November 27, 2019
Ghee is the golden elixir from India that is renowned in Ayurvedic cooking. Ayurveda is the 5000-year old science of life, a holistic approach that encompasses mind, body and spirit. Available commonly these days in most grocery stores, ghee is known for reducing inflammation, enhancing digestion, promoting flexibility and bolstering the immune system. It also enhances the flavor of spices and here the garlic and shallots slow roast with warm spices like cardamom and black pepper. The best part about this recipe is that the ghee slowly forms on its own as it cooks with the fragrant spices, garlic and shallots. It is delicious slathered on warm bread or rolls or seasonal crudities.
Serves 10 to 12
4 to 5 whole bulbs garlic
2 large onions
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon green cardamom seeds
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 pound (2 cups) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as rosemary, oregano, or sage)
Bread or rolls to serve
Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Cut the garlic bulbs in a cross section and lay them cut side down on a shallow baking dish or cast iron pan. Peel the onions and cut them into thick wedges and spread around the garlic. Crush the black peppercorn and cardamom seeds slightly with the back of a frying pan or a rolling pin and sprinkle over the garlic along with the salt.
Cut the butter into small chunks and place over the garlic-onion-spice mixture. Place a heavy lid on top or wrap the baking pan tightly with foil and place in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Check to see if the garlic and onions are soft and cooked to a deep golden brown. If not, place the pan with the foil back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes more. Once done, pinch the garlic peels off and discard.
At this point, the garlic ghee may be put away in the refrigerator for up to a week. When ready to serve, crush the coriander seeds lightly with a rolling pin and sprinkle along with fresh herbs in the pan and serve warm.
Once the herbs have been added, the ghee is best eaten within 2 to 3 days or the remainder could be used for cooking.
To add a higher note of heat, add 2 finely minced serrano peppers along with the herbs.
The cardamom seeds and peppercorns should soften through the cooking process to result in an aromatic punch of flavor with each bite.
To make a plant-based version, substitute butter with olive oil or sesame oil.
December 02, 2022