Mangalorean ghee rice

Ghee Rice is an aromatic, flavourful rice preparation, where rice is cooked in ghee (clarified butter), spices and garnished with fried nuts. Ghee rice is  a common rice preparation in Mangalore.  Mangaloreans make ghee rice for special ocassions. It is known as Neyita Nuppu in Tulu*. (Neyi = Ghee Nuppu= cooked rice).  Ghee rice pairs well with thick vegetarian/ non-vegetarian gravies as well as simple dal.  Here goes the recipe for ghee rice:

(*Tulu is the language spoken in the south west part of Karnataka)


1 cup basmati rice (chawal)
5 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
2 onions, thinly sliced (pyaaz)
12 to 15 cashew nuts (kaju)
1 bay leaf (tej patta)
5 to 6 cloves (laung/lavang)
5 to 6 black pepper (kali mirch)
1 inch piece of cinnamon (dalchini)
3 cardamoms (elaichi)
Salt as per taste (namak)
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves (hara dhaniya)

Mangalorean Ghee Rice


  • Wash the rice and keep it soaked in water for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, drain the water and keep soaked rice aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a small pan.
  • Add cashew nuts.
  • Fry the cashew nuts till they turn golden brown.
  • Remove and keep aside.
  • Now, add ½ onion (thinly sliced).
  • Fry the onions till they turn golden brown.
  • Keep fried onions aside.
  • Next, heat 4 tbsp oil in a pan.
  • Add bay leaf, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamoms  and 1 ½ onion (thinly sliced).
  • Saute the onions till they change colour.
  • Now, add soaked rice and saute for few minutes. Add salt.
  • Add 2 cups of hot water into the pan and give a mix.
  • Allow the water to come to a boil on high heat.
  • Once the water starts boiling, reduce the heat and cover the pan.  
  • Cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Keep checking and stirring the rice intermittently.
  • When the water is all soaked up and  rice is cooked, turn off the heat.
  • Garnish with fried cashew nuts, fried onions and chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with any gravy or dal of your choice.




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