Ghee is a versatile ingredient found in every Indian household. It is used for cooking, seasoning, frying, massaging skin or hair, and for making little ghee lamps to be lit during worship. Eating ghee regularly offers innumerable health benefits. It helps you get all the nourishment and goodness from ghee but most importantly, it instantly adds a distinct flavor to any food. Cooking and seasoning with ghee convert even the simplest foods into mouth-watering meals.
Today I will share 5 delicious Indian recipes that use ghee as one of the main ingredients. The use of ghee makes these simple recipes incredibly flavorful.
Ghee rice is an aromatic and flavourful rice recipe that is made with basmati rice, desi ghee, whole spices, onions, cashews, and raisins. It is one of the most popular rice recipes made especially for celebratory feasts. This ghee rice recipe is also known as neychoru recipe, nei choru, and ghee bhat. My 2 years old daughter is a very fussy eater. The day she refuses to eat anything this recipe of ghee rice is my go-to. I use a little extra ghee to make small balls with this ghee rice. She calls them chaao laddoo(rice laddoo) and loves eating them. I sometimes add chopped carrots and peas to the rice to make it a wholesome meal. This is my recipe for ghee rice:
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 8 cashew (halves)
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-inch cinnamon
- 2 pods cardamom
- 5 cloves
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ onion (sliced)
- 1 green chili (slit)
- 1 cup basmati rice (soaked for 20 minutes)
- 2 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan, roast the cashews and raisins until they turn golden brown, and keep them aside.
- Saute the bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and pepper in a pressure cooker.
- Add onion, chili (I don’t add it for my daughter), and saute until the onions turn golden brown. I sometimes add chopped vegetables like carrots, beans, and peas especially when I am preparing them for my daughter.
- Add the soaked basmati rice and roast it for a minute, add water, 1 tsp salt, and allow it to pressure cook for 2 whistles.
- Add the fried nuts and mix them well.
The ghee rice is ready to eat. We usually savor it with some homemade curry!
We have all grown up eating parathas. Ghee lachha paratha is my favorite Indian breakfast bread. My mother loves cooking and uses ghee to prepare all her meals. She makes the perfect crisp and slightly flaky parathas and nothing can beat them. This is how she prepares her signature lachha paratha that is cooked with lots of love and ghee in every layer.
- Start by combining flour salt, dissolved sugar, and 3 tbsp of ghee in a bowl.
- Mix them well and start kneading the dough by adding little water and continue until the dough is soft.
- Now take some dough and roll it into smooth balls, with lightly greased hands.
- With a rolling pin, roll out the ball into a rectangular shape, spreading it as thinly as possible.
- Brush the surface of the rolled dough generously with ghee (In this step, my mother brushes ghee like there’s no tomorrow).
- Cut thin strips of the flattened-out dough with a knife. (You can also make pleats instead)
- Gather the strips longitudinally, hold it at one end, and make it spiral like a Swiss roll.
- Gently flatten these spiral rolls into a paratha by pressing it with your fingers.
- Place the paratha on a heated pan and cook both sides while using ghee until it turns crispy and golden brown.
We relish these ghee parathas with some accompaniments like pickle, curd, or some chutney!
Ghee coffee sounds a little strange right? I recently discovered this concept of bulletproof coffee. It is a new trend of a trademarked recipe that consists of coffee, butter, and coconut oil. It has been extremely popular in recent years. We Indians have put a little twist to this trend, by mixing coffee with ghee. It has gained wide popularity. It provides a rich creaminess to the coffee, reduces the acidity in coffee, and contains many nutrients for boosting wellness. Here is how I prepare my ghee coffee.
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1 tsp jaggery powder (you can use any sweetener of your choice)
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- Milk or creamer (as per your choice)
- I start by heating brewed coffee at a low temperature. You can also use cold brew concentrate.
- Once the coffee starts to simmer, add ghee, and continue to simmer for another minute or two.
- Take it off the stove and stir it well to emulsify the ghee in the coffee. You can also blend the mix in a blender but I would not recommend doing it while it is still hot.
- I add a little milk and jaggery to it once it is off the stove. You can add any creamer or sweetener of your choice. I prefer jaggery powder since it is quite healthy.
- That’s it. The ghee coffee is ready!
I pour it into my favorite coffee mug and enjoy it every day while I listen to my morning news!
Ghee Roasted Paneer
Ghee roasted paneer is a delicious and healthy snack recipe. I usually prepare it as a party starter. It can however be served as a side dish to the main meal. This recipe has never failed to win hearts. The aromatic spices with soft cubes of paneer cooked in the distinctive flavor of the ghee make a delectable appetizer.
For masala paste
- 1 tsp ghee
- 5 dried red chili
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp fenugreek
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp pepper
- 4 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp tamarind extract
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp ghee
- 15 cubes paneer
- for ghee roast:
- 2 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
- ½ onion (finely chopped)
- few curry leaves
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp curd
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp jaggery
- To prepare the masala paste, heat 1 tsp ghee, and roast 5 dried red chilies, 1 tbsp of coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin, ¼ tsp methi, ½ tsp fennel, and ½ tsp pepper on low flame until fragrant.
- Add 4 cloves of garlic and saute it slightly without burning.
- Transfer the spices into a blender after they have cooled completely.
- Add 2 tbsp of tamarind extract and ¼ cup water and blend into a smooth paste.
- In a pan heat, 1 tsp ghee and roast 15 cubes of paneer on low to medium heat until it turns golden brown. Keep it aside.
- In a large kadhai, heat 2 tbsp ghee and add ½ onion, ¼ tsp turmeric, and a few curry leaves and saute.
- Add the prepared masala paste and cook well for at least 10-15 minutes or until the ghee separates.
- Add in 2 tbsp curd and saute until it is well combined.
- Add ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp jaggery and mix well and then add the roasted paneer and cook for a minute.
- Garnish with a few curry leaves.
Enjoy this paneer ghee roast as is or with roti or dosa!
Ghee Mysore Pak
Mysore pak is one of my favorite Indian desserts. I was visiting Bangalore for work and it was there that I relished this delicious dessert for the first time. I instantly fell in love. Even now when my friends or family are visiting from Bangalore they by default know what they have to get for me. My love for this dessert made me try this Mysore pak recipe which is cooked in desi ghee. I am proud to say that I did a decent job and was quite happy with the outcome.
- 1 cup besan/gram flour
- 1 cup ghee
- 1 cup jaggery powder/sugar
- ¼ cup water
- Dry roast 1 cup of besan on low flame for about 5-8 minutes until it turns aromatic.
- Sieve the roasted besan to remove from any lumps.
- Add ½ cup ghee and mix well to make sure there are no lumps.
- In a large kadhai take 1 cup jaggery powder, add ¼ cup water, and heat on medium flame until the jaggery completely dissolves and reaches a one-string consistency
- Add the besan ghee mixture and put the flame on low.
- Stir well until the besan-ghee mixture is combined well in the jaggery syrup.
- Add 2 tbsp of ghee and mix well until the ghee is completely absorbed.
- Add 2 more tbsp of ghee and keep mixing.
- Repeat until the mixture starts to separate from the pan (takes around 12-15 minutes)
- Transfer the cooked besan mixture into a tray lined with butter paper, level up, and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
- Once it sets well, carefully unmould the Mysore Pak and cut it into the desired size and shape.
- Garnish it with some pumpkin seeds.
Enjoy this ghee, Mysore Pak! It can be stored for around 2 weeks by refrigerating it in an airtight container.
These super healthy and delicious ghee recipes are my all-time favorites. They are full of nutrition and can be enjoyed guilt-free. Click here to read about some wonderful benefits of cow ghee.