Garlic Masala Ghee Recipe

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Ghee is the golden elixir from India that is renowned in Ayurvedic cooking. Ayurveda is the 5,000-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.

Makes 2-4 servings | 90 minutes

  • 3 whole heads of garlic
  • 3-4 whole shallots
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds or pods, crushed lightly
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed lightly
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, very lightly crushed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 stick (4 oz) butter
  • 1 cup chopped mixed herbs (rosemary, oregano, or sage)


1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Slice the whole heads of garlic in half as a cross-section. Lay them cut-side down onto an 8-10-inch-round cast iron pan or a baking pan. Peel the shallots, slice each one in half and place them around the garlic. Sprinkle the cardamom, black pepper, and salt.

2. Pour the olive over the garlic, shallots, and spices. Cut the butter into small pieces and place around the garlic mix. Wrap this entire pan with foil and pinch the edges tightly. Place in the oven in the middle rack for 45 minutes to one hour.

3. Check the pan 2-3 times throughout, making sure the garlic is not burning. Lower the heat to 250F and continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and pinch off the garlic skins (they should slide right off).

4. Sprinkle the coriander seeds and herbs over the ghee and serve.

Notes & Variations

  • To crush hard spices like cardamom or black pepper, wrap them in a napkin and use a small hammer. Or use a mortar and pestle – however, the spices may fly! Or use a rolling pin and crush them.
  • To crush soft spices like coriander, just use a rolling pin or a mortar and pestle.
  • Replace shallots with thickly sliced red or white onions (yellow have a lot of moisture).
  • Replace olive oil with sesame or any other oil of your choice, or make it entirely plant-based by using oil only and skipping the butter.
  • The mix may be made a few days before — just add the herbs at the end.
    Use the leftover mix to cook with.

Tags: Healthy Recipes, Sauces, International Cuisine

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Written By

Laura Hazlett

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CircleAround will make financial distributions to benefit current Girl Scouts: the next generation of trailblazers who will CircleAround after us. So CircleAround for inspiration, and CircleAround the leaders of tomorrow. CircleAround is owned by One GS Media, a subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA.

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