How To Make Ghee From Unsalted Butter (Plus a Sweet Recipe)


Wondering how to make ghee from store bought butter?

Today’s post gives you the step by step guide on how to make ghee from unsalted butter you have bought from the market.

make ghee from unsalted butter

I confess to being a huge fan of ghee. It’s one treat I always feel free to indulge myself in. But the ghee was always made by my mom from the cream she collects from buttermilk.

When I got married, I started buying ghee. I noticed it never tasted close to what my mom made. Being a ghee enthusiast, I literally tried out all possible brands in the market, to no avail.

Later, I also learnt that most of the store-bought ghee is buffalo ghee. If not fully, then partially so.

And there is probably something about making ghee with your own hands. No brand could replicate that. Trust me when I say this. I am so devout to ghee.

When my little one started solids I began to add ghee to his food. I used to ask mom to make it for me every time I went to hometown. But I ran out of stock quickly and had to buy some ghee hesitantly.

Making my own butter did not seem quite possible with the packet milk I buy. Most of the packet milk we buy is homogenized, which means the fat globules have been broken down really small. So even if we buy high fat milk, it is very difficult to get butter. So I ventured my first ghee making attempt with store bought unsalted butter.

With only a little care, the process of ghee making was so easy and tasted close to the ghee my mom made. From then on, I always make ghee at home only.

Ghee can be given to babies from 6 month onwards by adding a teaspoon to their khichdis, porridges and rice. The maximum intake of ghee for a toddler or kid on an everyday basis is 2 teaspoons.

For babies and kids who are lactose intolerant, ghee is an excellent option as most of the milk solids are removed during the clarification process.

Over consumption of ghee can lead to obesity, loose motions and heart problems in children. Hence it’s advisable to give ghee in moderation to children.

How to make ghee from unsalted butter – Step by step guide:

Here is the recipe, without any further delay.

The requirements are simple – store bought butter and a thick bottomed kadai or a good non-stick kadai.

Keep the butter at room temperature till it softens. Cut into smaller chunks.

Wash and dry the kadai and transfer the butter chunks to it. Heat butter on medium till it melts.

make ghee from unsalted butter make ghee from unsalted butter

Once the entire butter is converted to a liquid form, reduce the heat to minimum. A foamy layer would be formed accompanied by a spluttering sound. With time the layer would separate giving way to the thin yellow liquid beneath.

make ghee from unsalted butter3 make ghee from unsalted butter

Watch the yellow color turning into golden brown and the reduction in bubbles and sound. When the spluttering sound stops completely, switch off the flame.

make ghee from unsalted butter make ghee from unsalted butter

The milk solids which are settle at the top and bottom of kadai have to be filtered out using a siever, cloth filter or layered cheese cloth. Transfer the liquid into a clean dry glass or stainless steel container.

make ghee from unsalted butter make ghee from unsalted butter

Once cooled, it will turn into yellow creamy texture.

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How To Make Ghee From Store Bought Butter (Plus a Sweet Recipe)
  • Yellow butter, unsalted butter or cooking butter - ½ kg
  1. Keep the butter at room temperature for an hour so that it gets softer.
  2. Cut it into smaller pieces with the help of a ladle or knife. This process may make your hands messy. If you don’t prefer that, you can move to step 3 directly. It will increase your cooking time a little.
  3. Wash the kadai and let it completely dry (very important) so that there is no impurity or water. Transfer the butter to the kadai.
  4. Heat butter on medium flame stirring a little with the ladle until the contents have turned into liquid completely.
  5. Reduce the flame to minimum. The water will start evaporating from the butter causing the liquid to foam and creating a spluttering sound.
  6. The foam will separate out a little and you can see some yellow liquid in the middle. Watch carefully from now on.
  7. The yellow liquid in the middle will turn to a golden brown. Soon, the bubbles will reduce greatly and the spluttering noise will begin to subside. Watch over. When you can hardly hear any spluttering noise and the liquid has turned into golden brown, switch off the flame.
  8. Let it cool. The milk solids would have settled at the top and bottom of the kadai.
  9. Pass the contents through a filter and pour the liquid into the desired container. Your ghee is now ready. It will solidify with time, faster at cool temperatures and slower in the summer. Once it solidifies, it will turn yellow in color.
Sweet recipe from the filtered milk solids:

Here’s the treat, as promised.

Do not throw away the filtered milk solids.

Rub some atta or sathu maavu into the filter to scrub the milk solids. Drop it into the kadai you just used. Add some more flour into the kadai and scrub it such that all the greasy leftover is mixed with the flour.

Once the atta mixture is well roasted, add a generous amount of sugar and mix it well. Sautee this in low flame for half a minute until  a grainy texture is formed. You can give this sweet as it is or make balls out of it.

You have just made yourself a heavenly treat. It’s one of the treats my mom allowed me as a kid. It’s one of the treats I have now started allowing my two year old to have. After all, you may not be making this more often than once a month.

It’s also a great way to clean the kadai which will otherwise be very greasy.

Must know before you make ghee at home from unsalted butter:

  • Yellow butter is the cow’s butter. If the butter is white, you have bought buffalo butter.
  • Always make sure you buy good quality, unsalted butter to make ghee.
  • It’s important to make sure that the vessels you use while making ghee are clean and have no moisture. This will extend the shelf life of ghee.
  • Use only low flame when making the ghee.
  • Make an effort to stand near the ghee so that you can switch it off at the exact moment. If you switch it off early, it won’t taste as good and the moisture would not have evaporated completely. If you switch it off too late, the ghee will have an off taste.
  • Making ghee should only take around twenty minutes if you are using half kg of butter.
  • If you decide to parallel process, make sure you give the ghee your full attention If you are cooking anything else in parallel, make sure the crackled mustard etc does not fall into the ghee.
  • The amount of ghee you get will be less than the amount of butter due to evaporation of water and filtration of milk solids.

Further reading:

Hope you liked this article on how to make ghee from unsalted butter. It’s now time to enjoy the yummy sweet and delicious homemade ghee.

Do prepare at home, I am sure you are going to love them both hands down.

Do you make ghee at home or do you use store bought one?Which is that brand of ghee you trust most? Have you tried making ghee from unsalted butter? Or do you make ghee in the traditional churning method?

Share with me in comments please.


About Author

Vandana quit her software career because she found her mother brain lost capability to process anything beyond her child's needs. She lives in Chennai with her husband and two year old Vihaan Krishna. Becoming a parent has helped her understand life in a much better way. She wants to share her new found wisdom to the benefit of other judicious parents who are constantly wanting to give the best to their kids.


  1. Hi Vandhaana, aavin butter gives best results. It’s available only in TN, I guess. I also had good results with hatsun. Haven’t tried other brands.

  2. Hi Vandana,

    Thanks for the post. Can you tell me which branch you bought (butter unsalted) ?


  3. Roshni Mathew on

    On the right time Vandana 🙂 I was planning to make this one as my ghee is almost over. And here I couldn’t find to buy them at stores. Will definitely try the sweet as well 😉
    Good one 🙂

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