Ney Choru – Aromtic Ghee Rice from Kerala

We Indians are big on entertaining at home, with the motto Adithi Daivobhava (Guest is God) held close to our generous hearts. Once the guests are invited and a time and date is fixed to suit everyone’s convenience (the time being just a formality, since guests are expected to arrive atleast an hour late), the hosts spend a couple of days cooking up a storm that should be sufficient to feed the entire neighbourhood – twice over. Post cooking, the house is cleaned up (which, in my case, involves stuffing the cupboards and underneath the beds with clothes, toys and other knickknacks inorder to clear a path wide enough for everyone to walk around) and the hosts wait for the guests to show up. If the dinner is supposed to start at 7, it is safe to assume that everyone arrives by around nine, so the host is in for a long wait.

To recap, the host has broken his backbone cooking and cleaning, and spent an hour or so waiting for everyone to arrive. So, it is only fair that everyone shows him appreciation by eating as much as possible. Atleast that’s what the host thinks (or maybe it has something to do with being hospitable), but the guests are coaxed and prodded into stuffing themselves till they are almost bursting. Unless you are prepared to offend the host, allow him pile a rice heap the size of Mt Everest on your plate, followed by one more heap once you have demolished the first one, followed by one more unless you throw yourself on your plate to convince your host that there is no more space available inside you. (Tip: Gluttons, place yourself right next to the host at the dinner table.). Once the rice bowl is almost empty (the sign of a successful dinner) and the host is assured that his guests will need a crane to be lifted out of their chairs, everyone is free to go home and ease themselves into their groaning beds.

This is how our traditional dinner parties go, but today we may just not have enough time and energy to produce seven course meals. But we obviously want to produce something spectacular and celebratory when we have people coming over and enjoy ourselves in the process. This ghee rice recipe is just the kind of recipe that the working host needs. Served alongside a spicy curry, you may not have to push your guests too much into polishing off the rice bowl.

Ghee rice or ney choru is a mildly spiced and aromatic rice dish that goes well with curries and finds a prominent place in celebrations, especially Muslim functions. It essentially involves cooking rice with spices, herbs, onions and nuts fried in ghee. If you go through the recipe, you may find that it uses a lot of ghee. But this dish is quite subtle and I suggest that you use as much ghee as is mentioned so you can enjoy it to the fullest. Hit the gym afterwards.

  • Servings: 4-serving
  • Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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We Indians are big on entertaining at home, with the motto Adithi Daivobhava (Guest is God) held close to our generous hearts. Once the guests are invited and a time and date is fixed to suit everyone’s convenience (the time being just a formality, since guests are expected to arrive atleast an hou

Summary

  • Cuisine: indian
  • Course: main course
  • Cooking Time: 20 mins

Ingredients

2 cups Long grained basmati rice
1/2 cup Ghee
1 1/4 cups Thin , long onion slices
1/4 cup Raisins (kismis)
1/4 cup Cashewnuts
1 tablespoon Chopped coriander leaves
1 tablespoon Chopped mint leaves
1 Dried bay leaf
4 Cloves
4 pods Cardamom
4 Cinnamon sticks (each about an inch long)
1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
5 cups Boiling water
To taste, Salt

Steps

  1. Wash rice grains and soak in water for about 15 minutes. Drain water.
  2. Heat ghee in a large pan/pot and fry half the onions till they turn golden brown.
  3. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
  4. Fry cashew nuts till they start to change color. Remove.
  5. Add raisins and fry till they look plump.
  6. Remove and keep aside.
  7. Fried onions and cashew nuts taste delicious and if you want be left with enough to serve at dinner time, you may need to hide them.
  8. In the same ghee, add the spices and leaves and fry for a couple of minutes over low flame.
  9. Add remaining onions and fry over medium flame till the onion turns translucent.
  10. Add rice grains and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  11. Take care to move the rice around gently so as to not break the grains. Add boiling water.
  12. Once the water comes to boil, add salt.
  13. Reduce heat to minimum, cover and cook till water is completely absorbed.
  14. Once done, remove from heat and fluff rice with a fork.
  15. Top with the fried onions, cashew nuts and raisins that you salvaged.

Hope you try it out this Eid!

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