Ghee is a high-quality nutty and aromatic cooking oil that is very popular in Indian and Asia for sauteing, deep-frying, stir-frying, and baking dishes.
For most people, this oil may seem irreplaceable; however, sometimes, this delicious deep-frying agent is not always available for everyone.
Some areas are even experiencing an acute shortage of this oil. And when compared to other clarified butter with almost similar or more quality than Ghee, Ghee is even MORE expensive.
So if you can’t tolerate this oil anymore, there are numerous ghee alternatives you could get by just snapping your fingers — some of which have no discernible difference in your dish.
Some of the best ghee substitutes we’ll be discussing below are sunflower oil, butter, soybean oil, Sesame Oil, canola oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and rapeseed oil.
7 Best Ghee Substitutes
1. Sunflower Oil
Well, if you’re looking for a pocket-friendly alternative that is abundant in almost any grocery store, I can vouch for sunflower oil.
Sunflower oil will make an excellent Glee substitute for deep-frying because it has a high smoking point of about 450º F, which is only 30º F closer to Ghee on the smoke scale.
And as you know, it is ideal to try with high smoking oils, as the nutrients won’t escape from the food that easily.
So go ahead and swap Ghee at a 1:1 or 3: 4 ratio for sautéing, deep-frying, stir-frying, and baking.
I won’t suggest it for extensive frying due to its high smoke point — although some people still use it for that — but it will taste burnt and less edible.
Mind you, for every 3: 4 ratio swap, you must reduce the moisture from another ingredient in the recipe.
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2. Soybean Oil
Ahhhhhh, soybean oil — my favorite vegetable oil ever.
Do you know this oil is one of the most widely consumed cooking oils and the second most consumed vegetable oil?
I won’t even think twice to trade any of these oils for soybean oil.
Extracted from the seeds of the soybean, this oil is versatile and user-friendly.
Soybean has a mild, neutral taste that fits seamlessly into nearly any recipe that calls for ghee cooking oil.
Aside from that, this oil is relatively high in smoke point of about 450°F (230°C) — meaning it can withstand high temperatures without breaking down.
This makes it a good choice for high-heat cooking methods like frying, roasting, baking, and sautéing.
Swap for Ghee following the 1:1 or 3: 4 ratio.
Soybeans are also seen as a healthier alternative to Ghee, but you might consider using extra flavors to compensate for its lack of seasoning.
And like sunflower oil, I won’t recommend it in deep frying.
But more importantly, try not to consume an excess of it.
I know we said it is healthier. But constantly consuming this oil may lead to the imbalance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats because many processed foods are high in the former.
And this can lead to chronic inflammation, obesity, and cognitive decline.
So eat clean!
3. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil has to be on this list, as this oil is one of the earliest-known crop-based oils.
Besides, a lot of people find its distinctive nutty flavor profile much like Ghee.
Like Ghee, it is famous in most Asian countries and is ideal for sauteing meats and vegetables or for adding to marinades, salad dressing, noodles, rice dishes, including sauces.
It’s extracted from fresh sesame seeds, which is why it’s thicker and darker in color.
Interestingly, it is considered more of a healthier option to use because it is extremely high in antioxidants and has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Among other things is its ability to help control blood sugar, treat arthritis, and maintain a healthier heart condition.
Mind you, there are different types of sesame oil, mostly cold-pressed and toasted sesame oil, which are a little different.
The cold-pressed version is much milder and almost sweeter.
The richer and closer to Ghee among the both of them is the toasted version — pretty interchangeable with about ⅓ cup of sesame oil to ½ cup of Ghee.
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4. Canola Oil
While Canola oil may not be popular as soybean and sunflower oil, it will also do justice to just about any Indian recipe whenever Ghee is not around.
Extracted from crushed canola seeds, it is lower in erucic acid and saturated fat than most oils.
And as you know, cutting down on saturated fats aid in reducing your cholesterol levels — thus making canola among the best oils for heart health.
Canola oil has a smooth texture, a mild flavor, as well as a high smoke high, which gives it an edge among other clarified butter in terms of versatility.
You can use it in a wide variety of recipes and cooking methods like cooking oil for grilling, sauteing, stir-frying, and baking; top in sauces, salad dressings, as well as marinades.
Sadly, they aren’t my favorite for baking owing to their low-fat content, which will fail to make your pastries airy or soft.
Use ¾ cup of Canola oil to replace one cup of Ghee.
Also, since there isn’t much flavor, you might consider using additional spices to enhance the overall flavor profile.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another flavorful yet expensive ingredient like Ghee.
While it won’t be the best choice if you’re on a budget, it is excellent for high heat cooking. Whether it is for baking or sautéing, you can’t go wrong with this oil.
I won’t hesitate to say coconut oil has a place in a balanced diet, and like Ghee, adds a sweet, nutty flavor when used in cooking.
Pressed from the flesh of the coconut, there are two variations of this oil: refined and unrefined.
It is a no-brainer; the unrefined version will be packed with coconut flavor than the purified product.
However, replacing Ghee with either of these oils calls for the same one-for-one ratio measurement.
6. Olive Oil
When it comes to sautéing, frying, marinating, and dressing, nothing beats the natural flavors of ghee and olive oil in any recipe.
Even though olive oil is one of the most expensive, it is undoubtedly the healthiest choice on this list, especially if you’re going for the extra virgin olive oil.
If you’re short on Ghee, olive oil is your best bet. Please be reminded the virgin olive oil tends to be darker in color.
It is known for bringing out that natural flavors in your dish to satisfy your taste buds —from pasta, baked goods to all kinds of salads.
You can also take your marinades, dressings, and sauces to the next level drizzling the olive oil.
To substitute Ghee with olive oil, use a three-quarter volume scale. This means for one cup of Ghee; you should use ¾ cup of olive oil.
7. Rapeseed Oil
Rapeseed oil is similar to canola oil as its root can be traced to the same Brassicaceae family. The major difference is the former is richer in erucic acid.
This oil is famous and commonly used around the globe due to its versatility and affordability.
More importantly, the delicate, nutty flavor can easily take the position of Ghee in roasting, frying, baking, marinades, deep-fat frying, dipping, sauces, and drizzling without any noticeable differences.
Therefore, if you’re not really into the nutty ghee taste, rapeseed Oil would be your new sauteing or frying companion since it is likely to be overpowered by the other flavors in your recipe.
On top of that, rapeseed Oil has a high smoke point. It will be a fantastic choice for high cooking temperatures like roasting veggies or frying mushrooms.
One of the convincing healthy characteristics of rapeseed oil is it is naturally high in unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat.
Additionally, It’s an excellent source of vitamin E, which aids eye and skin health. Rapeseed Oil also helps lower blood pressure and diminish the likelihood of heart attack.
But be WARNED! This oil should be consumed moderately as it contains a tremendous amount of erucic acid, which tends to cause certain heart conditions.
To swap, add 3 parts oil for every 4 parts Ghee.
In conclusion, there is nothing wrong with using regular cooking oils or butter as they are by far the most commonly used types in any household. Moreover, it’s rare to not see them in any grocery store.
However, if you prefer a more flavorful and healthier lifestyle, choosing any of the above Ghee substitutes will do you better.
I know there’s a ton of choices to pick from.
Would it be olive oil, coconut oil, Soybean Oil, or Sesame Oil?
Well, at your earliest convenience, leave us a comment below on the one you finally chose.
Again, they are all safe to use for a healthier and balanced diet without putting your health on the line. Yet, it’s advisable to consume them moderately, just like any pantry staple.
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