Is Ghee Butter?

Is ghee actually butter? If so, how are they related? Why do they have such differing consistencies?

Is ghee actually butter? If so, how are they related? Why do they have such differing consistencies?

The Short Answer

Yes, ghee is butter.

The Long Answer

Ghee is butter, but it’s a form of clarified butter. What’s the difference, you might ask? When butter is heated it separates into two different parts. Those are the butterfat and milk solids.  Once the solids are removed, the butter is considered clarified and ghee is created. Ghee is cooked longer than normal clarified butter, causing the milk solids to become caramelized and more liquid to evaporate.

The biggest difference between butter and ghee is that ghee has virtually no dairy protein in it. Butter, while mostly fat and water, still contains trace amounts of casein and lactose, the two dairy compounds which cause lactose intolerance. But when the milk solids are scooped away from ghee, the casein and lactose go along with it. So even individuals with a high sensitivity to dairy can still enjoy ghee.

Ghee and butter also differ taste-wise. While butter is more creamy, ghee has a nutty flavor which holds up well against strong spices. This is a contributing factor to ghee’s increased presence in Indian and Thai recipes.

So, in conclusion, while all ghee is butter, all butter is not ghee.

Never used ghee before? Why not try it in Mashed Cauliflower with Cheese or Butternut Squash Soup? It’s also great in this Chicken Korma recipe!

Mashed Cauliflower

Do you use ghee in your kitchen? What dishes do you use it in? Let us know in the comments below!

Is Ghee Butter?
Is Ghee Butter?

Kevin Kessler

Kevin J. Kessler is an experienced professional writer and published author living in Orlando, Florida. With a lifelong passion for food, this sandwich loving Italian boy enjoys exploring unanswered questions about the foods we all know and love so well. Kevin’s foodie lifestyle was born through his love of Walt Disney World and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. A lover of stories, he enjoys trying new dishes from all over the world and learning everything there is to know about where food comes from, how its prepared, and what variations on it exist.