The right mix of spices and ghee is what makes Malabar ghee rice really delicious and aromatic. It goes extremely well with all non-vegetarian curries and is a natural choice for all special occasions, specially in the northern Kerala.
Ingredients (serves 3)
- Basmathi rice - 2 cups
- Ghee - 6 tbsp
- Onions - 1/2 cup, sliced
- Onions - 1 cup, finely sliced for garnishing
- Ginger - 1/2 inch sized, crushed
- Cardamom - 4 numbers
- Cinnamon - 2 numbers, small
- Cloves - 4 numbers
- Cashew nuts - 5-6 numbers
- Coriander leaves - few
- Salt - to taste
- Raisins - 10-15 numbers
Heat a pan on low flame, and add ghee to it. Once the ghee is hot, add the finely sliced onions. Saute well till the onions turn golden brown. Take out the sauteed onions from the pan and keep it aside for later use. Next add the cashew nuts and stir well till they turn light golden in colour. Take them out of the pan and keep aside for later use. Now add the raisins to the hot ghee, stir them gently till they start to pop. Remove them from the pan and keep aside for later use.
Take a medium sized bowl with water and soak the rice for about an hour. Drain all the water and keep the rice aside. Next heat a pan on low flame, and add ghee to it. When the ghee is hot enough, add cardamom seeds, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon and cumin seeds. Roast everything well for about 30-45 seconds till you get a nice rich aroma of the spices. Now add the finely sliced onions. Saute well till the onions turn transparent. Add ginger to the mix. Now add the rice. Mix everything well. Continuously stir fry the rice on low flame for about 5 minutes or till every grain of rice has separated and has a nice glossy coating of ghee.
Next the rice has to be cooked. In case you prefer using a rice cooker, transfer the rice into the cooker pot. Add water to the pot such that the level of rice is about 2 centimetres below water. Place the pot in the cooker, cover the lid and turn it on and wait till the rice gets cooked. In case you are not using a rice cooker, transfer the rice to a pan, add 4 cups (double the number of cups of rice). Bring to a boil. Stir once. Reduce heat to minimum and cover the pan with a lid. Leave a little gap, else water will boil over. Rice will be done when holes appear on the surface and water has been completely absorbed. Turn off the flame.
Garnishing the rice
Mix the rice well. Add 1 tbsp of ghee uniformly over the rice. Use half of the portions of coriander leaves, cashew nuts, fried onions and raisins to sprinkle over the rice evenly. Close the lid, allow to cook for about 3-5 minutes on very low flame. Switch off the flame. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, open the lid and mix well. Use the remaining portions of coriander leaves, cashew nuts, fried onions and raisins to sprinkle for every serving of the ghee rice. Serve it hot with the curry of your choice 🙂