Ghee rice is a flavorful dish that features clarified butter (ghee), onions, and lots of rich spices. Follow my easy instructions with step-by-step photos to make this one pot recipe in a pan, in the Instant Pot and in a stove-top pressure cooker.
Rinse basmati rice in water until the water runs clear of starch. Soak the rice grains for 20 to 30 minutes in enough water.
Later drain the water and keep the soaked rice aside.
Before cooking, gather all the ingredients and set aside - the whole spices, cashews and raisins.
Slice 1 medium sized onion and set aside.
Frying cashews and raisins
Heat 3 tablespoons ghee in a thick bottomed pot or a thick bottomed pan. Keep the heat on a low.
Add the cashews first. Fry till you see light brown specks on a few of the cashews.
Then add the raisins. Fry until the raisins puff up in the ghee. Do stir continuously while frying the raisins and cashews.
Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Sautéing onions and rice
To the same ghee, add the whole spices and let them crackle and turn fragrant. Do not burn the spices.
Then immediately add the sliced onions.
Stir and sauté until the onions turn golden or caramelize.
Now add the soaked rice.
Gently stir the rice so that the ghee coats the grains evenly.
Now add 1.75 to 2 cups of water. Add water as required depending on the quality of rice. Some brands of basmati rice need only 1.5 cups of water. So add water accordingly.
Season with salt as per taste. I have used edible and food grade rock salt. If using any other salt, then add as per your taste. Check the taste of the water and it should taste a bit salty.
Cooking ghee rice (stove-top)
Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid.
Simmer until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed. Time take will be about 8 to 9 minutes or more depending on the quality, age of rice and the kind of pan.
You can check once or twice while the rice is cooking. If the grains are under cooked and the water has dried up, add some tablespoons of water all over. Gently stir with a fork. Cover and continue to cook.
Once the rice grains are fluffy and tender, rest for 5 to 6 minutes. Later remove the lid. Fluff the rice gently with a fork.
Serve ghee rice hot or warm garnished with fried cashews & raisins and some chopped coriander leaves. It tastes so good, that you can even have it as it is without any accompanying curry or dal or kurma.
Instant pot ghee rice
Firstly press the sauté button on your Instant Pot. Let the display show “hot”. Add the cashews first. When they begin to get light golden, then add raisins and fry until the raisins become plump. Remove them and set aside
Add the spices and let them crackle. Tip in the sliced onions and sauté until golden.
Now add the rice. Mix the rice grains very well.
Add 1.25 cups water and salt as needed. Stir well deglazing and removing any stuck bits of ingredients.
Seal IP with its lid. Position the pressure valve to the sealing position. Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes.
When the IP beeps after the pressure cooking is complete, wait for 10 minutes before doing a quick pressure release.
Carefully lift the valve to remove the extra pressure. Remove the lid. Gently fluff the rice and serve hot garnished with the fried cashews, raisins and coriander leaves.
Stove-top Pressure Cooker Method
First heat the ghee and then fry the cashews, raisins in a 2 litre pressure cooker. Set the fried cashews and raisins aside with a slotted spoon.
Then fry the whole spices and sauté onions until golden in the remaining ghee inside the cooker.
Add the rice and mix well. Pour 1.5 to 1.75 cups water and season with salt as needed.
Pressure cook for 7 to 8 minutes on medium to medium-high heat or for 2 whistles. Let the pressure fall naturally in the cooker. Open and fluff the ghee rice. Serve hot or warm.
Garnish the ghee rice with the fried cashews and raisins, and serve hot or warm. For an extra pop of fresh flavor, you can top with some chopped coriander or mint leaves.
Enjoy ghee rice plain on its own or as a delicious side dish. It is perfect to pair with gravy based dishes like rich any Indian curry or with dals, or korma varieties like vegetable korma or potato korma.
Keep any leftovers in your refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. Reheat by steaming in the Instant pot or in a pan for 5 minutes.
Rice: I personally love to make this ghee rice recipe with basmati rice or seeraga samba rice. However, feel free to use any variety of rice you prefer. Just make sure it is a rice that has separate grains that will not stick together when cooked.
Soaking: I do recommend to soak rice for a minimum of 20 minutes. Soaking rice makes them more fluffier while cooking. They also take less time to cook.
Ghee: Make the dish with desi ghee or a good brand or homemade ghee for the best taste and aroma in the dish.
Spices: Use fresh spices which are in their shelf life. Do not use spices that have become rancid or stale.
Nuts and raisins: For more crunch and protein you can add more cashews. To make a sweeter version, add more raisins to the recipe. For a non traditional version, you can include almonds or pistachios.
Added protein: Though not the norm, but some pan fried tofu or paneer added to the rice as a garnish or topping and will taste good. Boiled chickpeas or canned chickpeas, simple and plain or which have been lightly sautéed in a bit of ghee or oil with a few pinches of salt, red chilli powder or black pepper can be mixed with ghee rice. Mix the chickpeas gently once the rice is cooked or you can adding them as topping on the rice. On occasions I add some leftover cooked chickpeas to the rice and they taste delicious.
Veggies: Vegetable are never added in ghee rice. However for fussy kids who do not eat vegetables, this recipe is a good way to sneak in some veggies like carrots, spinach, bell pepper, green peas etc.
Scaling: As-is this recipe serves 2. It can easily be doubled or tripled. Cooled leftover ghee rice will keep well in a sealed container for up to 1 day in the refrigerator.
Sticky or mushy rice: If you overcook the rice or have added more water the rice grains will become mushy or sticky.