Nei choru is ghee rice which is a very special rice recipe of Malabar region of Kerala. It is very simple, mild yet rich rice recipe with lots of ghee and nuts in it. Nei in Malayalam means ghee and choru means rice. Jeerakasala/kaima rice or jeera rice is usually used to prepare the recipe and it lends an extra flavor to nei choru. Nei choru is mildly spicy and can be paired with any spicy veg or non-veg curries.
Using kaima rice makes nei choru aromatic and it enhances the taste of the recipe. Malabar cuisine generally uses Jeerakasala/kaima rice to prepare biryani recipes. Kaima rice is a tiny variety of rice which is easy to cook and infuses all the flavors added to it. Hence this makes a good rice variety to prepare pulav and biryani recipes.
Ghee or clarified butter is traditionally used in Indian cooking and in Ayurveda medicine since thousands of years. Ghee is a good digestive which helps in absorption of nutrients which makes our body flexible. Ghee contains medium chain fatty acids and healthy fats which can be burnt easily by the liver. Thus, it promotes weight loss. Ghee is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and lowers cholesterol. It boosts memory power, lubricates joints and improves overall health.
Spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, pepper, bay leaf are used in the recipe. Also, sauté the soaked and drained rice in ghee and spices to enhances the taste of nei choru. Garnish nei choru with lots of ghee fried cashew nuts, raisins and onions to make it a super delicious dish. Nei choru can be prepared on all special occasions as it is very simple, rich and can be made within few minutes say 30-40 minutes. Nei choru is very mild in taste and hence serve it with spicy curries. A simple dal or raita can also be served as a side dish for nei choru.
Check our non-veg recipes which can be served along with nei choru: Malabar chicken curry, Chicken Ghee Roast, varatharacha Kozhi curry, Chicken Chilli Roast, Mutton Kurma,,Mutton Ghee Roast, mutton kurma, Egg Masala Curry, Spicy Prawns.
You will like our other delicious rice recipes here: Ghee Rice, lemon rice, mustard rice, jeera rice, coriander rice, carrot rice, tomato rice,Oralu Chitranna, raw mango rice ,Mint Pulav, methi pulav ,mushroom pulav,Vegetable Biryani.
2 cups Jeerakasala/jeeraka samba/ kaima rice
3 ½ cups hot water
1 bay leaf
2 inch cinnamon stick/chakke
3 cardamoms /elaichi
1 star anise
½ tsp pepper corns, slightly crushed
3 onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp crushed ginger garlic
1 spring curry leaves
Cashew nuts, handful
2 tbsp raisins
¼ cup ghee
Salt, to taste
- Wash jeerakasala rice few times in clear water and soak it for 20 minutes.
- Heat a heavy bottomed vessel and add ghee. You can also use a pressure cooker. When the ghee is hot, add cashew nuts and fry till golden. Also add raisins and fry till it pops up. Remove them from ghee and keep aside.
- To the same hot ghee, add 1 thinly sliced onion and fry till it turns brown. Transfer the fried onions to a plate.
- Now add whole spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf, star anise and crushed pepper. Also add curry leaves. Fry for few seconds.
- Add remaining sliced onions and sauté well till golden brown in color. Add crushed ginger garlic and fry till the raw smell disappears.
- Drain water from the soaked rice completely and add it to the vessel. Fry the rice in ghee and spices for 3-4 minutes on a medium-low flame. Do not over roast rice and make it brown.
- Now add 3 ½ cups hot water and salt to taste. Mix well with the rice. Alternately, coconut milk can be added to the rice instead of water too.
- Once the water starts to boil, gently stir once or twice and check for salt. Add salt if needed. Cover the vessel with a tight lid. Keep the flame on low and cook till water is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked.
- If using a pressure cooker, cook the rice for a whistle on a medium flame and later keep the flame on low and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Once done, rest it for 10-15 minutes. Later, open the vessel and gently fluff the rice. Garnish nei choru with fried onions, cashew nuts and raisins.
- Serve Nei choru with any spicy veg or non-veg curries.
- Jeerakasala /kaima rice is traditionally used to prepare nei choru. However, you can also try it with basmati rice and even with sona masuri rice.
- For 1 cup of rice, 1.75 cups of water is used to cook the rice. Water ratio depends on the rice quality, so may need little more or less.
- Coconut milk can be used instead of water to cook rice. This gives an extra taste and flavor to the nei choru.
- If you prefer, add little chopped mint and coriander leaves too while sautéing onions with spices.
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