Kerala ney choru recipe – Learn how to make Malabar nei choru recipe using Jeerakasala rice. Ney choru translates to ghee rice & is one of the classic dishes from Kerala cuisine. It is very much popular and is mostly served with chicken curry or mutton curry and even with Kerala egg roast. It is the Jeerakasala rice, a small grain fragrant rice that makes Malabar ney choru special – aromatic and delicious.
About Nei Choru
Ney choru is a traditional Kerala rice dish made with kaima rice (jeerakasala rice), whole spices, ghee, nuts, raisins and onions.
Jeerakasala rice also known as kaima rice is widely used in Malabar region to make ghee rice and biryani. This short grain rice has a unique aroma and is a quick cook rice that gets cooked in a short time. If you do not have Jeerakasala rice, you can also make this using any other rice variety.
In the past, I had shared a ghee rice recipe using basmati rice, the one commonly found in South Indian restaurants. Today’s recipe yields nei choru that is slightly different in terms of aroma & taste since the rice and spices used are different.
How to make Ney Choru
1. Bring 2 ½ cups water to a boil in a pot. On another stove/burner, heat 3 to 4 tablespoons ghee in a pot or cooker. Fry ¼ to ½ cup split cashews until slightly golden.
2. Add ¼ cup raisins and saute until they turn plump. Remove the fried cashews and raisins to a plate and set aside.
3. Add ½ cup sliced onions and fry until golden, stirring often to light brown them evenly. Do not over fry else they burn and taste bitter. Remove them to the plate and keep aside. Pour back as much ghee as possible to the pot or pan (from the onions).
4. To the same pan, add 1 star anise, ½ teaspoon saunf (fennel seeds), 1 bay leaf, 2 inch cinnamon, 3 to 4 cardamom and 3 to 4 cloves.
5. Add ¼ cup sliced onions and saute until golden.
6. Add ¾ teaspoon ginger garlic paste and saute just for 1 minute, until aromatic but not burnt.
7. Add 1 ½ cups rinsed and drained kaima rice. This rice doesn’t need any soaking.
8. Saute for about 2 mins stirring evenly. Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt.
9. Pour boiling water.
10. Stir and taste test. The water should taste slightly salty. If needed add more. Regulate the flame to medium.
11. Cover and cook until the water is absorbed. I used pressure cooker lid to cover. It doesn’t whistle since the water will be absorbed very soon. It takes about 5 to 8 mins for the rice to be done depending on the kind of pot/ pan used.
13. Open the lid and fluff up the rice and check if the rice is done. If the rice is still under cooked sprinkle little warm water and mix. Switch off the stove. Cover again and rest for 5 mins.
14. Garnish nei choru with cashews and raisins. Serve nei choru with chicken curry, mutton curry, kadala curry or any vegetable gravy.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 1 ½ cups rice (Jeerakasala / kaima or basmati)
- 2 ½ cups water hot (use more if using different rice)
- ¼ cup ghee (can reduce to 3 tbsps)
- ½ cup onions sliced for garnish
- ¼ cup onions sliced , for rice
- ¾ tsp ginger paste (for flavour)
- ¼ to ½ cup cashews
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1 star anise / biryani flower
- ½ tsp saunf / fennel seeds
- 1 bay leaf / tej patta
- 4 cloves / laung
- 2 inch cinnamon sticks
- Salt as needed
- Green chilies slit (optional)
- Wash rice a few times and drain. If using jeerakasala rice, soaking is not needed. If using basmati soak it for about 30 mins. Drain completely.
- Make a paste of ginger and if desired you can also crush green chili along with it. Slice the onions.
- Bring 2 ½ cups water to a boil. Meanwhile carry on with the next steps.
- Heat ghee and fry the cashews. When they are about to be golden, add raisins and saute until they swell up. Remove them to a plate.
- In the same pan, fry onions stirring continuously until golden. Transfer these as well to a plate. Fried onions, cashews and raisins are for garnish.
How to make ney choru
- In the same pot or pan, add the spices and saute until they turn fragrant. Take care not to burn.
- Add onions and fry until golden.
- Add ginger paste and saute just for a while.
- Add drained rice and fry for 2 to 3 mins on a medium flame. Be gentle while stirring else the rice the break.
- Add salt and pour the hot water.
- Stir gently and check salt. If needed add more.
- Regulate the flame to medium.
- Cover and cook until all the water is absorbed. It takes about 5 to 8 mins depending on the kind of pot used.
- When the water is absorbed completely fluff up the rice. If the rice is under cooked, sprinkle some water and cook.
- Switch off and keep the rice covered for another 5 mins.
- Garnish ney choru with fried onions, cashews and raisins.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Nei Choru recipe is from the Archives. First published in February 2017. Updated and republished in August 2021.