Ghee Rice Recipe

Updated: June 1, 2022, By Swasthi

Ghee Rice is a classic and super aromatic South Indian meal made with rice, Ghee, whole spices, onions, cashews and raisins. It cooks up in a single pot, is kids’ approved and the perfect side dish that goes well with pretty much anything. Forget about the plain rice and make this ghee rice for a quick meal anytime either in a regular pot, traditional cooker or instant pot. I have the instructions for all these methods.

ghee rice

About Ghee Rice

Ghee Rice is a popular South Indian rice dish where rice is sautéed and cooked with pure ghee & whole spices. Later it is garnished with caramelized onions, crunchy ghee fried cashews and sweet raisins. Ghee, a traditional Indian cooking fat is the star of this dish that imparts a nutty aroma and delicious taste.

Apart from being a staple in many South Indian households, this is popular on the restaurant menus, wedding and party menus as well. Ghee rice is usually served with a gravy or curry like vegetable kurma, chicken curry, egg curry and sometimes even with special lentil dish.

There are a few different ways ghee rice is made. In this post I share 2 easy ways to make. The first method is a one pot dish and can be made in a traditional cooker, pot or instant pot. The second method is made with precooked rice where it is tempered with spices and curry leaves.

I can’t justify that one method is better than the other but in fact it is more of what you want to make – a pot meal or use up your precooked rice. But both ways, Ghee rice turns out super delicious!! I am sure you will make this time and again if you ignore the calories in the dish.

You can make ghee rice following the second method for a quick fuss-free meal for your kids. This was my mom’s favorite way to make ghee rice for us.

ghee rice recipe

You can serve this ghee rice
veg kurma
potato kurma
soya chunks kurma
egg kurma
chicken kurma

More one pot rice recipes
Veg pulao
Tomato Rice
Lemon Rice

Photo Guide

How to Make Ghee Rice (Stepwise Photos)

1. Wash and soak 1 cup rice for 20 minutes.

soak rice

2. Add 1½ tablespoon ghee to a cooker or a pot. Next add 14 to 20 cashews and fry till lightly golden. Also add 14 raisins. When they turn plump, remove to a plate and keep them aside. We need them for garnishing.

frying nuts & raisins in ghee

3. Transfer 1 medium thinly sliced onion to the same pan, fry them evenly stirring often until golden or light brown but not burnt. Remove them to the same plate and keep aside. We need them for garnishing as they add flavor to the rice.

frying onions for ghee rice


4. To the same pan, add ½ tablespoon ghee. Add 1 bay leaf, 1 star anise, 4 cloves, 1 small cinnamon, 3 cardamoms and a strand of mace. Fry for a min. Then add 2 sliced green chilis and fry for a min.

frying spices for ghee rice

5. Next add drained rice.

frying basmati rice

6. Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring evenly and frying.

basmati rice with spices and ghee

7. Add half teaspoon salt. Pour 1¾ cups water if cooking in a cooker. To cook in a pot, pour 2 cups water. Stir and taste test the water. It has to be slightly salty.

pouring water to make ghee rice

8. If cooking in a pot, bring the water to a boil and then regulate the flame to low. Cook covered until the rice is fully cooked. Turn off the heat when done and leave the pot covered for 10 to 15 mins. The heat in the pot will make the rice fluffy.

If making ghee rice in a pressure cooker, Cook for 1 whistle on a medium high flame.

pressure cooking ghee rice

9. When the pressure releases, fluff up the ghee rice with a fork.

fluffy ghee rice

Garnish with raisins, cashews, fried onions and coriander leaves.

ghee rice recipe

Photo Guide

Pan Fried Ghee Rice (Recipe 2)

This is more like a fried rice, needs only pepper powder and no other spice is used. This makes a good lunch box dish for kids but without egg. I wonder if eggs keep good for so long in kids lunch box.

This can be made without egg or you can even use some of your favorite veggies like carrot, peas, capsicum and beans. I have grown up eating this more often during winters.

Pepper and curry leaves fried in ghee emits a great aroma & taste.

Most times I end up making this for my lunch. We don’t mind having it without any raita or gravy and just love to have it with grated carrot, sliced onions or cucumbers.

If you are a non-vegetarian then you can try this with a hot and spicy andhra chicken fry or a gravy like chicken chettinad or butter chicken.

Ingredients for recipe 2

  • ½ cup basmathi rice
  • 1 boiled egg (pierce it with a fork randomly) (optional)
  • handful of cashews and raisins
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 10 pepper corns (coarsely crushed)
  • 2 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 green chili slit
  • 1 to 2 garlic chopped
  • Salt to taste
frying cooked long grain rice with eggs

1. Cook rice and cool it completely.
2. Heat a pan with ghee, fry cashews and raisins, set these aside to a plate
3. Add garlic, curry leaves, green chili and egg. fry till the leaves turn crisp
4. Next add coarsely crushed pepper powder and salt, saute
5. Add rice to the pan and mix well. fry for 2 minutes on high
6. Garnish with cashews and raisins just before serving.

ghee rice with eggs

Pro Tips

  1. Use good quality ghee that has a nice aroma. It is the good quality ghee that brings a unique aroma to the rice. If possible use desi cow’s ghee or at least puree ghee. Avoid using oil.
  2. Always rinse the rice well a few times before making ghee rice. This helps to get rid of the excess starch and prevents the rise from turning mushy.
  3. Soaking rice for at least 30 mins before cooking helps the rice to expand well & cook up to fluffy grains.
  4. Different regions use different kinds of rice to make ghee rice. I make it using aged basmati rice. You can use any other rice of your choice.
  5. Frying rice in ghee for 3 to 5 mins is another key step to make perfect ghee rice.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card 1

ghee rice recipe

Ghee Rice Recipe

4.99 from 169 votes
Ghee rice is a one pot rice dish made with ghee, rice, spices & nuts. It is one of the most basic flavored rice recipe served with kurma or any curry. Instructions for stovetop & Instant pot.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced (optional)
  • cups water for Indian cooker (1¼ cup Instant pot, 2 cups for normal pot)
  • 1 green chilies (slit or chopped)
  • ½ teaspoon Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 14 cashewnuts (kaju, 28 split)
  • 14 raisins

Whole spices

  • 2 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 4 cloves (laung)
  • 3 to 4 green cardamoms (elaichi)
  • 1 strand mace (javitri)
  • 1 star anise (chakri phool)
  • 1 bay leaf (tej patta)



  • Add rice to a bowl and rinse well at least thrice. Soak it for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside. While the rice soaks, slice onion thinly & slit green chilies.
  • Heat a pressure cooker or a pot with ghee. Fry cashews till lightly golden, add raisins and stir up. When they turn plump set them aside in a plate.
  • To the same pan, add onions. You can also skip onions from the recipe. Fry them till golden, about to caramelize but not burnt. These are the fried onions / barista. These onions are used for garnishing and they add flavor to the rice.

How to Make Ghee Rice

  • Add all the whole spices to the pan & fry for a min until aromatic.
  • Add green chilies, drained rice & fry on a medium flame for about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir to prevent burning .
  • Pour water and salt as needed. You may need to add more or less water depending on the rice (read my notes below).
  • Taste the water and check the salt. If needed add more. Ideally the water has to be slightly salty.
  • If making in a pressure cooker, cook on a medium heat until you hear 1 whistle. If making in pot, cover and cook on a very low flame until the rice is cooked fully but not mushy.
  • When the pressure releases, Open the lid and gently fluff up the rice with a fork. 
  • Transfer ghee rice to a serving bowl or plate. Garnish with raisins, cashews, fried onions and coriander leaves.
  • Serve ghee rice with any gravy like kurma, curry or even with egg roast. You can also eat it plain.

Instant Pot Ghee Rice

  • Press the SAUTE button & add ghee to the inner steel pot of the Instant pot.
  • When the ghee melts, add the cashews & saute until they turn light golden.
  • Then add in the raisins and stir until they plum up. Remove the cashews and raisins to a small plate.
  • Stir in the onion slices to the ghee and spread them in a single layer.
  • Next stir them every now and then until they turn golden to light brown & aromatic. If the pot is too hot, you can switch the saute to low by pressing (saute button again). Drain the ghee well and remove to the same plate.
  • Now add in all the whole spices, followed by the green chilli and drained rice.
  • Saute for 30 to 60 seconds & press CANCEL button.
  • Pour water and add salt. Deglaze by scrubbing the bottom of the steel pot with a spatula. Taste the water and add more salt if needed.
  • Secure the instant pot with the lid. Position the steam release handle/ vent to sealing.
  • Press the PRESSURE COOK button (or manual on older IPs) and set the timer to 5 mins.
  • When the IP beeps, wait for natural pressure release for 2 to 3 mins. For softer rice, you can wait upto 5 mins. Then release the rest manually by moving the steam release handle from sealing to venting.
  • Cool down a bit and then garnish ghee rice with fried onions, raisins and cashews.


  • To double the recipe, you can double all the whole spices and keep the star anise same.
  • The recipe can be doubled & made in Instant pot. Cook time remains the same.
  • Wait for the rice to cool down a bit before garnishing.
  • Adjust the amount of water depending on the kind of rice used. I use aged basmati rice and the quantities mentioned in the recipe are for aged basmati rice. If you do not know how much to add, simply add the same amount of water you use to cook plain steamed rice.


NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Ghee Rice Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 589 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 38mg13%
Sodium 686mg30%
Potassium 318mg9%
Carbohydrates 91g30%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Ghee rice recipe first published in July 2012. Republished in July 2019. Updated in June 2022.

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Love your recipes. How do I cook this in a rice cooker. Is it 1 cup rice to 1.5cups water?

Hi Swathi, do you have any tip to see if the rice is perfectly cooked for fried rice or ghee rice. I usually use india gate classic.
Can you suggest any other rice

1 cup rice is how many grams

5 stars
Thanks for the recipe, this turned out delicious and was very easy to prepare. I made it with some keema paratha and dal. I am Korean but learning to cook Indian dishes for my husband and his family. I really appreciate you taking time to write these down. They are easy to follow even for someone new to preparing the cuisine. Thanks!

5 stars
Hello I love your recipes, and I prepare them quite often, but sometimes I miss some ingredients.
My question is there is no any mix with all this spices that I can use for rice. Sorry I know it’s not the same think and the proper way , but sometimes can help .
Thank you.

Dear Swati, I love your recipes. I use it as a way to connect to my roots.

How exactly is ghee rice south Indian? Unless empire food is south Indian?


Ma’am, I am a ardent fan of yours… I am following your recipes since the age of 16 and now I am 18… Now my sister also started following your recipes…and she is only 14. We love you ?

5 stars
Dear Swasthi Shreekanth,
I pray for you LIVE A LONG. The WAYS of saying for the preparation of each and every recipe is highly appreciated by all while consuming the food. MAY THE ALMIGHTY SHOWER HIS BLESSINGS UPON YOU AND YOUR FAMILY EVER AND EVER.

Hi, I wish to tell that while mentioning vegetarian dish plssssssss don’t use any non veg dish name. When I c non veg item mentioned wil stop reading the recipe. Pls going fwd in veg recipes pls use only veg items. Separately u write about non veg dish for non veg eaters. I am pure vegetarian it hurts to c non veg mixed in veg recipes.

5 stars
Swasthi, another terrific recipe and went so well with your Paneer Makhani. Also, I soaked the rice for about 1hr – lovely long cooked grains resulted. Will try the double recipe version next time.

5 stars
I made this recipe using instant pot. It was delicious! Thank you very much.

5 stars
Culinary skills made easy.
Yes Yes.

5 stars
Tried and tested, yummy. All your recipes are great.Thanku

5 stars
I tried this yesterday and it turned out to be very nice 🙂
It was my first time at trying any fried rice or pulao kind of dish and the instructions were very clear and helpful, thanks a lot !!!!

I loved the way,how you have made mention of the minutest details and the pains taken for the step instructions.Great work.
Will try it today,and I’m sure it will turn out to be sumptuous..

5 stars
What is the quantity of whole spices if the receipe is to be altered for 4 people?

5 stars
Hi could you please state how you can make this in an instapot?

5 stars
Just made this and I have to say it was such a delicious and comforting meal! I didn’t have mace or cardamom, but it still turned out amazing. This is my first try at a recipe from Swasthi and believe me when I say I will definitely be back for more. Thank you for compiling such an amazing library of delicious Indian foods. I feel like I hit the goldmine here. So excited to try more.

5 stars
Swasthi, I love your site and all your recipes so much. I have learned so much about the Indian cuisine by trying out your recipes. They always taste amazing! This rice recipe is so simple and yet incredibly delicious! Thank you so much!!

And if I’m using keeri samba rice, how many cups of water should i use?

Hi, once the rice cooks we don’t have to drain the water like we usually do?

Since I’m using normal rice, won’t my rice turn mushy? I’m a newbie actually so I’ve had fails cooking the rice properly

I use a pot

5 stars
Love your recipes. Thank you very much. Please share andhra style coconut curry /podi kura