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Nei Choru | Kerala Ney Choru | How To Make Kerala Style Ghee Rice in one pot method



Kerala Ghee Rice Recipe


Kerala Ghee Rice aka Nei Choru With Step By Step Photos And Videos


Nei choru or Ney Choru is a famous Kerala cuisine originated among Muslim communities in Malabar regions. Nei choru is called Ghee rice in English. I think  ghee rice is more popular than the local name neichoru. Ghee is the English word for nei where as the rice denote choru. You can see this flavorful rice in most functions among the Muslim community in Kerala and is normally served with spicy nonveg side dishes, raita and pickle.

The preparation of ghee rice is very simple. This quick and easy dish can be made at home with our regular basmati rice. But when talk about the original ghee rice from Malabar region, you will find much more phenomenal. The taste and flavor lies in a special variety of white rice they use. Its name is kaima rice, which much more aromatic and inviting than the regular basmati rice. The same kaima rice is also used in the biriyani recipes. You might have heard of Thalasseri biriyani. The spicy and succulent meat (either chicken, muton or beef ) or seafood is layered in flavored kaima rice.
 
A few words about ghee rice. Traditionally, the rice is sautéed along with finely chopped onions and spices for a few minutes, so that the rice turns aromatic. But today, the recipe I share here is a little bit different. We will follow the one pot method. So we will sauté the rice in the onion infused oil itself. That means we will use the same ghee in which we fried the onions for birista. All the flavors will be infused in the ghee itself, so it is not necessary to add any onion while cooking rice.

In the Ingredient section, I have mentioned a brand of ghee, RKG. If possible, get one. This ghee is more flavorful than the locally bought or home made brands. With a small quantity, we will get the desired flavor and taste. In Kerala professional biriyani makers and bakers use this brand. It is available online also.

While cooking rice, use boiled water only. The cold water will slow down the cooking process and also the rice will turn hard when it sit. 

Kaima rice is not available everywhere in India. So try this recipe with regular basmati rice available to you. In today's recipe, I also use the regular basmati rice.  The recipe is very simple, just follow the rice. Tips and tricks to make a perfect ghee rice is also being explained in the following sections.    

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Neichoru Aka Nei choru | How To Make Kerala Style Neichoru/Neychoru | Kerala Ghee rice Recipe With Tips and Tricks


Kerala Style flavored rice preparation

Preparation time: 40 minutes /Cooking time: 20 minutes / Total time : 1 hour 10 minutes
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Ingredients


To Cook Rice
    • 2 cups jeerakasala rice, basmati rice or kaima rice
    • 4 cups water 
    • 3 tablespoon ghee or 1.5 tbsp RKG ghee
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 4 cloves
    • 1 " piece cinnamon
    • 4 cardamom
    • 1 star anise
    • Salt to taste

For garnish

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced for barista
  • 10 to 12 cashew nuts
  • 10 to 12raisins
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How To Make Kerala Ghee Rice At Home


Step 1: Soaking the rice
    1. To Make this flavorful rice, I used regular basmati rice. If the kamia rice is available use that. The basmati rice or the kaima rice should be soaked in water for at least twenty to thirty minutes before cooking. So Take the rice in a bowl and pour enough water so that the rice immerse completely in water. Use normal water. Cover and keep aside for at least twenty minutes before use.
      Neichoru - Soaking rice in Water

    2. After the resting time, wash the rice two to three times or till the water runs clear. Then drain through a colander and keep aside.
      Ghee rice - Washed rice

Preparation of ghee rice - One pot method

    1. Meanwhile, heat a thick bottomed pot over high flame. Once hot, reduce the flame to medium and pour ghee. 

    2. Once the ghee melts, fry cashews and raisins. You can add raisins when the cashews are half done. When the raisins puffs up nicely, transfer them into a clean dry bowl and keep aside.
      Ghee rice - Fried dry fruits

    3. Now you can fry the onion. The onions should be thinly and evenly sliced, otherwise we will not get uniform browning. 
      Ghee rice-Frying onion

    4. Put a pinch of sugar, keep the flame on high and stir continuously unless you get uniformly browned onions or birista.
      Ghee rice- Birista is ready

    5. In the same ghee, put the whole spices. Crush them gently in a mortar and pestle you use. Sauté over medium flame for one or two minutes  or until turns aromatic.
      Ghee rice - Whole spices in ghee

    6.   Now you can add the soaked and drained rice. The water should be drained completely before use. Otherwise, you may experience difficulty while frying.
      Ghee rice - rice and whole spices

    7. Sauté over medium flame unless the rice turns dry. Within minutes the rice will start to crackle. You have to sauté the rice till you hear the crackling sound. Then only the ghee rice will get the perfect texture. 
      Ghee rice - sautéed rice

    8. Pour four cups of boiled water and put salt. Cold water will slow down cooking, so should not be used. If you like you can pour a few drops of lemon juice if you like. 
      Ghee rice - rice with water and salt

    9. Cover and cook over low flame till all the water evaporates. By that time the rice will also cook to perfection. 
      Cooking Ghee Rice

    10. Once the water evaporated completely and the rice cooked, open the lid and gently separate the rice without breaking the rice grains. You can sue a spoon or fork, but do it with soft hands.
      Separating the cooked ghee rice

    11. Then put fried onion, cashews and raisins. Reserve a small portion for serving.
      Ghee rice with birista and dry fruits


    12. Mix well and cover and keep closed for next ten to fifteen minutes so that the flavors nicely infused in the ghee rice. Can be served with any veg or non-veg spicy curries, raita and pickle. 
      Ghee rice is ready

    13. Enjoy.                                 

Ghee rice

Happy cooking
Anju       

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