Ghee rice is a traditional Indian dish made by cooking basmati rice in ghee (clarified butter) along with aromatic spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaves. It is an easy preparation which is quite flavourful and pairs well with Indian curries. In Kerala, ghee rice is called “Nei Choru” and the main difference is the variety of rice used. A typical Kerala style ghee rice preparation will use the short grained kaima or jeerakashala rice instead of the basmati rice. The difference in the variety of rice used does lend a difference in the taste of the final preparation too.
Ghee rice can be prepared in a pan or kadai and does not necessarily need a pressure cooker. Once the basmati or jeerakashala rice is soaked for a while in water, the cooking time reduces. And it is easy to cook it in a pot. Pressure cooking could actually over-cook the rice.
Ghee rice gets its flavours primarily from the ghee used and the whole spices added to it. So do use a good quality ghee for making this. The recipe I have shared here is that of a Kerala style Nei Choru or Ghee Rice and hence uses the kaima or jeerakashala rice. However, you can replace it with basmati rice if that is what you have available with you.
Ghee RiceCourse: MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
A flavourful preparation of rice that pairs well with Indian curries!
Kaima/Jeerakashala Rice – 2 cups
Ghee – 3-4 tbsp
Cardamom – 3
Cinnamon – 1-inch piece
Cloves – 4-5
Mace – a small piece
Onion – 1 small, sliced
Hot Water – 3 cups
Lemon Juice – 1/2 tsp
Salt – as per taste
Fried Cashews – 2 tbsp
Fried Raisins – 2 tbsp
Fried Onion – 1 small, thinly sliced
- Wash the rice and soak it for 10 min. After 10 min, drain the water and leave it on a strainer to strain off all water.
- In a kadai, add ghee and add the whole spices to it. To this, add the onion and let it fry till translucent.
- Add the drained rice to it and gently fry for 5 min.
- Next, add the hot water, lemon juice and salt and mix well. Cover and cook for 6-8 min till almost done.
- While the rice is cooking, in another pan, add some ghee.
- Fry the cashews in it and when it starts changing color, add the raisins and fry till plump. Remove from ghee and add the thinly sliced onions and fry till golden brown. Add a little salt to fasten the process.
- Add half of the fried cashews, raisins and onions along with the ghee to the cooked rice and mix it gently.
- Top it with the remaining fried dry fruits and onions and keep it covered for another 10 min. And it’s ready to be served.