Best Ghee Substitutes (And It is Not Just Butter)

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Last Updated on April 2, 2024 by Share My Kitchen

It might be difficult to find alternatives to high-quality ghee in many dishes, but it is good to know there are plenty of other ghee substitutes available.

Ghee is a popular Indian cooking staple, but it has also gained popularity throughout the Middle East and in Southeast Asian countries. It is a different form of clarified butter that can be used for cooking and ritual ceremonies.

What Are The Popular Ghee Substitutes

Some of the ghee substitutes used instead of ghee include sesame oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, canola oil, coconut oil, butter, olive oil, clarified butter, vegetable oil, and rapeseed oil.

10 Best Ghee Substitutes 

Let’s look at how these 10 ghee alternatives can be used in some dishes.

1. Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is a popularly used cooking oil, especially in Asian countries. This is like the ghee due to its healthier benefits. It is made from fresh sesame seeds, hence its name. Also, it is darker in color, thicker, and extremely fragrant and aromatic.

It can be used as a substitute for ghee in cooking dishes, but also makes a great topping. Use it to top your salads, rice dishes, noodles, sauces and many more. Because it can improve blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy heart, it is the healthier choice.

2. Sunflower Oil

It’s common knowledge that sunflowers are the best summer blooms. However, after they bloom, its flowers will not go to waste. The sunflower seeds are harvested for food like sesame seeds that can be used to make healthy snacks, and extracted for oil which is then called sunflower oil. Plus, it is very aromatic, similar to sesame oil. You don’t need to add any spices to your dish to make it aromatic.

This oil can be substituted with ghee to make a great cooking oil for stir-fried and pan-fried dishes. You can also use it as a dressing for salads with balsamic vinaigrette. However, it’s best to not use it for long-term frying or deep frying, as the oil can quickly burn. It will make your food have a burnt taste and become less edible.

3. Soybean Oil

Soybeans are high in protein, so they can be used to make many products, including soybean paste, soymilk, and even soybean cakes. Soybean oil is another popular product made from these beans. It is a healthier substitute to ghee and can be used in baking recipes.

If you substitute it with ghee, follow the 1:1 ratio for any baked dishes. It gives your favorite desserts and pastries additional moisture and a chewy texture. However, because it is easy to burn, it is not recommended to use it as a cooking oil. It is healthy but you should be careful with its high level of polyunsaturated oils.

4. Canola Oil

There are many types of vegetable oils, including the famous canola oil. This oil is harvested from the canola’s bright yellow flowers and is a great substitute for ghee because of its flavor and aroma. Also, because it contains less erucic acid, unsaturated fat, and is not harmful to our cardiovascular system, this oil is a healthier alternative.

Canola can be used in so many ways. It can be used to make pan-fried, stir-fried, and deep-fried dishes. Plus, it can be used when grilling meats and vegetables. But it is not recommended for baking due to its lower fat content, which can make pastries and baked dishes softer or less airy.

5. Coconut Oil

Because of their many uses, coconut trees are considered as a tree of life. There is no waste from the roots to the fruit. You can use them for many home remedies and medicinal purposes. But, coconut oil is one of the most highly-recommended products. It can be used for cooking and has medicinal properties. Plus, it is possible to use to help avoid dry scalp and even use as a hair conditioner.

Coconut oil is the safest choice for healthier baked goods. It has a richer flavor and a more aromatic scent than ghee when used for desserts. In addition to that, coconut oil is aromatic enough that you won’t need to add vanilla extract or cinnamon to make the dish aromatic. Coconut oil is able to do this by itself, and it’s healthier and more beneficial for your body.

6. Butter

Butter is the most popular substitute on this list since it is a must-have in every kitchen. There are many options when it comes to choosing the right butter to replace ghee. If you prefer something more flavorful, butter made from cow’s milk would be the right choice. And vegan butter is readily available to help you live a healthier lifestyle.

Because of its versatility, butter is an easy favorite. It is great on its own, especially when it’s paired with bread. It’s also perfect for baking and making savory dishes. Plus, it can also be purchased in large blocks, which is cheap, and can last for a long time.

7. Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the best, but most expensive, alternatives to ghee. It is a popular substitute for ghee in Europe and the Middle East. It is darker in color if you choose extra virgin olive oil. Plus, it is also very aromatic and flavorful.

You can use it for salad dressings, sauces and cooking oil to make healthy stir-fried and pan-fried dishes. It can also be used to bake cookies and brownies. However, it is not recommended for baking cakes as it doesn’t make fluffy cakes.

8. Clarified Butter

Clarified butter is closely like a liquid state of normal butter. It is prepared by having its milk curds separated from the water. Then, you will have golden, clear butter. Because of its bright yellow color, it looks almost the same as ghee but doesn’t harden when stored at a cold temperature.

Clarified butter is a great choice for making fried chicken and other crispy dishes. Since it doesn’t burn instantly, clarified butter is a great choice for deep-frying. Plus, it is very flexible so it can be used as an ingredient in cakes, cookies, and other baked goods.

9. Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil refers to any plant-extracted oils available on the market. And olive oil is one of these, which is the most nutritious. However, if that is unavailable, other healthy options include peanut oil, avocado oil and safflower oil.

One of the most used cooking oils in most kitchens is vegetable oil. It is easy to find, affordable, and simple to use. Plus, it can be used in a variety of cooking techniques, including deep-frying and pan-frying. When used as a substitute for ghee, it can be used in savory dishes.

10. Rapeseed Oil

Rapeseed Oil, from the Brassicaceae family, is similar to canola oil. Its high content of erucic acids is the only thing that makes it different from canola. It is highly recommended to consume it moderately, and to use it in smaller amounts if you can.

This oil can be used for many different dishes, particularly those savory ones. You can use a small amount of rapeseed oils to sauté ingredients for soups and stews. This is a great way to make use of the oil, but remember to only use the right amount.

Common Questions on Using Ghee For Cooking

Is ghee a healthy fat?

Yes, it’s a healthier choice than using regular cooking oils. It does not contain trans fats, which can lead to health problems. So it can be used to make healthier, balanced meals without putting your health at risk. However, it is still recommended to consume it in moderation, just as with any other food.

Does ghee have medicinal properties?

Yes. Since it has anti-inflammatory properties, ghee has the ability to treat swelling or infection from your body. It contains Butyrate, a beneficial compound in the oil that is helpful for the body’s immune system to combat harmful bacteria and toxins that may enter the body. Therefore, ghee can be a good home or medicinal remedy for minor cuts and burns.

Does ghee taste like butter?

Contrary to its appearance, ghee has a fresher and cleaner taste than butter. Plus, ghee is a healthier option that can be used in savory dishes. It won’t leave you with the after-taste of oily foods that you want to wash off with water. Ghee is subtler and less noticeable when used in small quantities. Also, it is made from grass-fed cows and has a higher quality.

Final Notes On Ghee Substitutes

And the list is done! These are 10 excellent options for ghee substitutes. Depending on the way you cook your dish, it’s up to which one you choose. However, it’s important to get to know the differences between them and try it out to see if you like it.

Make sure to check with your doctor before you use these alternatives. It’s possible that you are allergic to certain oils. So before substituting, it is best to weigh all options. Again, there are 10 options to choose from, so it is best to go with the healthier one for your next meal.

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