My Fix for Overcooked Ghee

Maddu with a bit of sugar

This is my second blog on food in less than 24 hours.  Yesterday I read that India has over 2.5 lakh blogs dedicated to food. So I am now food blogger no. 2,50,001! 🙂

Letting butter burn while you set out to make a cauldron of ghee is not such a bad thing. Burnt ghee or ‘maddu’ as we aamchi gelis (Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmins) call it is actually an absolute delicacy, if you’ve ever sampled a bit. I’m referring to the rust-coloured, grainy stuff you find at the bottom of the kadai, after you’ve poured your ghee into a jar.  All you have to do is scrape it off the bottom of the kadai and store it in a container.

It was my grandmother who introduced me to maddu in my teens. We’d sprinkle a teaspoonful of it on our plates before digging into a plate of daal, rice and vegetable preparation.  Maddu holds a special place in her kitchen.

Maddu is crunchy in texture, it’s butter milk-like sourness infuses a kick in any dish. The key is to add just a teaspoon or less. Try adding maddu to good ol’ daal chawal like Amama and I did. My aunt Padmini Sharma recommends mixing in a little water and adding it in as you knead dough to make rotis. She says a little bit of maddu in rasam gives it that extra zing. And if you have a sweet tooth, toss it up with a bit of sugar like Andhraites (who called it Gokudu) do, and ….tspaah!

So the next time your favourite TV show or a phone call makes you forget about the ghee bubbling on your kitchen stove, leaving you with a overcooked/burnt mess at the bottom of your pan, you know what to do. I’ll be waiting to hear your story


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nina Banerjee
    Aug 28, 2011 @ 20:13:33

    Yes, I have my own memories of “maddu” and of my mother (the blogger’s grandmother) bringing the crunchy substance to the table not long after we would be regaled by the mouthwatering scent of ghee clarifying from butter that was being heated. Nothing to compare it to…


  2. MK
    Aug 29, 2011 @ 10:51:32



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