Preparation / Directions:
Butter in Hindi is called makkhan. Clarified butter, instead of being called makkhan ghee, is called usli ghee (usli means "real" or "pure," which in this context refers to the real or original fat of the ancient Indians). Clarified butter or usli ghee is essentially French brown butter with the brown residue strained off. Usli ghee has a light caramel color and a heavenly aroma. Since there is no moisture present, it keeps well covered, at room temperature, for several months. (I suggest keeping it in the fridge.)
To make 3/4 cup clarified butter (usli ghee), place 1/2 pound (2 sticks) sweet, unsalted butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and put on a burner. Keep the heat low until the butter melts completely, stirring often during the process. Increase the heat to medium-low and let the butter simmer until it stops crackling, thus inidicating that all the moisture has evaporated and the milk residue is beginning to fry. As soon as the solids turn brown (10-12 minutes), turn off the heat and take the pan off the stove. Let the residue settle to the bottom of the pan, then strain the clear butterfat (usli ghee) into another container. This usli ghee, when it is completely cool, will turn a cream color. Ready-made usli ghee is available in Indian grocery stores, but remember ..... there is no guarantee of its freshness or purity.