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.
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.
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.
Kerala ney choru recipe
Ingredients (1 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)
Preparation for ney choru
- 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.
Preparation for ney choru
1. Heat ghee and fry cashews until slightly golden. While you fry the nuts, bring water to a boil in a pot.
2. Add raisins and saute until they turn plump. Set cashews and raisins aside in a plate.
3. Add sliced onions and fry until golden.
4. Keep stirring to brown them evenly. Set these aside.
How to make nei choru
5. In the left over ghee saute star anise, saunf, bay leaf, cardamom and cloves.
6. Add onions and saute until golden.
7. Add ginger garlic paste and saute just for sometime.
8. Add washed and drained rice. This rice doesn’t need any soaking.
9. Saute for about 2 mins stirring evenly. Add salt.
10. Add boiling water.
11. Stir and check salt. If needed add more. Put the flame to medium.
12. 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 with cashews and raisins.
Serve nei choru with chicken curry, mutton curry or any vegetable gravy.