A response to a previous post brought on this topic.
Ghee or clarified butter is the result of a very interesting process.
Milk is first boiled and cooled. The cream in the milk collects on top like a pancake. This ‘saay’ is mixed in a vessel along with a spoonful of curd and kept for about 8 – 12 hours. The curd that is formed is then briskly churned with a little cold water. Lo and behold, you find a soft white mountain forming around the churn. Sweet white butter is ready.
The white liquid that’s sloshing around is the buttermilk. Buttermilk made this way is an excellent drink to beat the heat. Add a little salt, cumin powder and asafoetida for taste and you have a drink that settles your tummy too.
To get back to ghee – the butter is then drained of all traces of water, placed in a thick bottomed frying pan or wok and heated over a slow fire. The fat separates from the solids in the butter to give a transparent golden liquid. This is pure ghee. (The solids form a brownish layer on the bottom of the pan.).
You cannot curdle milk with the readymade curds or yogurts available off the shelf. The curd should have live bacteria in it that transform milk into curd.
Curd forms faster in hot and humid weather. Curd, once formed starts turning sour. Refrigerate it in case you do not wish to churn it immediately.