Are Ghee and Clarified Butter the Same Thing?

In the culinary world, both ghee and clarified butter are considered prized treasures that add richness and depth to a variety of dishes. They are both the extraction of oil from butter and share many similarities and health benefits. So aren’t they pretty much the same thing?

“Ghee” and “clarified butter” are common terms often used interchangeably (i.e. “clarified ghee butter”), but the clarifying process is where they actually differ as each one creates different flavor profile and textures between the two.

Ghee Clarified Butter Content

Clarified Butter

Clarified butter is achieved by removing the milk solids and water content from traditional butter. The butter is strained as soon as the milk solids separate and begin to foam, which creates a golden and flavorful elixir. Clarified butter is a soft-solid butter oil but can be hardened by placing in the fridge or freezer.


Ghee is a type of clarified butter taken a step further. Instead of straining right away, the butter is cooked a bit longer until the milk solids begin to caramelize and then it’s strained. This is what gives ghee its unique toasted nutty flavor that you won’t get from clarified butter. It also gives ghee a lovely caramel hue.

The texture of ghee can vary depending on how long it’s cooked, but it can come in a solid or liquid consistency, or even a mixture of both. Ghee can also be grainy or smooth, depending on your personal preference.

Shelf Life

Removing milk solids and water from butter contributes to the extended shelf life of ghee and clarified butter. When comparing the two, ghee has a bit longer shelf life than clarified butter since the milk solids are cooked before removing.

Ghee Clarified Butter Content 3

Health Benefits

Ghee and clarified butter are both lactose and casein free, making them excellent options if you are lactose intolerant but still want to enjoy that delicious buttery flavor.

They also contain fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin E, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. Not only that, but they also have short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, which is believed to support healthy digestion by reducing inflammation in the gut. Ghee also holds cultural and spiritual significance in Ayurveda.

Which is better?

The answer: it depends! Ghee and clarified butter are both delicious and will add depth and flavor to any recipe. Which one you should use really depends on what type of flavor profile you’re aiming for, and they’re so versatile that you can use either butters in almost anything!

With clarified butter, you will get a pure buttery essence that won’t overwhelm other flavors in your dish. It’s perfect if you are lactose intolerant but still want that buttery taste in your dinners, snacks or even baked goods.

Ghee is a toasty, nutty version of clarified butter, which makes it perfect for dishes like naan, curry, or biriyani rice. But ghee is not limited to Indian cuisine! Like clarified butter, you can use ghee in any recipe that requires butter or oil. You can bake with it, sauté, or even add it to your coffee!

While moderation is key, you can get a lot of advantages from incorporating ghee or clarified butter into a balanced diet.

Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any dietary changes.

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