By Holly Bieler
Updated on 29. Jul. 2020

Ghee has been a staple of Indian cuisine for centuries and has recently gained popularity among wellness enthusiasts. Learn more about this delicious ingredient here.

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What You Should Know About Ghee

In Indian cuisine, ghee has roughly the same status as olive oil in the Mediterranean, utilized almost daily for cooking, frying and deep-frying. 

While it might sound exotic, ghee is basically condensed butter fat, making it much the same as clarified butter in the U.S. Like clarified butter, ghee is produced by heating milk until its solid components settle to the surcace and are skimmed off. This process makes ghee very easy to cook with as it has a much higher smoke point than standard butter.

In India, vegan ghee made from vegetable oils, called vanaspati, is an incredibely popular ingredient.


The first ghee was produced in India thousands of years ago.


Ghee is available year round.


Ghee tastes virtually identical to butter, but has a more vivid orange hue.

Find all our recipes with ghee here.

How Healthy is Ghee?

In Indian Ayurveda, ghee is considered a so-called Rasayana, i.e. a rejuvenating food that promotes longevity. The science somewhat backs this claim: even ghee made from butter provides about 27% unsaturated and 5% polyunsaturated fatty acids, which has a positive effect on heart and circulation.

However, ghee is definitely not a health food. It's comprised almost entirely of fat and contains a whopping 920 calories per 100 g.

Calories 920
Protein 0 g
Fat 99.8 g
Carbohydrates 0 g
Fiber  0 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips


Today you can find ghee in most supermarkets, as well as specialty health food stores, Asian specialty stores and the internet. The vegan variety, Vanaspati, is usually only available in specialty health food stores.


Ghee keeps for a long time without cooling. If you want the longest shelf life possible however, keep it in the refrigerator.

What to Make With Ghee

In general you can use ghee as you would butter or margarine. It's great for frying, deep-frying, cooking and also for baking, as it can be heated at a very high temperature without excreting cacinogenic substances. It also gives dishes a rich, butter taste.  

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