Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeFoodIndian Butter Rice

Indian Butter Rice

Here, on this post, I have a recipe that is as simple as it can get, yet is full of flavors and become the base for many more rice-based preparations. This buttered rice is a delicious variation of rice dish in the Indian food scene. I had chanced upon a few versions of an Indian Butter Rice recipe in the cookbooks I have. Thereafter, I started preparing my own version of this tasty and fragrant dish. Sometimes, it is also all about the simplicity in a recipe that does wonders. You’ll know it, the moment you try this recipe.

butter rice served in an oval white platter with a garnish of mint sprig on a dark blue board with text layovers.

About Butter Rice

Basmati rice, butter (either white or salted) and a few more ingredients like whole spices, salt and some water. Voila! You have a dish ready to blow your minds with its simple yet amazing flavors. This recipe of Indian-style Butter Rice is just this, and more.

This Indian Butter Rice is also known as Makhani Pulao or Makhani Chawal, and is a delectable and indulgent dish that combines the richness of butter with aromatic spices and fluffy basmati rice.

There are many ways a Butter Rice can be made. This is one of the simplest ways to prepare it. So, when you want to give a makeover to the simple and plain steamed rice, then you know can turn to this recipe of mine and elevate it to a lovely Butter Rice.

This recipe of Butter Rice can easily be halved, doubled or tripled to suit your requirements. As is visible from the step-by-step depiction of this recipe here, I have used unsalted white butter (called makhan in Hindi) for my recipe. You can even use salted butter or yellow butter.

Serve Butter Rice with any North Indian lentil dish like Dal Makhani, dal fry, dal tadka or a curry of your choice like Paneer Butter Masala, dum aloo, rajma masala or Kadai Paneer.

This rice variety is a comforting and indulgent dish that showcases the essence of Indian cuisine – combining aromatic spices with the creamy richness of butter to create a dish that’s both satisfying and memorable.

Customizations

Other ingredients that you consider adding to this Butter Rice are some sautéed sliced onions, sliced green chilies or a bit of red chili powder for a subtle heat and some ginger-garlic paste for a savory kick.

I also add some cashews in this Butter Rice to enhance the flavors and texture. But this is optional and can be skipped.

Of course, if you are a fan of nuts and dry fruits, you can consider adding more of them like almonds, pistachios, raisins or sultanas. Have some dried berries? Add them to make a very basic and simple version of a berry pulao.

Finishing touches to this Butter Rice can include addition of a handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves or parsley or mint for a pop of color and freshness.

Some more rice recipes that add a lot of flavor to an Indian meal are Ghee Rice, Jeera Rice, kaju pulao, Masala Rice and the Kerala-style ghee rice called Nei Choru. So, when you want to perk up a simple dal rice meal or rajma rice (rajma chawal) meal, then you can prepare these rice recipe varieties.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Indian Butter Rice

Prep Rice

1. Rinse ½ cup basmati rice very well in water till the water runs clear of starch. Then, soak rice in enough water for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, drain all the water and keep the soaked rice aside.

Note that instead of basmati rice, you could use any other variety of long grained rice or medium-grained rice that is not sticky.

soaking basmati rice for butter rice.

Sauté Spices, Cashews In Butter

2. Keep a thick-bottomed pan on low heat on the stovetop. Add 2 tablespoons white unsalted butter in the pan.

You can also opt to use salted butter.

white butter added to pan.

3. Let the butter simply melt on a low to medium-low heat.

melted butter in pan.

4. When the butter has almost melted, add the following whole spices:

  • 1 small tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
  • ½ inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 green cardamoms
whole spices added to melted butter in pan.

5. Next, add 8 to 10 cashews.

cashews added to pan.

6. On low medium-low heat, sauté the cashews.

sautéing cashews in butter.

7. Sauté until the cashews turn light golden or golden.

You can skip cashews, if you want or you can fry or roast/toast cashews separately and then add them as a garnish.

sautéing cashews till golden for butter rice.

Make Butter Rice

8. Next, add the rice.

rice added to pan.

9. Gently stir and mix to combine the rice with the butter, spices and cashews. The butter should coat the rice grains evenly.

rice mixed with spices and cashews.

10. Next, add 1 to 1¼ cups water.

Depending on the quality of rice used, you can add less or more water.

water added to pan for making butter rice.

11. Season with salt as per taste. Keep a check on salt, if using salted butter.

adding salt to butter rice.

12. Mix well. Check the taste of water and it should taste slightly salty.

salt mixed well into the rice mixture.

13. Cover the pan with its lid and simmer on low to medium-low heat until the rice grains are tender and all the water is absorbed.

You can check the rice at intervals and if required, add some more water.

cooking butter rice in covered pan.

14. Once done, remove the lid and gently fluff the rice.

fluffing cooked butter rice.

15. Serve Butter Rice with any North Indian lentil dishes or curries of your choice.

You can garnish it with some chopped coriander or mint leaves or parsley.

butter rice served in an oval white platter with a garnish of mint sprig on a dark blue board with text layovers.

Expert Tips

  1. Choice of fat: While the name suggests using butter for the recipe, if you do not have it, you can also make this dish with ghee or oil instead.
  2. Variety of butter: This dish turns out equally good with yellow butter. So, it is a good alternative to white butter.
  3. Additional spices: Along with the spices that I have used in this recipe of Indian Butter Rice, you can add your choice of other whole spices like mace, nutmeg, star anise, etc. This will enhance the flavors. However, I suggest to not go overboard with spices in order to experience the essence of butter in the dish.
  4. Seasoning Butter Rice: If you are using salted butter, then adjust the salt in the dish accordingly. Taste, and add as per your requirement.
  5. Optional ingredients: Cashews are my choice of nuts. So, I add them. You can make the dish without them or add any other dry fruits like raisins, pistachios or almonds.
  6. Scalability: You can easily reduce or scale this recipe to make for less or more servings.

FAQs

Which variety of rice is best for Butter Rice?

For a traditional Indian butter rice recipe, basmati rice is the best choice due to its fragrance and ability to absorb flavors well.

Can I make this dish spicy?

While the authentic recipe is non-spicy, you can add some green chilies or red chili powder to bring in a subtle spice level in this Butter Rice.

Is it possible to make a vegan Butter Rice?

Yes, of course it is possible. Use oil or a vegan butter for the same.

How do I prevent Butter Rice from becoming too sticky?

To ensure fluffy and non-sticky rice, rinse the basmati rice thoroughly before cooking and soak it for about 30 minutes. Right ratio of water to rice is necessary and avoid overcooking.

Can I add vegetables to Butter Rice?

Yes, you can enhance the flavor and texture by adding veggies like potatoes, green peas, carrots, bell peppers, corn or even Indian cottage cheese (paneer).

More Rice Recipes To Try!

Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

butter rice served in an oval white platter with a garnish of mint sprig on a dark blue board with text layovers.

Indian Butter Rice

This Indian Butter Rice also known as Makhani Pulao or Makhani Chawal is a delectable and indulgent dish that combines the richness of butter with aromatic spices and fluffy basmati rice. It is best paired with robust Indian curries and lentils.

5 from 2 votes

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

Soaking rice

  • Rinse the basmati rice very well in water until the water runs clear of starch. 

  • Soak rice in enough water for 30 minutes. 

  • After 30 minutes drain all the water and set the rice aside.

Making butter rice

  • Keep a thick bottomed pan or pot on stovetop. Keep the flame to a low or medium-low. Add the butter in the pan or pot. 

  • Let the butter simply melt.

  • When the butter has almost finished melting, add the following whole spices – tej patta, cinnamon, cloves and green cardamoms.

  • Next add 8 to 10 cashews and on a medium-low heat cook the cashews.

  • Sauté till the cashews turn a light golden or golden. You can skip cashews if you want or you can fry or roast/toast the cashews separately and later add them as garnish.
  • Next add the rice.

  • Gently stir and mix the rice with the butter, spices and cashews. The butter should coat the rice grains evenly.

  • Next add 1 to 1.25 cups water. Depending on the quality and type of rice used, you can add less or more water.

  • Season with salt as per taste. Keep a check on salt if using salted butter.

  • Mix well. Check the taste of water and it should taste slightly salty.

  • Cover the pan with its lid and simmer Butter Rice on a low to medium-low heat until the rice grains are tender and all the water is absorbed. You can check the rice at intervals a few times and if needed add some more water.
  • Once done, remove the lid and gently fluff the rice.

  • Serve Butter Rice with any North Indian curried lentils or gravy or curry of your choice. You can also garnish it with some chopped cilantro leaves or mint leaves or parsley.

  • You can skip cashews or add your choice of nuts and dry fruits like almonds, pistachios or raisins or sultanas. 
  • If you do not have butter, then you can use ghee instead.
  • The recipe can be halved or doubled.

Nutrition Facts

Indian Butter Rice

Amount Per Serving

Calories 310 Calories from Fat 126

% Daily Value*

Fat 14g22%

Saturated Fat 8g50%

Trans Fat 0.5g

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 4g

Cholesterol 30mg10%

Sodium 594mg26%

Potassium 122mg3%

Carbohydrates 41g14%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 0.4g0%

Protein 5g10%

Vitamin A 354IU7%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.1mg7%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.04mg2%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%

Vitamin B6 0.1mg5%

Vitamin B12 0.03µg1%

Vitamin C 0.5mg1%

Vitamin D 0.2µg1%

Vitamin E 0.5mg3%

Vitamin K 3µg3%

Calcium 35mg4%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 6µg2%

Iron 1mg6%

Magnesium 36mg9%

Phosphorus 96mg10%

Zinc 1mg7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Butter Rice recipe from the blog archives was first published on July 2017. It has been updated and republished on May 2024.

Source: Dassana’s Veg Recipes
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