Google+ Spices in the Cookie Jar: Ghee Rice (Nei/Ney choru)


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ghee Rice (Nei/Ney choru)

We all have our list of go to recipes that we pull out when impromptu guests come knocking on our doors or revisiting some fond memories or planning a lazy Sunday meal or just because it makes you happy and its simple and easy to create yet tastes fantastic. Whatever the reason, these recipes get made quite often in your kitchen. The recipe I am sharing today ticks all the reasons mentioned above for me.
I remember while growing up my vellumma (my maternal grandmother) making ghee rice for Sunday lunches or when we had unannounced guests and it was always paired with a non-veg curry or fry, pappadam, raita, and parippu curry. Every time I make it the irresistible aroma transports me back to her kitchen. I don’t get to indulge in her cooking as often as I like to these days since she’s back home in Kerala but I do try to recreate the dish she so loving used to make for us. 
Ghee rice is quite easy to make and you will fall in love with the delicate earthy flavours of rice combined with a distinct taste of ghee and whole spices and a hint of sweetness from caramelized onion. This to me is the ultimate comfort food!! :) So, what's your idea of comfort food?
Rice - 2 cups (Kaima/Basmati rice)
Water - 3.5 cups (or 4 cups depending on the rice)
Garam masala - a pinch 
Ghee - 4 to 6 tbsp
Cloves - 8
Cardamom - 8 pods
Cinnamon -2 inch long piece
Bay leaf - 1
Star anise - 1 
Onions - 1/2 sliced
Salt as required

For Garnish:
Cashews- 2 tbsp,(use roasted or fry white ones)
Raisin- 1-2 tbsp
Onion- 1/2 cup, sliced extra fine
Garam masala- a pinch

Wash and soak the rice for 10 minutes, drain and keep aside. Lightly crush cardamom and cloves in a mortar and pestle. Heat 4 cups of water separately to boiling point (easier to do this in a kettle).
Heat ghee in a wide deep bottom pot and fry the cashews, raisins and extra thinly sliced onions separately till golden brown. Remove and spread on a paper towel.
In the remaining oil fry the crushed spices along with the remaining whole spices and a pinch of garam masala for a minute. Add sliced onion and fry till it turns translucent.
Add the drained rice and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Pour 3.5 cups of hot water along with salt and give it a good stir (check and adjust salt). Bring to boil on high flame, then cover and cook on low flame for 10 minutes (give the mixture a stir after 5 minutes).
After 10 minutes when there is no water visible at the top, open the lid and fluff the rice using a fork.
Take off flame, if the rice is not cooked keep the lid back on and let it rest for another 5 to 10 minutes. This will also help to absorb any excess water left at the bottom.
Fluff the rice before serving and garnish with fried onion, cashews, raisins and a sprinkle of garam masala.

If you want the rice to be separate and non sticky, add 3.5 cup water first and add more boiling water, if required. 
If the rice is cooked to your liking then fluff the rice and separate half to another bowl so the rice doesn't cook further in the steam. 
Always use a wide pot to cook the rice so it doesn't get too sticky. 
You can also use chopped fresh mint and coriander leaves for garnish.
Use a tsp of lemon juice along with boiled water to prevent rice from getting sticky.


  1. My husband's favorite rice. your look awesome.. I can almost smell them.. :)

  2. Thx girlie!!! glad u liked it :)