As a kid we’d often get home from school to a strong earthy aroma. It not only enveloped the house, but you could also smell it outside in the lane, the gate, the lawn. (Yes! Those were the days of large bungalows).
The heady smell was that of fresh ghee. The process of making it is simple but time taking. You churn home made malai into butter and cook it on low flame in a heavy kadahi. The butter simmers and releases beautiful golden ghee. Now, my mother being my mother — I have inherited her impatience — would skip a step and cook the malai directly. This, she said, was not only time saving but also yeilded the soft, crunchy and aromatic khoa, a residue if the malai. She would then use this for making many things.
While we never ever bothered about the ghee (those were not the good fat fad days), we always looked forward to this by-product. Golden, crisp and crunchy in some parts, soft and gooey in others, it was a treat to eat. We ate it with as it is, made it into barfi (which I hated) and added to curries. I liked it best with sugar.
Decades later, I now make my own ghee and have this khoa always stocked in the fridge. When in need of a quick nutritive snack, like today, I heat some, add a spoon of sugar and eat it in peace. I add it to aloo tamatar ki sabzi to make an aromatic curry. I feed it to kids and send it with husband to work.
I know the ghee/malai and sugar makes it sound unhealthy and sinful but it is a thousand times better than the processed transfat filled packed snacks, cakes and biscuits. Plus it comes with generations of food wisdom passed by #grandmothers, no reason why not to trust it.
Do you make ghee at home? What do you do with your khoa?
To make Ghee.
Making ghee is a single bstep process, which needs some amount of practice and patience. You need homemade malai — you get that by boiling full cream milk and putting it in the fridge for a minimum 12 hrs and removing the thick creamy layer from it. This later is your malai, it can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks.
So you take the malai and transfer it to a thick kadhai and let it simmer on low flame for about 20 minutes. The malai starts to curdle and releases ghee. The residue at the bottom is your khurchan. You can cook it as much as you like. You can let it turn pink or golden or brown, each colour has a different flavor due to different stages of cooking.
Collect the ghee in a bottle/bowl and enjoy your khurchan whatever way you wish.