Ghee Rice

Ghee Rice Recipe (Nei choru): A Culinary Delight for Every Occasion

Classic ghee rice is a flavorful side dish that features clarified butter (ghee), onions, and lots of rich spices. This rice dish is also popular in Kerala and known as Neychoru/Nei choru. Often in Malayali mess, it is served with kurma or stew.

This recipe is not just about mixing ghee in steamed rice but for preparing more delicious steamed rice wherein raw rice grains, nuts, and flavoring spices are sautéed in ghee before cooking them in a pressure cooker.

From start to finish this ghee rice recipe is ready in under fifty minutes (including the soaking time for rice). It is perfect for serving as part of a hearty dinner any night of the week, and the leftovers are delicious to enjoy for several days.

This aromatic rice is mildly flavored, and you can prepare it with just a few handfuls of ingredients. In Karnataka, this dish is served during breakfast and at lunchtime in Restaurants. Also served at most weddings and other parties.

ghee rice
ghee rice

Ingredients for ghee rice

  • 1 tablespoon ghee/clarified butter
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 8 cashew (halves)
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 medium Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Green chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon Ginger garlic paste
  • 2 cups Water
  • Salt as needed
  • 2 tablespoons Coriander leaves chopped

Whole Spices

  • 1 bay leaf / tej patta
  • 1 small Cinnamon stick
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 2-3 Cloves (lavang)
  • ½ tsp pepper

Instructions for ghee rice

  1. Rinse basmati rice in water until the water runs clear of starch.
  2. Soak them for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drain the soaked rice and keep it aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee in a pressure cooker.
  4. Add the cashews first. Fry for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Then add the raisins. Fry the raisin also for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Do stir continuously while frying the raisins and cashews.
  7. Then remove them to a plate and set them aside.
  8. To the same ghee, add bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and pepper.
  9. let them crackle and turn fragrant.
  10. Add sliced onion, green chilies, and ginger garlic paste and saute until translucent-stir regularly.
  11. Now add the soaked rice and roast for 1 minute without breaking rice grains.
  12. Add salt to taste and 2 cups water. Add water as required depending on the quality of the rice.
  13. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid.
  14. cover and simmer for 20 minutes or pressure cook for 2 whistles.
  15. Let the pressure fall naturally in the cooker. Open and fluff the ghee rice.
  16. Serve hot or warm.

Serving Suggestions

Garnish the ghee rice with the fried cashews and raisins, and serve hot or warm. For an extra pop of fresh flavor, you can top with some chopped coriander or mint leaves.
Enjoy South Indian ghee rice with curd. It is more delicious and palate-satisfying when served with pickle, Dal, and tomato chutney.
It is perfect to pair with gravy-based dishes like rich any Indian curry or with dals, or korma varieties like vegetable korma or potato korma.

Storage suggestions

Keep any leftovers in your refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. Reheat by steaming in the Instant pot or in a pan for 5 minutes.

Tips and Variations

  • First, use good quality basmati rice for long-grain rice.
  • If you do not have a pressure cooker then cook it in a pan. Add the same amount of water and cover it with a lid while cooking for around 10-12 minutes.
  • If you overcook the rice or have added more water the rice grains will become mushy or sticky.
  • finally, the ghee rice recipe tastes great when served hot.

Ghee Rice


1. Can I use regular butter instead of ghee?

While you can substitute regular butter for ghee, the unique flavor of ghee is what makes Ghee Rice exceptional. Ghee’s nutty and rich taste enhances the dish’s overall flavor, so it’s recommended to use ghee for an authentic experience.

2. What type of rice should I use for Ghee Rice?

For the best results, use long-grain Basmati rice. Its elongated grains remain separate when cooked and have a delightful aroma, which is perfect for Ghee Rice.

3. What are the essential spices used in Ghee Rice?

The essential spices for Ghee Rice include cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaves. These whole spices are sautéed in ghee to infuse the rice with their aromatic essence.

4. Can I customize the spiciness of Ghee Rice?

Absolutely! The spiciness of Ghee Rice can be adjusted to suit your preferences. You can increase or decrease the amount of whole spices and chili peppers to control the level of heat in the dish.

5. Is Ghee Rice a vegetarian dish?

It can be prepared both as a vegetarian and non-vegetarian dish. Vegetarian versions may include caramelized onions, roasted cashews, and vegetables, while non-vegetarian variations can incorporate chicken or shrimp for added protein.

6. What are the ideal side dishes to serve with Ghee Rice?

Ghee Rice pairs beautifully with a variety of side dishes, such as raita (yogurt with herbs and spices), pickles, chutneys, or a range of curries. Whether you prefer vegetarian or non-vegetarian sides, Ghee Rice is a versatile accompaniment.

7. Is Ghee Rice suitable for special occasions?

Absolutely! it is a popular choice for festive occasions, weddings, and special celebrations. Its luxurious flavor and elegant presentation make it a delightful addition to any special event’s menu.


In the realm of culinary experiences, Ghee Rice stands as a timeless classic, offering a symphony of flavors and textures that will impress even the most discerning palates. Whether you’re celebrating a special event or seeking comfort in a delicious meal, Ghee Rice is the answer. Its preparation is simple, yet the result are nothing short of extraordinary. So, why wait? Embrace the magic of Ghee Rice and let your taste buds revel in this culinary delight.

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