Ghee Rice (Nei Choru, Neychoru)

4.50 from 4 votes

Ghee Rice (Nei Choru, Neychoru) is a Kerala-style rice dish in which rice is cooked with lots of ghee and spices. It is perfect as a side dish for everyday meals. Here is how to make it.

You may like some more rice recipes: Tahri, Hyderabadi Bagara Rice, Jeera Rice, South Indian Tomato Rice, and South Indian Lemon Rice.

Ghee rice served in a bowl.
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About Ghee Rice

Ghee Rice (Nei Choru, Neychoru) is a flavourful one-pot Kerala-style rice dish made using white rice, ghee, and a few spices. It is especially popular in the Malabar region of Kerala.

This simple rice dish comes together quickly using a few simple ingredients. It is served with curries and lentils for everyday meals, special occasions, and festivals.

Nei choru is also great to pack for school or office lunch boxes.

Any Malayali mess you go to, neychoru will be on their menu served along with prawn roast, kurma, or stew.

This perfect ghee rice recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free.

I like to make it in a pan over the stovetop, but you can also make it in a traditional pressure cooker or instant pot. I have mentioned the processes below.

Ingredients

RiceThis dish is traditionally made using Jeera Samba rice (seeraga samba rice). It is short-grain rice and is very flavorful. Having said that, I like to make it with long-grain basmati rice or even sona masuri rice.

Ghee – This is the key ingredient that adds a nice aroma to this dish. Use the best quality ghee for the best taste and flavor.

SpicesYou will need aromatic spices like green cardamoms (hari elaichi), cinnamon (dalchini), black peppercorns (kali mirch), and cloves (laung). Lightly crush them in a mortar and pestle for the best flavor.

You can also add bay leaf, cumin seeds, fennel seeds (saunf), and star anise (chakri phool) to this recipe.

Others – You will also need onions, green chilies, cashew nuts, raisins, salt, and water.

Adjust the green chilies as per your taste. If you are making it for kids, you can skip them, too.

How To Make Ghee Rice

Rinse 1 cup of white rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Soak it in 4-5 cups of water for 30 minutes.

Soaked white rice.

Heat 3 tablespoon ghee in a pan over medium heat.

Ghee heating in a pan.

Once the ghee is hot, add 5-6 whole cashew nuts and fry until light brown. Stir frequently while frying.

Cashew nuts added to the pan.

Now add 10-12 raisins to the pan and fry until they plump up.

raisins added to the pan.

Remove the cashew nuts and raisins to a bowl and keep them aside.

Removing fried cashew nuts and raisins from the pan.

Add the following whole spices and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.

  • 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole green cardamoms
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2-3 whole black peppercorns
Whole spices added to the pan.

Add ½ cup thinly sliced onions to the pan and fry until they turn dark brown (4-5 minutes), stirring frequently.

Onions added to the pan.
Onions fried until dark brown in color.

Drain the water from the rice and add it to the pan along with the following ingredients.

  • 2-3 green chilies (slit into half)
  • 2 cups of water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • fried cashews and raisins

Stir gently.

Rice, chilies, salt, water and fried cashew nuts and raisins added to the pan.

Reduce the heat to low.

Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook undisturbed for 20-25 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked well.

Pan covered with a lid.

Remove the pan from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.

pan removed from the heat.

Fluff the rice gently using a fork and serve hot. You can also garnish the rice with chopped coriander leaves and crispy fried onions.

Ready ghee rice fluffed with a fork.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use leftover rice to make neychoru?

Yes, you can! Heat ghee in a pan. Fry the cashew nuts and raisins and keep them aside. Add the whole spices and saute for 3-4 seconds. Add onions and green chilies, and fry until onions are golden brown. Now add 3 cups of cooked rice, salt, and fried cashew nuts and raisins and toss well to coat the rice with the ghee. Cook for 2-3 minutes and serve hot.

How to make an easy ghee rice recipe in a pressure cooker?

Follow the recipe until water is added to a 3-liter pressure cooker. Pressure cook the rice for 2 whistles on high heat. Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid and fluff the rice.

How to make nei choru in an instant pot?

Press the SAUTE button on a 3-quart instant pot and follow the recipe until the rice is in the pot.
Now add 2-3 green chilies (slit into half), 1 cup of water, ½ teaspoon salt, and fried cashew nuts and raisins. Stir gently.
Close the instant pot lid and set the valve to the sealing position.
Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 6 minutes at high pressure.
Once the timer goes off, do a 10-minute NPR followed by QPR.
Open the lid and fluff the rice using a fork. Serve hot.

Variations

Coconut Ghee Rice – You can cook the rice in thin coconut milk instead of water or add grated fresh coconut to the recipe.

Vegetable Neychoru – You can also add vegetables like green peas, potatoes, French beans, and carrots to make vegetable ghee rice.

Fruits Ghee Rice – You can add fruits such as mangoes, pineapple, or pomegranates just like vegetables.

Nuts-Loaded Nei Choru – Along with raisins and cashews, add more dried nuts such as pistachios and almonds or dry fruits like cranberries and apricots.

Egg Ghee Rice – Scramble an egg and mix it up with the cooked rice.

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Ghee Rice (Nei Choru, Neychoru) is a Kerala style rice dish where rice is cooked with lots of ghee and spices. This dish is perfect to serve as a side dish with your everyday meals. Here is how to make it.
4.50 from 4 votes

Ghee Rice Recipe (Nei Choru, Neychoru)

Ghee Rice (Nei Choru, Neychoru) is a Kerala style rice dish where rice is cooked with lots of ghee and spices. This dish is perfect to serve as a side dish with your everyday meals. Here is how to make it.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Soaking Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 3 people

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • 2 whole green cardamoms (hari elaichi)
  • 2-3 cloves (laung)
  • 2-3 whole black peppercorns (kali mirch)
  • 5-6 whole cashew nuts
  • 10-12 raisins
  • ½ cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2-3 green chilies (slit into half)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
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Instructions 

  • Rinse rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Soak it in 4-5 cups of water for 30 minutes.
  • Heat ghee in a pan over medium heat.
  • Once the ghee is hot, add cashew nuts and fry until they are light brown in color. Stir frequently while frying.
  • Now add raisins to the pan and fry until they plump up.
  • Remove the cashew nuts and raisins to a bowl and keep them aside.
  • Add cinnamon stick, green cardamoms, cloves, and black peppercorns, and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds.
  • Add onions to the and fry until they turn dark brown in color (4-5 minutes), stirring frequently.
  • Drain the rice and add it to the pan along with green chilies, water, salt, and fried cashew nuts and raisins. Stir gently.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook undisturbed for 20-25 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked well.
  • Remove the pan from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Fluff the rice gently using a fork.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and crispy fried onions and serve hot.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

This dish is traditionally made using Jeera Samba rice, which is short-grain and very flavorful. However, I like to make it with long-grain basmati rice or even sona masuri rice.
Adjust the green chilies as per your taste. If you are making it for kids, you can skip them, too.

Nutrition

Calories: 399kcal, Carbohydrates: 57g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 501mg, Potassium: 157mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 1mg
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