Neichoru | malabar cuisine ghee rice


Aromatic Malabar cuisine ghee rice made with jeeragashala rice is a festival lunch treat. Try out this fragrant non-spicy rice topped with fried onions and roasted cashews. Make it with a korma, papadam, salad and pickle to enjoy the tastiest meal of your life. 

This is one post I wish I could just write in Malayalam. That Kozhikoden dialect is the only one I can say this in. I do miss Kozhikode. I grew up there, went to school and college, and made memories laced with that faint fragrance of neichoru from our neighbour, Suharathatha. These platters of neichoru are passed over the compound wall during Id or Ramadan or for every wedding we had attended in and around our neighbourhood. Then amma learnt to make it and now me!

Neichoru is not Biriyani

Please, don’t ever call the neichoru a  ghee Biriyani. it destroys the very idea of that delicately flavoured preparation. I can give you simple three reasons to understand this. Firstly, it has a very gentle flavour and not a strong spicy spice mix like the Biriyani. Secondly,  neichoru is made with short-grain rice. The food enthusiasts from Malabar will agree with me here. Plus there are no vegetables in the neichoru.

If you were looking for biryani, try the dum aloo biryani or the tender jackfruit biryani recipe. If not proceed further. 

What rice is best for Malabar neichoru?

The short-grain karma otherwise called jeeragashala is the preferred rice to make neichoru. This is a short-grained, white, raw rice. Upon cooking the rice has a distinct aroma that gives its characteristic flavour to this Malabar-style neichoru.

Other ingredients needed to make perfect malabar ghee rice


The recipe card below carries the details and step-by-step details of preparing this neichoru recipe. Let us know in the comments how yours turned out. To save the recipe for later, pin it onto your board from here

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 malabar nei choru



Aromatic Malabar cuisine ghee rice made with jeeragashala rice is a festival lunch treat. Try out this fragrant non-spicy rice topped with fried onions and roasted cashews. Make it with a korma, papadam, salad and pickle to enjoy the tastiest meal of your life. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Dish, Traditional
Cuisine gluten free, Indian, Kerala, Malabar, Vegetarian
Servings 4 people


  • instant pot


to cook the rice

  • 1.5 cup Raw rice kaima/ jeeragashala
  • 3 cups drinking water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 3 green cardamom (crushed)
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root (pounded)
  • 3 cloves

for the garnishes

  • 3 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
  • 1 large red onion (Sliced thin)
  • 2-3 tbsp cashew nuts


  • Use a moist cloth and clean the rice by rubbing on it.
  • Into a pressure cooker, add the tbsp of ghee and add the spices into it.
  • As the spices roast and add the rice and mix it well.
  • Once the rice is well coated add the salt and water and cook the rice.
  • Set for rice to cook in the instant pot.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate pan add the three tbsp ghee and bring it to heat.
  • Add the sliced onion, on medium heat roast till the onion is translucent and golden brown.
  • Now add the cashew nuts and roast them.
  • Once this is ready set aside till the rice is cooked
  • Release pressure naturally for the rice and fluff it well with a fork. Add half of the roasted onions and cashew nuts and mix well.
  • Transfer into a serving dish and garnish with the rest of the roasted onions.
  • Serve warm. If serving later keep covered and warm.
    malabar nei choru
Keyword Indian vegetarian dinner, Lunch recipes, malabar cuisine, pot luck recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Meal prep and lunchboxes

Neichoru stays good for two to three days in the fridge and up to a month in the freezer. Ensure it is in tight food-safe containers as the fragrance permeates the entire fridge otherwise.
This is one of the recipes my mum used to pack for friends during hostel days. Folded in wilted banana leaf with the dates pickle on the side, it is a gorgeous meal. However, there is a drawback when you open the lunchbox the fragrance attracts your colleagues to dig in. So pack extra.

Pairing with neichoru

Neichoru when served for vegetarians is served with a mild curry, kurma. Along with this beetroot pickle, papadam and salad are preferred. Often for desserts, you will find an assortment of puddings and fresh fruits. To wash down this delicious meal try spiced tea, sulaimani or some Nilgiri lemon tea.

Stay connected

Neichoru is more of an emotion than a complicated recipe. It is simple, fragrant and makes you want to eat some rice. It is festive, so try it during ID, Christmas or Diwali. Stay subscribed to us for new updates as we post them.
See you in the next post. 


malabar neichoru

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Shailender sharma
4 years ago

Agreeing to you neither calling ghee rice nor biryani, Neichoru is something which can be felt through emotions only, as you say. Recipe is simple and delightful, one love to try for sure.

Priya Srinivasan
4 years ago

Can totally understand your emotional connect with the dish! Looks super delicious and very tempting.Like the simplicity and the flavors of the dish. Would love to try it sometime!

4 years ago

Definitely understand your emotional connect. Looks and sounds delicious definitely not biriyani and not ghee rice either. Must try maybe once we are locked down yet again. Everyone will love to eat rice more so as they will not want my chapatis ;D

Lata Lala
4 years ago

Your emotional connect can very well be understood with this dish. This looks great and simple to make. Worth a try.

4 years ago

I had never heard of Neichoru before but it sounds so delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I can completely relate to your emotional connection to this dish. I feel the same way for some of the recipes my mother makes and which we grew up eating. I will definitely try this one.

Vanitha Bhat
4 years ago

I am so with you dear and understand the emotion and feelings any dish we grew up with evokes! Such simple flavors and I am sure comes out so good! Looks heavenly and delicious; would love to indulge in any time!

Jayashree T.Rao
4 years ago

Well, good to know about neichoru. Though it is not ghee rice, it is similar to it, I can say. It looks good and holds all your emotions with it Seema.

Mayuri Patel
4 years ago

When I first saw the click of Neichoru on Facebook, I was like…oh my that rice dish does look so inviting, simple and yet so welcoming. Well, I may not get the authentic rice to try out this recipe.. but still would love to try it out with what I have. Such a simple and yet flavorful rice preparation.

Uma Srinivas
Uma Srinivas
4 years ago

Neichoru when we translate to English it becomes ghee rice. But the procedure is different from ghee rice. I loved your recipe and looks so delicious.

4 years ago

Yes, I totally agree with you about calling dishes by their wrong name it just ruins the authenticity of the dish. This delicately flavoured rice sounds so delicious.

4 years ago

The rice looks so flavorful and inviting. I can imagine all the flavors from the whole spices it gives to the rice.

4 years ago

Seema It is so good to know about neichoru. It is quite similar to ghee rice as I can see. Super simple yet much flavorful one must say.. lovely share dear !

4 years ago

Such a soul satisfying recipe, would love to have it with some Malabar fish curry for a lovely meal. Great share !!

Poonam Bachhav
3 years ago

Totally loved the look of this neichoru and can relate to your imotional connect with it. I Love such simple soulful meals. Can image how flavorful the Malabar style ghee rice must have tasted with the whole spices going in and topped with those caramelized onions and fried cashews.

Mayuri Patel
2 years ago
Rating :

Seema made this Neichoru and it turned out so aromatic and delicious. Was a perfect accompaniment to my mushroom curry. As I couldn’t get kaima rice, used another brand short grain rice.

11 months ago

Ohhh I love how authentic this is! So easy to make too! Thanks for sharing 🙂

11 months ago
Rating :

This would go so well with curry! So flavorful, and a great authentic recipe!

11 months ago
Rating :

This sounds delicious! What a beautiful rice recipe!

11 months ago
Rating :

I love the ghee rice. This is perfect to eat with chicken masala. Yummy!

Suja md
11 months ago
Rating :

amazing in taste and flavors in this recipe. Will definitely make again, very good recipe!

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