If there is something called soul food, this is it. Ghee rice, when had on its own, gives you the taste of your childhood. Most Indian homes have prepare fragrant ghee rice which is accompanied with a gravy dish. Children love to have it on its own. It is a comfort dish that gets prepared without too much effort. It is also one of those dishes that, when served hot, brings the entire family to the table because of its fragrance.
Contrary to popular belief, this dish isn’t just the mix of ghee and rice. When Indian food is served, ghee is generally added as a topping to both rice and daal. It adds to the flavour and is said to make bones strong. But the ghee rice is something more. There are multiple ways to make ghee rice i.e. variations of the dish that you can try. It is primarily a south Indian dish but it has been customized to individual likings across other states of India.
In the first method of making ghee rice, the rice and the spices are cooked together so that the rice fully soaks in the flavours of the spices and gets a unique amalgamation of the taste. In the second method, cooked rice is added to a mixture of spices and fried until it is fully coated in ghee and spices. Another variation is the use of cumin when when you first roast the spices in the ghee. Cumin is a natural digestive and adds a wonderful aroma to the dish.
- Rice 1 cup
- Onion 1
- Cloves 5
- Black Peppercorns 5
- Cinnamon Stick 1 inch
- Green Cardamom 4
- Bay Leaf 1
- Pure Ghee 3 tablespoons
- Cashew Nuts 10
- Raisins 10
- Water 2 cups
- Salt to taste
Wash and soak the rice for 30 min.
Slice the onion, halve the Cashewnuts, Wash and pat dry the raisins.
Heat 3 tablespoons of ghee in a pressure cooker on lowest flame.
Add the raisins and remove when well fried.
Add the cashew nuts and fry until they turn light golden brown.
Remove them on to a paper towel and keep aside.
In the same ghee, add the black peppercorns, Cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaf and fry for a few seconds.
Toss in the sliced onion and saute until lightly caramelized.
Add the rice and water. Water quantity depends on the type, age etc of the rice and hence adjust if you know how much water your rice takes.
Season with salt. Pressure cook on full flame for 1 whistle. Switch of the flame before second whistle.
Open the lid when the pressure releases on its own.
With a fork, gently toss the grains to separate them.
Lastly, garnish with the fried cashew nuts and raisins.
Ghee rice is best made with long grain basmati rice as it the long strands make it delicious. Incidentally, most south Indians use boiled rice and make their ghee rice with it too. The dish does taste nice but our recommendation is that you try it with basmati rice.
Many people add a green chilli to the spice mix to balance out the flavours. But you can avoid it if children too will be having the rice. The regular version of the dish calls for the addition of onion and garlic. Since many people down south don’t consume either, you can omit it from the dish if you wish. If you are using garlic, make sure you add it to the dish at the right time so that it is just golden brown and not burnt futher. Serve ghee rice with a nice raita or salad.
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