litre of milk daily and collect the cream. At the end of 2 weeks, it gave me nearly 3 cups of cream. This cream can also be used while preparing gravies that calls for cream. Before using it, just give it a whisk so that no lumps are there and it gives a creamy smooth texture.
5. Once you get a considerable amount of cream (at least 1 cup) or once the container is full, you can make butter and ghee from this cream. Take 1.5 - 2 cups of water in the mixie jar (big wet jar). Add 1 cup of cream to it. Do not add more as it may not have the space to churn up well. I do the churning up in 2-3 batches.
6. Now use the pulse option and pulse it for 15-20 seconds. Or you can run the mixie on the lowest speed for 20 seconds. Do not run it for more time as it can heat up the cream.
7. After about 4 pulses I could see the butter getting separated from the buttermilk. Separate the butter and buttermilk and store in 2 different containers. Clean off the milk solids if any in the butter by running it under water.
8. Now in the same mixie, add water and repeat the steps from 5 to 7 for the other batches of cream. Every time use new water. Do not use the old water that has turned to buttermilk to churn out butter for a new batch of cream. It may not work.
9. Transfer the butter to a container and refrigerate it till further use. My mil stores the butter immersed in water in a container in the refrigerator. I do not know the logic behind this, but maybe it is for it to remain solid or for a longer life, I'm not sure :)
- You can also collect the malai/cream from curd and use that as well. Alternately, you can collect the cream from milk and add it to curd and store and then make butter out of it. But I do not prefer that way.
- Instead of using a blender/mixie to churn out butter you can also whip it up using a traditional mathu. But it takes more time. In this method, the downside is a messy mixie which takes a bit of your time to clean up.
- You can use the buttermilk to make moru curry, pulissery or in whichever recipe that calls for buttermilk
- My mil uses the buttermilk to make kondattam molagu (sun dried green chillies that is used as pappad). Specifically the water from the buttermilk. If you leave the buttermilk collected after churning undisturbed for sometime, you can see that some water will settle down at the bottom (Not always, happens mostly when there are more number of batches of cream to be churned). She uses this water for soaking those green chillies for kondattam molagu. And the upper buttermilk part is spiced up with ginger, greenchillies, hing, salt and curry leaves and whipped in a mixie and served chill on hot summer days !
- I use desi cow milk and so collect the malai from that milk. And my mil uses packet milk. So it works well with any milk that you use
- If you are travelling out and would be switching off the fridge (if not, there might be power cuts too), then use up the cream before your trip. It will be all rotten and wasted before you are back. This happened with me twice. Sometimes the smell would be very mild and you wouldn't even notice but it might have spoiled and it makes a very messy mixer to clean if you attempt to churn butter out of it!