Kerala Fried Rice: A Dish Packed With Flavour
Image Credit: Shutterstock, Kerala Fried Rice

Kerala fried rice is a melange of tastes and textures, loaded with crunchy vegetables, such as carrots and peas, moderately spiced, richly flavoursome, and light to eat. It has a distinctive flavour due to the addition of ingredients like long grain Basmati rice, cinnamon sticks, caramelised onions, dried raisins, and, most importantly, cashew nuts. It takes about half an hour to 40 minutes to prepare. So, if a special dish is to be rustled up for family and friends, then Kerala fried rice is a good choice. 

The Origins Of Fried Rice

It is believed, by and large, that fried rice initially was made with leftovers. Although there can be no exact date given as to when fried rice originated, some claim that the dish was invented in the Chinese city, Yangzhou, sometime around the 5th and 6th Centuries CE. Today, fried rice has many variations across the world, making it one of the most experimented dishes.  

The Nuts And Bolts Of Cashews 

Kerala fried rice is also healthy as it has cashew nuts, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats. Cashews are believed to be good to control blood sugar and are good for the heart too. They are mostly grown in coastal regions such as Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal, and in a few areas in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura. 

Source: Shutterstock

    4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

    4 cups sliced onions

    1 cup cashew nuts

    1 cup dried red raisins

    1 cup long dry basmati rice

    2 cups pea and carrots

    2 cloves

    1 small cinnamon stick

    Salt to taste

    1 cup chopped cilantro stems

    Cilantro leaves for garnishing


1.    In a large frying pan, saute onion slices in 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, on medium heat, until onions are caramelised to a dark brown colour.

2.    Add a little bit of salt to season.

3.    Add a little bit of water to the pan to scrape up any brown bits while cooking it down. Remove from pan and set aside.

4.    In the same pan, add 1⁄2 tablespoon of ghee and the cashews, and sauté on low heat until golden. Remove from the pan when done and set aside.

5.    Add 1⁄2 tablespoon ghee and your raisins to the pan, sauté on low heat until the raisins swell up and brown. Remove from heat as soon as it is done and set aside.

6.    Heat the pan on low and add one tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the cinnamon stick and cloves, and let them splutter a bit in the oil. Add 3⁄4 of the caramelised onion, raisins, cashews and salt as per your taste.

7.    Put the pan on low-medium heat and stir fry the peas and carrots in it.

8.    Make the heat low and add cooked basmati rice and stir.

9.    Mix cilantro stems with the rice, then add salt to taste.

10.    Garnish rice with chopped cilantro leaves, and serve hot.

To complete the meal, Kerala fried rice can be served with spicy curry gravy, papadum, and salad.