Neichor or ghee rice, made in the Malabari Mappila style, is rice roasted and cooked with ghee and fragrant spices.
Neichor sounds simple enough, but as we learn, God is in the details. "Wash the rice 4 or 5 times, until the water rinses clear. Then drain it immediately, or the rice will become mushy." In a waiting brass chembu of hot oil, she measures cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, and adds in half a sliced onion. Read more on Neichoru and a complete Mappila lunch here.
Rafia’s Neichoru recipe
6 cups water
3 cups jeera rice
2 tbsp ghee
2 1/2 inch pieces of cinnamon
2 pods of cardamom
1/2 onion, sliced
1 1/2 tsp salt
On the stove, set the water to boil.
Meanwhile, wash the rice 4-5 times, gently using the whole palm of your hand. At the last wash, the water should run clear.
Allow the water to drain completely from the rice, over 10 minutes.
In a brass chembu, or deep pot, add in the ghee.
Then add in spices, and fry until fragrant.
Now add in the onions, and saute. Let them soften without browning.
Add in the rice.
Fry the rice with the spices and onions in ghee, quickly turning it over in sections until the rice turns shiny and makes a crackling sound.
Now, pour in the boiling water. It should bubble up as soon as it is added to the rice.
Add salt and stir once more. On tasting the water, it should taste distinctly over-salted. Don't worry, this will correct once the rice has been cooked.
Close the pot with a lid and place a weight over it. Cook for 5 min on high flame.
After 5 minutes, check the rice - the water should be at the level of the rice. Stir once more.
Now place the lid back on and let it cook for 10 min on simmer.
If water is less, and the rice is not fully cooked, make a small well in the middle of the rice, and add a few spoons of boiling water to the rice.
You will know it is done, when each grain of rice stands apart like petals on a flower.
Serve hot with kozhi porichathu and cabbage thoran.
This recipe is a #1000Kitchens feature!
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