Ghee Rice is an emotion! Making perfect ghee rice should be a backpocket recipe that you can pull out every time you have guests or just want to add some oomph to a simple meal. Also called Neychoru or Nei Choru, this recipe is from Kerala – one of my favourite food places!
It’s one of the simplest dishes to make, but the texture of every grain and the taste of aromatic ghee in every bite will give you so much satisfaction! Like my jeera rice recipe, this recipe doesn’t need much, takes very little time to put together, but the result is stunning. Like they say – simplicity is beauty!!
I got introduced to Ghee Rice in Bangalore. Anybody else scarfed down plates of Ghee Rice and Kebab at Empire in the wee hours of the morning?
Plus all those Malayali Messes where you can get some prawn roast with ghee rice or kurma with ghee rice for literally nothing? But the flavours – I fell in love!!!
The Right Rice for Ghee Rice
Traditionally, ghee rice is made with jeera samba rice (very short grained rice that’s aromatic and flavourful). But you can easily use basmati or sona masoori rice as well. The cooking time and amount of water remains the same irrespective of the rice you use. I’ve tested it with jeera samba, basmati and sona masoori and it works every single time.
Use High Quality Ghee
This recipe barely has any ingredients and with recipes like this, you have to make sure each ingredient is high quality. If you are buying ghee, don’t skimp and buy something thats organic, preferably A2 and has a beautiful aroma (when in doubt, take a whiff). Or better still, make your own ghee with my easy ghee recipe. That’s what I do!
My #1 Tip for Non Mushy Rice
I have only tip for making Ghee Rice every time that has perfectly cooked, non mushy rice with separate grains. And that’s to toast the drained rice till it starts to smell slightly nutty, and you can see that most of the moisture has evaporated. You’ll also see the ghee coating every single grain of rice and that’s what you want. Toasting the rice ensures that once its cooked, the grains stay separate.
A lot of people also like to add raisins to ghee rice but in our house nobody is a fan of biting into raisins when it comes to savory foods so I’m skipping it. If you want to, just lightly saute the raisins in ghee along with the cashews. You’ll see the raisins puff up and thats when they are ready.
Water to Rice Ratio
As with most of my recipes, I prefer a ratio of 2:1 water to rice, when cooking rice like this. A lot of rice cooks with residual steam. After 6 minutes of cooking, the rice has absorbed all the water, but letting it rest covered for 10 minutes lets it continue cooking in the residual steam and that gives you plump, perfectly cooked rice that’s not mushy or over cooked.
I can’t recommend this recipe enough. It looks gorgeous on the table and is the fastest, simplest way to oomph up lunch or dinner! Pair this with curries such as Vegetable Korma, Chicken Korma or my favourite – Fish Curry.
Watch the Video
How to make Ghee Rice
- 1 cup Jeera Samba Rice any short grained rice/ basmati rice
- 3 tbsp Ghee
- 2 tbsp Cashew Nuts
- 1 medium Onion sliced
- 1 tsp Fennel
- 4-5 Cloves
- 2 Cardamoms
- 1 inch piece Cinnamon
- 1 Bayleaf
- 2 Shallots finely chopped
- ½ tsp Salt
- 2 cups Water
- Wash the rice 3-4 times till the water runs almost clear. Soak the rice in enough water to cover it with an extra inch of water for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Heat ghee in a pot and add cashews. Fry the cashews for 2-3 minutes till they turn golden brown and remove them from the pan.
- In the same pan, add onions and fry them on medium heat till they become crisp and golden brown. Remove them and set aside.
- In the remaining ghee, saute fennel, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and bayleaf for a minute or so until fragrant.
- Drain all the water from the rice and add the rice to the pan. Toast the rice on a medium flame for 3-4 minutes till it smells nutty and looks toasty. Add chopped shallots around the 2 minute mark and toast along with the rice.
- Add salt and water and bring this to a quick boil. As soon as the water comes to a roaring boil, reduce the flame to low, cover and cook for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, turn off the flame and let this rest covered for 10 minutes.
- Top with cashews and fried onions. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot.