Kaima Rice: All About Kerala’s Grain Choice For Malabar Biryani
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The fact that rice is a staple food in Kerala is very well known. The climate in Kerala, which is warm and humid through most parts of the year, is perfect for growing rice. And from the land of rice-loving Kerala, comes a unique rice which is used to prepare India’s favourite one-pot rice dish, Biryani. Kaima rice, also called Jeerakasala rice, is the rice which is preferred by most people for making Biryani in the Malabar and Wayanad regions of Kerala.  

This is because of its small, unique grains that are flavourful and not sticky. It is said that the texture of the Kaima rice is perfect for making Biryani as the grains stay separate, fluffy and they soak up all the delicious spices and flavours of the Biryani. This rice is especially good for making Thalassery Biryani or Malabar Biryani.  

So, if you want to make a tasty Malabar Biryani at home that turns out perfectly, use Kaima rice. But even beyond Malabar Biryani, the applications of Kaima rice in Kerala cuisine dishes are plenty. Here’s everything you need to know. 

What Is Kaima Rice? 

Kaima rice is different from other rice grains in some ways. Kaima rice is considered a premium variety of rice and is predominantly grown in the Wayanad region of Kerala. Though its grains are small and aromatic, Kaima rice isn’t as starchy as other short-grain rice varieties like Ambemohar and Gobindobhog. The rice goes well with rich curries and spicy foods. It is also used to make rice puddings and sweet rice desserts. While basmati rice might be more famous worldwide, kaima rice is a star in its own region.  

Dishes in which Kaima Rice Is Used   

If you want to try out Kaima rice dishes at home, here are some authentic dishes from Kerala cuisine that you should try out. 

Ney Choru With Kaima Rice 

Ney choru means ghee rice. It's one of the most popular dishes from Kerala, India. People love this rice! They eat it with chicken curry, mutton curry, or egg roast. What makes ney choru so special is the rice, which is used in making the dish, which is kaima rice. 

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This rice is small and smells so good! The ghee rice made with this rice is super tasty and smells amazing. Enjoy this kaima rice dish with Kerala curry. The touch of sweetness from the raisins and cashews pairs perfectly with the kaima rice's fluffy texture. 


This sweet and steamed snack will have your taste buds dancing! Originating in the state of Kerala, kinnathappam is a type of rice cake made with kaima rice flour, coconut, and jaggery. These bite-sized beauties are made by steaming a Kaima rice batter, which is then cooled and cut into squares or diamonds. Some versions even incorporate cardamom or cumin seeds for extra flair. Whether enjoying it with a steaming cup of chai or as an anytime snack, kinnathappam is sure to delight your senses. 

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Erachi Choru 

The aromatic spices of Kerala beckon your taste buds to explore a delectable dish known as erachi choru. This rice preparation combines the rich flavors of meat cooked with Kaima rice and freshly ground spices, sending your senses on an exotic journey with each bite. Slow-cooked meat infused with cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and more mingles with steaming kaima rice. Every bite of this dish invites you to experience the magic of Kerala. 

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Pal Payasam 

This is a popular South Indian dessert made with Kaima rice, milk and sugar. The rice is cooked in milk until soft and creamy to make a pudding-like texture. 

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Jaggery or sugar is added to sweeten it. Saffron, cardamom, cashew nuts and raisins are also commonly used to flavor and garnish this dessert. Just a few ingredients are needed to make this quintessential South Indian delicacy that is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.