Monday, January 16, 2012

Malabar Ghee Rice

  NeyyChoru - The Malabar version

Ghee rice or Neyychoru is a very popular Malabar rice preparation, infused with spices and ghee giving it an intensely distinct flavour and aroma. This is the first rice recipe I learnt. I learnt it from a family friend of ours from Kannur, the largest city of the North Malabar region in Kerala. It's very simple and easy to make. But, follow the rules!!

To give it a healthy twist, I've tried substituting the ghee with coconut oil. But, take my word, it's not going to taste or smell as good as it does when prepared in pure ghee. Well, if you feel guilty using only ghee, you can very well combine ghee and coconut oil.

Ingredients :

Basmati rice

2 cup
Boiling water

4 cups
Pure ghee

1 tablespoon
Coconut oil

1 and 1/2 tablespoons
Onion, finely sliced

1 big
Cardamom pods

6 nos.

8-10 nos.
Cinnamon sticks, 1 inch pieces

3-4 pieces
Cumin seeds

1/3 teaspoon
Slit Cashew nuts

7-8 nos.

1 tablespoon full

To taste.

Some fry the rice in ghee and then cook it in boiling water. On the other hand, others boil water and add the rice to the water without frying. I have tried both, and I like the fried version better.

Preparation Method :

Wash and drain the rice.

In a heavy bottom shallow pot, heat the ghee and coconut oil. Into it add half the sliced onion until it begins to brown.

Then throw in the cashew nuts and raisins and fry till the raisins puff up and begin to brown slightly and the onion turns crisp.

Remove it from the ghee and drain them on a kitchen paper towel.

Into the same ghee, throw in the spices. The hot ghee really awakens the flavours of the spices.

Throw in the rest of the sliced onions and sauté until onion begins to brown slightly.

Add the drained rice. 

Fry for a minute or two on medium-high flame.

Add salt and pour in the boiling water and gently mix the rice in the water. Check the salt.

Please never make the mistake of adding cold or just warm water. It will ruin the whole dish. Use boiling water straight from the kettle. Soon as you add the water the rice should bubble in the pot of hot water.

Allow to boil on medium-high heat.
Once the rice starts absorbing water and the rice plumps up and water level drops down, reduce the heat and cover the pot with a lid and allow the rice to simmer and cook slowly in the rest of the water.

Once the rice is 90% cooked, put the lid back on and after a minute turn of the flame and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.

Open the pot and fluff up the rice to avoid it from sticking together.
Serve onto serving dish and garnish with the fried onion, cashew and raisins.
To add some colour, you can also garnish with some fresh coriander leaves.

This rice dish pairs well with Dal curry (parippu), raita, some pickle and paapad (pappadam). Some like it with non-veg curry.

Serves four


  1. Tried this one.. turned out good, specially the fried onions and cashews. Though I still need some practice with the quantity of boiling water.


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