Ghee rice recipe is one of the most simplest one pot aromatic rice dishes that can be prepared in a jiffy. It is best served with a gravy side dish like kurma, Chicken gravy or Egg curry. Ghee rice is quite a popular South Indian food that is mostly prepared for a special meal. It is often served in restaurants with a kurma curry or chicken curry or any egg or non-veg gravy.
Ghee rice is mildly flavored with desi ghee, basic spices like cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves.
The flavor of the fresh desi ghee is unique and totally elevates the flavor of the dish. Do not try this recipe with oil.
Ghee rice is made all over South India with slight variations. It is found on restaurant menus, wedding menus and even made in many homes for a weekend meal.
In this post, I am sharing 2 ghee rice recipes. In the first method, the rice is cooked in ghee with spices. Second method calls for seasoning the spices in ghee and adding the steamed rice like the fried rice.
I often follow the second recipe for kids meal, ideally for dinner. A simple veggie salad is always good with that and makes the meal complete.
Tips to make the best ghee rice
- 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.
- 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.
- Soaking rice for at least 30 mins before cooking helps the rice to expand well & cook up to fluffy grains.
- 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.
- Frying rice in ghee for 3 to 5 mins is another key step to make perfect ghee rice.
Ghee rice recipe
Ghee rice recipe | How to make ghee rice
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Ingredients for ghee rice
- 1½ cups basmati rice
- 3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced (optional)
- 2½ cups water (use more if using normal rice)
- 2 green chilies slit
- Salt as needed
- 14 cashewnuts or kaju
- 14 raisins
- 2 inch cinnamon or dalchini
- 6 cloves or laung
- 4 green cardamoms or elaichi
- 1 strand mace or javitri
- 1 star anise or chakri phool
- 1 bay leaf or tej patta
How to make the recipe
Preparation for ghee rice
- Wash 1½ cups rice until the water runs clear.
- Soak it for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- While the rice soaks, slice 1 medium onion thinly & slit 2 green chilies.
- Heat a pressure cooker or a pan with 2 tablespoons of ghee.
- Fry 14 cashews till lightly golden, add 14 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.
- Fry them till golden to make the fried onions / barista.
- These onions are used for garnishing and they add flavor to the rice.
How to make ghee rice
- Pour 1 tablespoon more ghee to the pan.
- Add in 1 bay leaf, 1 star anise, 4 to 6 cloves, small cinnamon stick and a strand of mace.
- Fry for a min until aromatic.
- Next put in 2 sliced green chilis and fry for a min.
- Add drained rice & fry on a medium flame for about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir to prevent burning .
- Pour 2½ cups water and salt as needed.
- You may need to add more or less water depending on the rice.
- Taste the water and check the salt. If needed add more.
- Cook the rice till fully done. If making in a pressure cooker allow the cooker to whistle once on a medium flame if using basmati rice. If using normal rice, cook on a medium flame for 1 whistle.
- When the pressure releases, 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.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
If you are a beginner or new to Indian cooking, I highly suggest you to check the supporting step by step photos for best results. Step by step photos with description available below after the recipe card.
1. Wash and soak rice for 20 minutes.
2. Add ghee to a cooker or a pot. Next add cashews and fry till lightly golden. Also add raisins. When they plump up, keep them aside. We need them for garnishing.
3. Transfer onions to the same pan, fry till evenly golden or light brown. We need them for garnishing as well they add flavor to the rice.
How to make ghee rice
4. To the same pan, add little more ghee. Add bay leaf, 1 star anise, 4 to 6 cloves, small cinnamon stick and a strand of mace. Fry for a min. Then add 2 sliced green chilis and fry for a min.
5. Next add drained rice. Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring evenly and frying.
6. Pour water and salt. On a medium heat cook the rice till done.
If making ghee rice in a pressure cooker,
Cook for 1 whistle on a high flame if using basmati rice. OR Cook for 1 whistle on a medium flame if using normal rice.
Cook until all the water has evaporated. The rice has to be still soggy, then cover the pressure cooker lid and cook for 5 to 7 mins on a low heat. Open the lid and fluff up.
Fluff up the ghee rice when the pressure goes down.
Garnish with raisins, cashews, fried onions and coriander leaves.
Ghee rice recipe – 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.
½ cup basmathi rice
1 boiled egg (pierce it with a fork randomly) (optional)
fistful 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
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.