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
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 1 cups basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced (optional)
- 1¾ 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 or kaju
- 14 raisins
- 2 inch cinnamon or dalchini
- 4 cloves or laung
- 3 to 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
- Wash 1 cup 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 1 green chilies.
- Heat a pressure cooker or a pot 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
- 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 1¾ 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.
- If making in a pressure cooker allow the cooker to whistle once on a medium flame. If making in pot, cover and cook on a very low flame until the rice is done.
- 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.
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.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
- 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.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.
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 cloves, small cinnamon, 3 cardamoms 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 medium high flame.
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.