Ghee vs Butter: What’s the Difference?

People stick to what they know, cooking meals and using ingredients that are familiar to them. However, having access to a whole archive of culinary understanding through the internet has made many people more experimental with the foods that they cook and use.

Some of these new ingredients are used similarly to ingredients in the west, like ghee and butter, for example. But is the internet telling the truth? Are those ingredients really that similar? 

Ghee differs from butter in that it does not contain any milk solids. They are separated when the ghee is cooked. Butter, however, contains ample milk solids made from milk or cream. 

What is Ghee?

There are two types of ghee in the culinary world, French ghee and Indian ghee. In both cases, the general definition of ghee remains the same. Still, seeing as ghee is an Indian invention, it is the Indian variation of ghee that is most often referred to in recipes. 


Ghee is essentially just butter that has been separated from the fat and the milk solids to create clarified butter.

Regular butter is simmered on low heat until the water is cooked out and the butter separates. The resulting fat and milk solids are cooked further to enrich their colour and flavour and then strained until only the butter fat remains. 

As the butter fat is cooked, it develops a roasted nutty flavour which becomes more apparent the longer the butter fat is cooked.

Ghee also has a wonderfully natural golden colour. Because there are no milk solids in the ghee anymore, it does not have the creamy consistency you would expect of a butter-based product. 

What is the Difference Between French and Indian Ghee?

Indian ghee caramelizes the separated milk solids in the butter fat before straining the fat, while French ghee removes the milk solids as soon as they are separated. 

What is Butter?

Butter is one ingredient that everyone takes for granted in the kitchen and everyday life.

No matter if you want a warm butter piece of toast or are craving a sweet homemade cake, butter is in so many of our foods that we tend not to notice. But what actually is butter? 


There is no way to pinpoint the exact origin of butter as it has been a staple in homes worldwide for thousands of years.

However, the general idea of butter has mostly stayed the same throughout history. It is simply milk or cream that has been churned until a solid block of dairy remains. 

There are few other ways to describe butter than buttery. Its texture is smooth and creamy with a rich taste. You can eat butter by itself if you really want to, but it is intended to be used in cooking as fat or spread on bread. 

How Do You Make Homemade Butter?

It has become a viral trend recently to make your own butter at home, which is easy enough to do so long as you have the arm muscles and stamina to churn cream for long enough! 

Similarities Between Ghee and Butter

It can be easy to see how someone introduced to ghee for the first time would have it confused with butter. After all, there are plenty of similarities between the two, like:

  • Sources Of Fat – In the kitchen, ghee and butter are most commonly used as forms of fat. Whether that be in baking, frying or even making a quick warm dinner. The main component of butter and ghee is fat which is why they can often be used as cooking oil replacements. 
  • Rich Flavours – There are few ways to describe the flavour of either butter or ghee other than rich. This is why they are used so much in cooking, as they can help to make the flavours in your dish richer and more impactful. 
  • Worldwide Uses – Butter is so old that its history cannot really be traced. Historians know that butter has been used all through the world all through history. Ghee is also used around the world with a few variations of fat. It is also becoming increasingly popular in everyday Western cooking.

Differences Between Ghee and Butter

At first glance, ghee and butter may seem inseparable but they have some core differences as ingredients to note before you use them:

  • Final Texture – The lack of milk solids in ghee means that as a solid block, it is quite gritty and not very creamy at all. Butter, on the other hand, is very creamy and smooth. Hence why, ‘buttery’ is used to describe other foods of the same texture. 
  • Main Flavours – Though most struggle to pinpoint the flavour of butter, it is best described as creamy. Ghee has been cooked and roasted, which gives the ghee a nutty flavour. This nutty flavour is strong enough to be infused into your cooking. 
  • Lack Of Milk Solids – Ghee does not have milk solids in it. It does have milk solids for a while as it simmers but then the milk solids are separated from the final result. Butter is made of cream or milk, so milk solids play a big part in the overall consistency, flavour and experience of butter. 
  • Making Process – Butter is a simple affair which is why it has been made and used by all kinds of people through the years. So long as you have some milk or cream to churn, then you can make butter. Ghee requires heat to be made and already formed butter from the start.

Ghee vs Butter: Which Wins?

If you had to stick to using one or the other, which would you vote for? Would you prefer to cook with ghee or butter?

Do You Prefer Butter or Ghee?

Ghee and Butter FAQs

If you have more questions about ghee, butter and their differences, then check these FAQs out:

Does Ghee Taste Like Butter?

No, ghee does not taste too similar to butter. You’ll find ghee has a nuttier, roasted flavour to it, whereas butter is mainly creamy.

What are the Benefits of Ghee?

One of the main benefits to using ghee is that it has a higher smoke point than butter. This means you can use it for faster, hotter cooking methods like frying.


Where we obtain our information and verify the facts in this article:


Nutritional profiles and differences for ghee and butter.

BBC Good Food

What butter is and how it is made.

Bon Appetit

What ghee is and how it is made.

How to Reheat Indian Food

How to Reheat Indian Food

Acacia Crossley
Fleur De Sel vs Maldon

Fleur De Sel vs Maldon: What’s the Difference?

Acacia Crossley

Leave a Comment

Latest Reads

Can You Mix Alfredo and Marinara Sauce

Can You Mix Alfredo and Marinara Sauce?

Elizabeth Masterman
Can You Marinate Brussel Sprouts

Can You Marinate Brussel Sprouts?

Acacia Crossley
Best Sauce for Sushi

The Best Sauce for Sushi

Acacia Crossley
Best Sauce for Rice

The Best Sauce For Rice

Acacia Crossley
Best Sauce for a Chicken Sandwich

The Best Sauce For A Chicken Sandwich

Acacia Crossley