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Ghee Rice (Malabar Nei Choru)

Ghee Rice is a deliciously moreish buttery rice dish enriched with ghee (clarified butter) and spices such as cardamom, cinnamon and whole cloves. It is topped off with caramelised onions and jewels of lightly fried cashew nuts and raisins.
AuthorGeorge Alexander
PREP TIME5 minutes
COOK TIME25 minutes
TOTAL TIME30 minutes
Servings6 servings
CourseMain Course Side Dish
CuisineGluten-Free Indian Vegetarian
KeywordButter Rice Ghee Rice Indian Rice
Calories368 kcal


  • 2 cups basmati rice (high-grade)
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 2 piece (1") cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup white onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 cups cold water

for the garnish

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 medium white onion (sliced)
  • 1/4 cup cashew nuts (halved)
  • 1/4 cup raisins


prepare the rice

  • Wash the basmati rice under cold running water several times until the water runs clear. Drain the rice and set it aside.
  • Over a medium flame, heat ghee in a saucepan until it has warmed. Add cinnamon sticks, star anise, whole cloves, cardamom and bay leaf and lightly toss in the warmed ghee for a few seconds.
  • Add the sliced onions along with ½ tsp of sea salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the onions become translucent. Then add the ginger and garlic paste and sauté for a further minute just so the rawness cooks out.
  • Pour the drained rice into the pot and gently fold into the spice mix. When the rice has been completely coated add the cold water and cook uncovered over a high flame.
  • When most of the water has been absorbed, and there are still a few wet bubbles forming, turn the flame right down and cover with a lid. Leave the ghee rice to steam for 15-20 minutes. Once cooked, turn the flame off and set aside.

prepare the garnish

  • Heat sunflower oil in a frying pan over a medium-low flame. When the oil has warmed add sliced onion and fry until golden brown.
  • In a separate pan add ghee and heat over a medium-low flame. Add cashew nuts and toss until they’ve turned slightly golden. Then add the raisins and toss along with the cashew nuts. When the raisins begin to puff up remove the pan from the stove.
  • The garnish can be mixed straight into the pot of steaming ghee rice, or if you prefer, it can be kept aside and sprinkled over the ghee rice when being served.


Calories: 368kcal (18%) Carbohydrates: 59g (20%) Protein: 7g (14%) Fat: 12g (18%) Saturated Fat: 5g (31%) Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Sodium: 401mg (17%) Potassium: 17mg Fiber: 3g (13%) Sugar: 5g (6%) Vitamin A: 6IU Vitamin C: 5mg (6%) Calcium: 5mg (1%) Iron: 2mg (11%)