Instant Pot Ghee Rice is a flavorful and aromatic Indian rice dish made using Ghee, Basmati Rice, cashews, onions and other whole spices in the Instant Pot. Ghee is clarified butter commonly used in Indian cooking, and it adds a rich and nutty flavour to the rice. This Instant Pot ghee rice recipe is a delicious option for a simple dinner or lunchbox.
Ghee rice, also known as “nei soru,” is a traditional and flavorful dish made with ghee (clarified butter) and aromatic spices. It is a popular dish in South Indian Cuisine and is often prepared for special occasions, festivals, or as a part of a festive meal. The term “nei soru” specifically refers to ghee rice in Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India.
Ghee rice or nei soru is often served as a side dish with various Indian curries, gravies or as part of a festive meal. It has a rich, aromatic flavour due to the ghee and spices, making it a delightful addition to any Indian feast.
Why you will love making Ghee Rice in Instant Pot
Rich and Aromatic Flavor: Ghee Rice is known for its rich and aromatic flavour, thanks to the use of ghee and a blend of aromatic spices. The combination of these ingredients creates a delightful taste that many find appealing.
Versatility: Ghee Rice can be served as a standalone dish or as a complement to various Indian curries, dals, and gravies. Its versatility allows it to be a part of everyday meals and special occasions.
Cultural and Traditional Significance: Nei Soru is deeply rooted in South Indian culinary traditions and is often prepared for festivals, celebrations, and family gatherings. It carries cultural significance and is a way to connect with Indian heritage.
Simple Ingredients: Ghee Rice is made with simple and readily available ingredients like rice, ghee, and common spices. This makes it accessible for home cooks of all skill levels.
Comfort Food: Many people find Ghee Rice to be a comforting and satisfying dish. The combination of ghee, warm spices, and perfectly cooked rice can evoke a sense of comfort and nostalgia.
Easy to Customize: While the basic recipe for Ghee Rice is straightforward, it can be customized to suit individual preferences. You can adjust the level of spiciness, add vegetables or nuts for extra texture and flavour, or incorporate other ingredients to make it your own.
Quick and Convenient: Ghee Rice can be prepared relatively quickly with the right technique and equipment, such as an Instant Pot. This convenience is especially appreciated on busy days.
How to make Ghee Rice in Instant Pot
Wash and soak the Basmati Rice in enough water for 20 minutes.
Turn on the Instant Pot and select the “Sauté” function. Add the ghee and let it melt.
Add cashews, and fry till they turn golden brown. Next, add raisins and saute till they plump up. Remove and set them aside on a plate.
Add the remaining ghee, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, star anise, and bay leaf to the Pot. Sauté for about 30 seconds or until the spices become fragrant.
Add the sliced onions and green chillies to the pot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another minute until the raw smell disappears.
Add the soaked and drained Basmati rice to the pot. Stir well to coat the rice with the ghee and spices. Sauté for 2-3 minutes to lightly toast the rice grains.
Pour in the water and add salt to taste. Stir well to combine.
Cancel the “Sauté” function on the Instant Pot and close the lid. Make sure the pressure release valve is in the sealing position.
Set the Instant Pot to “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” mode and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally for about 5 minutes. Then, carefully release any remaining pressure manually.
Open the Instant Pot, fluff the rice gently with a fork, and add the fried cashews and raisins.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with your favourite side dishes like raita, dal, or any gravy.
What are the key ingredients in ghee rice?
The primary ingredients in Ghee Rice include basmati rice, ghee, spices (such as cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and bay leaves), onions, and salt. Cashews, almonds and raisins are often added for extra flavour and texture.
Can I make ghee rice without ghee?
While ghee is a key ingredient that adds a unique flavour to Ghee Rice, you can make a variation of this dish using any neutral oil like sunflower oil or vegetable oil. However, it won’t have the same traditional flavour.
Is ghee rice suitable for vegetarians/vegans?
Ghee Rice is not vegan since it contains ghee (clarified butter), which is a dairy product. However, you can make a vegan version using plant-based butter or oil instead of ghee.
Can I make ghee rice in a stovetop pressure cooker?
Yes, you can. Follow the same instructions and cook for 2 whistles on a medium flame. Switch off and let the pressure release naturally.
What type of rice is best for Ghee Rice?
Basmati rice is the most commonly used rice for Ghee Rice due to its long grains and aromatic qualities. However, you can use other long-grain rice varieties if needed. Seeraga Samba Rice or Raw Rice can also be used. The water ratio will vary depending on the rice you use.
Is ghee rice spicy?
Ghee Rice is typically mildly spiced, but the level of spiciness can be adjusted to your preference. Adding more or fewer green chillies makes it spicier or milder.
Tips & Variations
Toast the Rice: After sautéing the spices and onions, add the rinsed and drained rice to the Instant Pot. Toast it for a few minutes in the ghee until the grains turn slightly translucent and absorb some of the ghee’s flavour.
Fluffing the Rice: When you open the Instant Pot, use a fork to fluff the rice gently. This separates the grains and helps release any excess steam.
Resting Time: Let the Nei Soru rest for a few minutes after cooking before serving. This allows the flavours to meld and the rice to settle.
Garnishes: Garnish the Nei Soru with freshly chopped cilantro or mint leaves for a burst of freshness and colour.
Proper Water-to-Rice Ratio: The water-to-rice ratio is crucial. For most types of Basmati rice, use a 1:1.5 ratio (1 cup rice to 1.5 cups water) for a fluffy and non-sticky texture. Adjust slightly based on the rice variety.
Adding Coconut Milk: For a coconut flavour, add coconut milk instead of water to make the Nei Soru in the Instant Pot.
What to serve with Ghee Rice?
Gravies: Ghee Rice pairs well with a variety of side dishes, making it a complete and satisfying meal. Some options are Vegetable Kurma, Potato Peas Kurma,
Channa Kurma, White Kurma, Egg Curry, Matar Paneer, and Kerala Kadala Curry. There are more side dish recipes available on my blog. Please visit here.
Raita: A cooling yogurt-based side dish with cucumber, mint, or tomatoes. Raita helps balance the spiciness of other Indian dishes. You can try my Okra Raita for a variation.
Pickle: Indian pickles, such as mango pickle, tomato thokku or lime pickle, add a burst of tanginess and spice to your meal. A small serving alongside Nei Soru can be delightful.
Papad (Poppadoms): These thin and crispy Indian crackers are a popular accompaniment to rice dishes. They add a satisfying crunch.
Other recipes you may like
Instant Pot Ghee Rice
- 4 tbsp Ghee
- 1 & 1/2 cup Basmati Rice
- 2 & 1/4 cup Water
- Salt to taste
- 1 Onion thinly sliced
- 3 Green Chillies
- 2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 tbsp Raisins
- 20 Cashews
- 2 tbsp Coriander Leaves to garnish
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 Bay Leaf
- 2 Star anise
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 2 Cloves
- 2 Cardamom
- Wash and soak the Basmati Rice in enough water for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Turn on the Instant Pot and select the "Sauté" function. Add 2 tbsp ghee and let it melt.
- Add cashews, and fry till they turn golden brown. Next, add raisins and saute till they plump up. Remove and set them aside on a plate.
- Add the remaining 2 tbsp ghee, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, star anise, and bay leaf to the Pot. Sauté for about 30 seconds or until the spices become fragrant.
- Add the sliced onions and green chillies to the pot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the onions turn translucent.
- Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another minute until the raw smell disappears.
- Add the soaked and drained Basmati rice to the pot. Stir well to coat the rice with the ghee and spices. Sauté for 2-3 minutes to lightly toast the rice grains.
- Pour in the water and add salt to taste. Stir well to combine.
- Cancel the "Sauté" function on the Instant Pot and close the lid. Make sure the pressure release valve is in the sealing position.
- Set the Instant Pot to "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" mode and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally for about 5 minutes. Then, carefully release any remaining pressure manually.
- Open the Instant Pot, fluff the rice gently with a fork, and add the fried cashews and raisins.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with your favourite side dishes like raita, dal, or any gravy.