Neichoru or Ghee Rice is a traditional Muslim dish from the Malabar region of Kerala. A quick to make and easy dish, Neichoru is made by cooking rice with clarified ghee, spices, and dry fruits and is prepared on all special occasions like Ramadan and weddings.
Here’s one of my favorite lunches from Kerala – Neichoru made with Jeerakasala or Kaima rice, usually served with Chicken curry or Mutton curry.
This is often my go-to during personal lunches, get-togethers, or dinners. The best part is that it is easy and quick to prepare. That doesn’t mean it affects its grandeur.
Neichoru is just what the name says- Nei meaning Ghee and Choru meaning rice.
Kerala Style Ghee Rice has always been prepared for special occasions and festivals like a wedding or Ramadan. Usually served along with a non-vegetarian curry, usually a Mutton or Chicken Curry, you may also serve with a regular Dal Curry or Kerala Style Parippu (Dal) curry to relish its true deliciousness. I also serve pappad, pickle, and raita (challas) alongside.
Traditionally, Neichoru is prepared with Jeerakasala Rice or Kaima rice. It is short-grain rice with a distinct flavor of its own. However, you may prepare Neichoru with basmati rice as well.
The gorgeous aroma of ghee will waft through your house when you cook Neichoru and that’s a good thing!
Try once and the flavor would definitely make you want to prepare this every other day.
How to Cook Neichoru: Step by Step Instructions with Pictures
Preparing ghee rice is pretty easy. As the first step, let’s prepare the garnish.
- Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a pan and roast some cashews and raisins. Remove and keep aside.
- It’s now time to brown some onions. To the same pan, add finely sliced onions and a pinch of salt.
- Fry till it’s golden brown. Do not fry beyond this stage because onions tend to cook even after taking out of the hot ghee/oil.
- Spread apart on a plate and look at that color! Perfect.
5. To make the ghee rice, in the same pan, add one more tablespoon of ghee. Add a bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and star anise. Saute.
6. Add finely sliced onions and saute till brown.
7. Add washed Kaima rice and combine everything. Saute till all the water is evaporated.
8. To this, add water. Cover and cook until the rice is done.
How to cook rice:
You may cook rice on stovetop in a deep vessel/kadhai, or on a pressure cooker. If using a pressure cooker, after adding water, close with the lid and pressure cook for two whistles.
Alternatively, you can cook Neichoru in an electric rice cooker. After adding water, mix well and transfer the mixture to the electric rice cooker. Switch on the ‘cooking’ mode, just like you cook regular rice.
How to prepare Kerala Style Ghee Rice | Neichoru
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