Clarification

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Clarification is usually applied to animal fats, whereby the non oil elements are separated from the water, minerals and proteins.

To produce clarified butter heat and melt the butter in a pan over a low heat until the butter separates into; casein (the froth), clarified butterfat in the middle and the remains at the bottom. Skim the froth and then use a ladle or a gravy separator to remove the butterfat.

Clarified butter will smoke at a much lower temperature than butter and will keep longer as bacteria cannot digest pure oil. This is why butterfat is often used in potting.

Other names for clarified butter

Names and uses in different countries

Ghee. Refrigerate after opening

In England, clarified butter is used in the process of potting, whereby foods such as shrimp and hare are conserved in pots of butter.

In Brazil, it is known as "manteiga de garrafa" (bottle butter) and is featured mostly in cuisine from the Northeast.

In Iran, it is known as "yellow oil" and is used in place of other oils.

In India, it is known as "ghee".

In Egypt, it is known as "samnah". It replaces oil in frying and sautéing due to a perceived superior flavour.

Smen

Smen (also called sman, semneh, or sminn) is a traditional cooking oil most commonly in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is produced using the butter made from the milk of sheep or goats. The butter is brought to boiling point for about 15 minutes, then skimmed, strained into a ceramic jar called a khabia, and salted before it curdles. The resulting grease will then be aged, often in sealed containers buried in the ground. It is similar to ghee and niter kibbeh, but has a characteristically strong, rancid, cheesy taste and smell. The older the smen, the stronger - and more valued - it becomes. Smen is traditionally used in the preparation of tagines and kdras, although it is becoming increasingly difficult to find, and is being replaced by the untraditional groundnut oil.

Berber farmers in southern Morocco will sometimes bury a sealed vessel of smen on the day of a daughter's birth, ageing it until it is unearthed and used to season the food served on that daughter's wedding.

How much does one cup of butter / margarine / fat / lard / ghee / shortening weigh?

Estimated US cup to weight equivalents:

Ingredient US Cups Grams Ounces
Butter / Margarine / Fat / Lard / Shortening
1
225 grams 8 ounces

Conversion notes:
Every ingredient has a cups to ounces or grams conversion table. Search for the ingredient, cup to weight conversions are at the end of each ingredient page.

We also have a generic conversion table and a portions per person lookup.

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