Rice is a staple in many cuisines around the world and it is commonly included in South Indian dishes. There are many recipes in this region of the world that either call for rice or some form of rice such as rice flour or starch. The basmati ghee rice recipe is one of the tastiest in South Indian cuisine because of its delicious taste. The perfect ghee rice is also easy to prepare which makes it an ideal side dish for meat curries and vegetarian dishes. The dish includes cooking raw rice grains and mixing the grains with nuts and flavorful spices that are sauteed in ghee (clarified butter). The rice features bay leaves, black peppercorns, cloves, and cardamom which makes it stand out.
Ghee rice, also known as ghee bhat is often prepared for special celebrations and festivals. Hotel style ghee rice is also popular since the rice is a popular dish at restaurants and resorts where Indian food is served. Even though the dish has pronounced flavors it is perfect as a side dish and is often served with a kurma gravy or curry.
Here are the steps you should follow to make delicious ghee rice at home.
Ghee Rice: How to Make It With the Right Ingredients
Here are all the ingredients you’ll need for your ghee rice recipe:
- 1 cup of basmati or long grain rice
- 1 medium-sized finely chopped onion
- 1 small stick of cinnamon
- 2-3 fresh cloves
- 1 green cardamom
- half a teaspoon of black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 4-5 cashews
- 3-4 raisins
- 1 teaspoon of garlic ginger paste
- 1 finely chopped green chili pepper
- 1 tablespoon of ghee
- 2 cups of water
- salt, to taste
Preparation Instructions for the Ghee Rice
Here are the steps for how to make ghee rice if you’re using a pressure cooker:
- Wash the rice about three times to remove any excess starch. Soak the rice grains for 20 minutes. Wash the rice as well to keep it from getting too sticky while cooking. Drain the soaked rice after 20 minutes.
- The next step in learning how to prepare ghee rice at home is to heat to ghee in your pressure cooker. Add cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, cardamom, and a piece of bay leaf to the pressure cooker and saute for a few seconds. This is a traditional step for ghee rice, but you can skip some of these spices if you prefer plain ghee rice.
- Add the onion to the pressure cooker and saute until the onion is golden brown.
- Add the cashews, raisins, ginger-garlic paste, and green chilies. Saute the mixture on low heat for about a minute.
- The next step in the ghee rice recipe is to add the rice to the pressure cooker and mix it with the spices. Stir fry the rice for about a minute.
- Add salt to taste along with two cups of water. Mix the ingredients well and close the lid. Cook on low heat for two whistles.
- Turn off the heat and allow the pressure to reduce naturally. This will take between 5-8 minutes. Open the lid of the pressure cooker carefully. Fluff the ghee rice with a fork and separate the rice grains.
Transfer the basmati ghee rice to a bowl and serve while warm.
Cooking Ghee Rice On the Stove
If you’re using a pan instead of a pressure cooker, here are the steps to make delicious ghee rice:
- Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a large Kadai and roast the cashews and raisins. Roast these ingredients until the cashews are golden brown. Set the raisins and cashews aside.
- The next step in this easy ghee rice recipe is to add the bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and pepper to the Kadai. This basmati ghee rice recipe also includes onion and chili peppers, so you can add them at this step and saute the ingredients until the onions turn golden brown.
- Add the basmati rice and roast for about a minute. Stir gently so you don’t break the rice grains.
- Add the water, along with about a teaspoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon of salt.
- Stir the mixture well and let the water come to a boil.
- Cover the ghee rice and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and add the fried nuts. Mix well.
- Enjoy this ghee rice recipe with kurna.
Additional Tips and Variations
In this ghee rice Kerala-style recipe, a 3-liter pressure cooker is used. You can also use an aluminum cooker or Kedai for this ghee rice recipe. Be sure to cook the ingredients on medium heat to meld the flavors and keep the ingredients from burning. If you use a pan to make ghee rice, be sure to use the same amount of water that you would if you were using a pressure cooker. In the pan, you should cook the ghee rice for 10-12 minutes.
If you’re making this Kerala ghee rice recipe for a large group, use the 1:2 ratio for the rice and water so you can prepare the correct amount. You should use two cups of water for every cup of rice.
Once you add the water to the ghee rice, add a few drops of fresh lemon juice. This will make it easier for the rice to remain intact while cooking.
The best ghee rice recipe has a mildly spicy flavor. You should also smell the aroma of the clarified butter once the rice is cooked. Traditionally, South Indian ghee rice is served with curd. The creaminess of the yogurt is even more noticeable when you prepare the ghee rice recipe with tomato chutney, pickled vegetables, or Dal.
Be sure to use high-quality basmati rice for a ghee rice recipe. You can use long grain rice if you can’t find basmati rice. The ghee rice will also have a richer flavor if you use homemade ghee.
What to Serve with Ghee Rice
Ghee rice is filled with flavor but is prepared as a side dish. This means you’ll need to serve the rice with a filling dish that complements the flavors in the rice. Here are some suggestions:
– Chicken Pepper Fry
This dish explodes with flavor and has a variety of aromatic spices that go great with ghee rice. The chicken is prepared with lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, coconut oil, and peppercorns, which makes this one of the best dishes to eat with this tasty rice.
– Chicken Mappas
This entree is traditionally eaten with ghee rice. This dish involves preparing the meat over a creamy sauce made of coconut milk and tomatoes. You can also make this dish with duck; both variations are perfect with a serving of ghee rice.
– Vegetable Korma
If you prefer a meat-free dish, try vegetable korma with basmati ghee rice. Vegetable korma is filled with carrots, peas, potatoes, and tomatoes and is cooked in coconut milk, so the rice is ideal for soaking up the gravy.
– Lamb curry
The aromatic spices in ghee rice go great with lamb curry. This rich dish features garam masala, which complements the cinnamon and lemon in the rice. Lamb is also hearty meat and tastes best with a side dish that has pronounced flavors. The sweet and smoky elements in the rice, such as raisins and cashews, enhance the taste of the lamb nicely.
– Malabar Chicken Curry
Malabar-style foods are made with coconut and a mixture of spices that go well with rice that is prepared with ghee. The creamy curry mixes well with the rice for an explosion of savory and sweet flavors. Malabar chicken curry and ghee rice come together to create a dish that has crunchy, chewy, and melt-in-your-mouth elements that make enjoying the dish an unforgettable experience. In addition to the curry, the rice also pairs well with roti or naan.
To keep your ghee rice from getting too mushy or sticky, allow the water to evaporate from the pan. If your plain ghee rice is too mushy, you can run it through a sieve to drain the excess moisture. Rinsing the ghee rice with cold water can also improve the texture.
You can make a simple ghee rice recipe from leftover rice. Add the spices, such as cinnamon, curry leaves, and mint leaves to the rice to enhance the flavor. Leftover rice is ideal for this recipe since the rice grains will stay intact and improve the texture of the dish.
Basmati rice is ideal for learning how to prepare ghee rice at home. The grains are long and thin and will absorb the flavors of the dish well.
You can prepare the ghee rice ahead of time since you can use leftover rice to prepare this side dish. However, it is best to add all the spices and seasonings to the rice right before you want to enjoy the ghee rice.