Difference Between Ghee and Butter (With Table)

While cooking South Asian cuisine, it is obvious that you will come across ghee. In Indian tradition, it is used in many dishes. Whereas butter is commonly used in Western countries. Butter adds flavor to several dishes and for sauteed vegetables, it can be used as an alternative to oil.  

While preparing dessert or dinner, butter and ghee are required in certain recipes. Eating butter in moderation is not bad for you but ghee can work as an alternative. If you Google ghee you will also come across butter which is quite similar but they both are very different from each other. 

Ghee vs Butter 

The main difference between ingredients ghee and butter is that ghee is made from the milk of mammals. While butter is made from the protein and fat components of milk. The flavor of ghee is rich and nutly whereas creamy, sweet, and smooth is the flavor of butter. In terms of healthier options, ghee is preferred as compared to butter. 

Ghee is also known as clarified butter, drawn butter, butter oil, or AMF (Anhydrous Milk Fat) in Western countries. For cooking, at higher temperatures, ghee is preferred due to its higher smoking points. Smoking ghee does not produce a bad odor as milk solids produce when burning up. Ghee is preferred to people who are lactose intolerant.  

Butter is included in the dairy product because it is made from churning fermented or fresh cream or milk. It is the best option for the topping of a variety of dishes. If the butter is heated at a high temperature it can lead to butter burn which produces a distant odor. Due to its milk fats, the amount of butter is considered unhealthy. 

Comparison Table Between Ghee and Butter 

Parameters of ComparisonGheeButter
InterpretationIt is clarified butter which is made from the milk of buffalos and cows.It is a dairy product that is made from the protein and fat components of milk.
FlavorRich and nutlyCreamy, sweet, and smooth
Smoke pointHighLow
Shelf lifeRefrigerated: 1 year Refrigerated: 1 month
FatHigher cocentrationLower concentration

What is Ghee? 

Ghee in Sanskrit is called Ghrta. It arouses in ancient India and is commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine, Indian subcontinent cuisine, religious rituals, and traditional medicine. For cooking, vegetable ghee or modern vegetable shortening is used especially by vegans. In contrast, true ghee is also called an asli (genuine) or desi (home country) ghee.  

Ghee is produced by simmering butter (churned from cream), skimming impurities from the surface. Later pouring and let solid residue settle at the bottom for discard while clear liquid fat to retain. For flavor, spices are used. The quality of the butter, duration of boiling time, and milk source used in the process determine the color, taste, and texture of ghee.  

The ingredient ghee contains antioxidants, vitamins, and healthy fats. To absorb essential minerals and vitamins in the body ghee plays an important role. Cooking food with ghee helps to absorb more nutrients. Some of the health benefits consume ghee support heart health, combat obesity, alternative lactose products, and give anti-inflammatory effects.  

Carbonyls, lactones, free fatty acids, and alcohols are the main flavor components of it. The temperature of its clarification and ripening of the butter also affect the flavor of the ghee. Ghee is entirely composed of fat, especially saturated fats. Lactose and casein are present in negligible amounts. Thus, it is preferred to have lactose intolerance. 

What is Butter? 

Butter is a part of the dairy product which is made from the protein and fat components of churned cream. At room temperature, it is a semi-solid emulsion with 80% of butterfat. Butter can be used as a spread at room temperature, condiment if melted, and as an ingredient in source making, pan-frying, baking, and other cooking procedures.  

Butter is majorly made from cow’s milk but it can also be produced from other mammals’ milk such as yaks, sheep, buffalo, and goats. It is manufactured by churning milk or from the buttermilk in which cream separates from fat globules. Sometimes salt and food colorings are added to butter. Ghee or clarified butter is manufactured by rendering butter, removing the milk solids, and water.  

Butter can be a healthier part of the diet if it is eaten in moderation. It has a low carbohydrate diet which helps to maintain weight or lose weight. Some health benefits of butter are strengthened bones, lower the chances of cancer, make skin healthier, and also helps eyes.  

As butter has several benefits but there are also some potential drawbacks of butter. Milk solids that are present in butter will start burning and turn brown at a higher temperature. All over the world, several people are affected by lactose intolerance or milk protein allergies.  Butter can also raise LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) levels. 

Main Differences Between Ghee and Butter 

  1. Unsalted butter is used to make ghee which is acquired from any mammals such as cow, sheep, yaks, etc. On the flip side, milk is used to make the butter which is acquired from any animals such as goats, buffalos, cows, etc.  
  2. Ghee is made after a long process of dairy. Whereas butter takes short time as compared to ghee. As a result, dairy proteins in ghee are not the same level as butter and it is preferred for people who have a problem digesting dairy products.  
  3. When it comes to digestibility, ghee is easy to digest because it does not contain any casein or lactose. But butter contains casein and lactose which may cause digestive issues.  
  4. In terms of nutrients, ghee contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, and vitamin E. While butter contains vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin E.  
  5. Ghee is referred to as a healthier option as compared to butter. Because ghee has fewer calories while butter has more calories. Even the risk of cardiovascular disease is low in ghee. 


So, it can be concluded that both ghee and butter are types of dairy products. As they are extracted from mammals such as goats, cows, and buffalos, etc. They both are used in making dishes more delicious. But still, they two are very different from each other due to many reasons.  

For a healthier option, ghee is preferred because it is easy to digest as it does not contain any casein or lactose whereas butter does. Ghee has fewer calories but butter has more. Even the dairy proteins are not the same in ghee as butter. Thus, ghee is much healthier than butter. 


  1. https://analyticalsciencejournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jrs.4891
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.2001.tb16082.x
2D vs 3D