Although ghee rice doesn’t necessarily need an introduction, there is something comforting about the aroma of whole spices and dry fruits frying in ghee and infusing it with flavour, that make kaima rice, a local short grain variety, sing.
If you’ve grown up in India, you know how integral ghee rice is to our culture. Right from being fed to babies as one of their first solid food to aromatic heaps sitting pretty at daawats, a good plate of ghee rice can be a revelation. However, this Kerala variation of ghee rice, infused with the aroma of whole spices, dry fruits and fried onions, is one to write home about. A good neichoru can form the foundation of a great Mappila biryani; or even better, be eaten with spicy meat curries.
What makes this neichoru special, is how rich and delicious the rice tastes on its own, making one wonder if it really needs to be eaten with an accompaniment. Traditionally, neichoru was cooked in large pots and requires quite the number of skills to nail it down to the tee. This method however, requires minimum effort, can be made in a pressure cooker or instant pot but holds just as much flavour, like you would expect the elaborate preparation to have. You could obviously switch the variety of rice being used depending on where you live and adjust the amount of water, accordingly. This recipe works well even when replicated with fragrant basmati rice.
Image Courtesy: Aharam