Malabar cuisine ghee rice-neichoru


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, made memories laced with that faint fragrance of neichoru.

Neichoru is not ghee and rice mixed together

I will never agree of you call nei choru as ghee rice. This is a disagreement I have with my husband her he tries to translate it to the kids. No, it is not ghee and rice mixed together. It is an emotion starting with that white Wayanad kaima rice. Yes, I am picky when it comes to the Malabar flavours. No compromises there. The rice and the spices just have to meet that standard of what our neighbour Suharathatha had to share.
The recipe is perfect when that background of fresh spices mingles with the music like in the Arabian nights. Am I dreaming..yes you can saw so or revisiting that emotion called nei choru.

 malabar nei choru
Neichoru is not Byriyani

Please, don’t ever call the neichoru as a Biriyani. Firstly, it has a very gentle flavour and not a strong spicy spice mix like the Biriyani. Second neichoru us made with short-grain rice. The food enthusiasts from Malabar will agree with me here. Plus there are no vegetables in the neichoru.
I really cannot explain my emotional connect with this neichoru in words. I can promise you that I have missed it terribly.
So this Ramzan season I am creating a mini iftar spread at home. What takes centre stage… Neichoru of course.

On the table is
Vegetable stew (to go with the nei choru)
Thari kanji
And sulaimani to wash it all down.
For sure my kids do not understand my fondness of iftar but surely they have made their own with friends from Malaysia.
So, here is the Malabar style nei choru. Hope you develop the love for it too.



fragrant and spiced ghee rice with kaima rice
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Dish, Traditional
Cuisine gluten free, Indian, Kerala, Malabar, Vegetarian
Servings 4 people


to cook the rice

  • 1.5 cup Raw rice ( shortgrain, kaima rice)
  • 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.
    cooking rice
  • Of using a pressure cooker, the rice will need about 2 whistles.
  • 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 ha;f of the roasted onions and cashew nuts and mix well.
  • Transfer into a serving dish and garnish with the rest of the golden onions.
  • Serve warm. If serving later keep covered and warm.
    malabar nei choru


To prepare this recipe in the instant pot

Proceed with the steps as above and here are the changes
Set the mode to saute to fry the spices. Add the rice and saute as well.
Once this is done add water and set to pressure cook mode, 7 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally and fluff the rice.
Proceed with the rest of the steps as above.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
5 1 vote

Subscribe & Follow

You Might Also Like

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Shailender sharma
2 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
2 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!

2 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
2 years ago

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

2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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.

2 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.

2 years ago

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

2 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 !

2 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
2 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
8 months 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.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x