This Erachi Choru (Beef Rice) tastes so good and is super easy to make! No more wet, overcooked rice or a long list of ingredients or special spices mixes! Learn to make this traditional Kerala Malabar meat and rice dish with just a few ingredients and simple steps. Inspired by my mom’s recipe, we love to serve Erachi choru with some yoghurt, pickle, pappadums or fryums for fun!
This Erachi choru recipe is from our hometown in the Malabar region of Kerala. This is usually served for lunch or dinner and during the month of Ramadan. As I use boneless beef, this dish is an excellent option for a picnic, a long road trip, a train journey, etc.
This Kerala-style beef rice is very similar to my Tamilnadu-style Mutton biryani but way simpler. You don't need anything else to accompany this rice, but usually, it is served with some pickle and yoghurt. Bonus point if wrapped in banana leaf.
I like to call this Beef Rice a semi-biryani dish that is much easier to make. Unlike the usual Thalassery Chicken Dum biryani that requires a long list of ingredients and elaborate steps of cooking, this Erachi Choru comes together quicker, easier and as tasty as a biryani.
- cooking oil
- veggies: red onions, green chillies, ginger and garlic, tomatoes and coriander leaves
- whole spices: cinnamon, cloves, cardamom
- beef (boneless or curry cut or stew cut)
- ground spices: coriander, turmeric, red chilli
- lime juice
- jeerakasala (kaima)
Simple right? No meat masala, no garam masala powder, no fried onions, no coconut, no yoghurt, etc. A simple and flavourful meat and rice dish cooked to perfection.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to make it?
Making Erachi Choru (Beef Rice) has two major steps:
- Preparing the beef curry
- Cooking the rice with the cooked beef gravy and additional water as required
A step-by-step process of making Beef Rice, the Malabari erachi choru.
I like to use my 2-litre pressure cooker for cooking beef curry. You can make this in Instant pot. Heat oil and ghee on medium flame. Add the whole spices and let them swell for a few seconds.
Next, I like to add the thinly sliced onions, ginger garlic paste and green chillies and saute until the onions turn translucent. You can add freshly pounded ginger and garlic instead of paste.
Next, add the drained boneless beef chunks and stir on medium to high heat until browned.
Reduce the heat and add the ground spices and mix until well coated. Cook on medium to high flame until the meat releases moisture and turns dark. Then, continue to saute until all the moisture is gone.
Now, pour ¾ cup of water and stir in chopped tomato or lime juice and salt to taste. Close and pressure cook on high for 1 whistle and reduce to medium and wait for 2 whistles and then lastly, reduce to low and wait for one last whistle. Switch off and let rest until pressure releases on its own.
Once the pressure settles, open and confirm the beef is cooked through before you add it to the rice. If required, cook it further for a whistle or two. The meat should hold shape and be well done. Now you can keep this covered while you prep the rice.
Wash the Jeerakasala or kaima rice until the water runs clear and let drain completely. Heat ghee in a deep saucepot. Add the whole spices and diced onions. Saute until translucent. Meanwhile don't forget to boil at least 3 cups of water in the kettle.
Next, add the drained kaima rice and fry for a few seconds or until almost dry.
Make sure the beef curry is hot before you pour it over the rice. You may have to reheat it to boiling point.
Next, pour the hot water minus 1 cup required for the rice. For 2 cups of rice, I have added 3 cups of hot water as we used ¾ cup for the beef curry. There is a short of ¼ cup which I will hold back and add only if required.
Stir in some freshly chopped coriander leaves and salt to taste. This would be the only time you can fix the salt, so ensure you taste and adjust as needed. Bring to a full boil on medium to high flame and let it boil until the rice surfaces.
At this point, if you find the rice is still very raw, add a few tbsps of reserved ¼ cup water. I never needed to but it depends on a lot of factors from rice type, pot size, heat etc.
Reduce the flame to low, keep a pan (heat-diffuser) underneath, cover the pot with foil and then with a heavy lid. You may use a kitchen towel in place of foil. Cook on lowest heat for 8 minutes.
Open and stir to bring the bottom part to the top. Switch off and keep covered for 5 minutes. Open and transfer the rice to a platter. Serve with lime pickle, yoghurt and papad.
Hint: You can scale up the rice and meat. The idea is to keep the quantity of water for the entire dish based on how much rice you use. For example, for 2 cups of rice, we need 4 cups of water. I used ¾ cup of water to cook the beef and added the remaining 3 cups while cooking the rice with the meat.
You can substitute some of the ingredients and still have a tasty rice dish.
- cooking oil: I usually use a mix of ghee and sunflower oil. You can use any neutral cooking oil or coconut oil or mix butter with oil.
- beef: I always make this with boneless beef but you can use bone-in or boneless beef, chicken or mutton or lamb, etc.
- Jeerakasala rice: I make it with Kaima or Jeerakasala which are short grains and sometimes I use basmati or sella rice. Make sure to wash and rinse the rice until clear water.
- ginger-garlic paste: You can freshly crush 5 to 6 large garlic cloves and 1.5-inch ginger.
You can make Erachi choru with any choice of meat - mutton, lamb, chicken or beef, but we love ours with boneless beef.
Keep this beef rice recipe as simple as you can because the more you spruce it up the more it leans towards becoming Tamilnadu-style biryani. See this Tamilnadu-style mutton biryani for a spicy and richer version of this recipe on my website.
Though not traditional, you can add vegetables like carrots, potatoes or green peas if you want to make it a wholesome meal. For Chicken and vegetable rice, check my chicken machboos recipe.
- Pressure cooker or instant pot to cook the beef gravy
- Heavy-bottomed wide pot with a heavy lid to cook the rice with beef
You can store any leftover erachi choru in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat leftover beef rice you can use one of the following methods:
- microwave: Place the beef rice in a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- stovetop: Place the rice in a pan with a lid on and heat on low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. The condensation on the lid will add back moisture to the rice.
- oven: If you have a large amount to reheat, then use the oven for ease. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Transfer the beef rice to an oven-safe dish. Cover with foil or lid and reheat for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through.
- Always start with a little less than planned water to cook the rice, especially when you are making 2 or more cups of rice. You can always add more hot water later, if required.
- Make sure to reheat the beef curry before you add to the rice. The rice needs to be cooked with hot beef curry and hot water.
Erachi Choru is a traditional Malabar dish from the Indian state of Kerala. The name "Erachi Choru" translates to "meat rice" in English. Erachi Choru is often made using beef or mutton and is served for lunch or dinner, accompanied by side dishes like raita (yoghurt salad), papadum (crispy Indian crackers), or pickles.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Beef Rice (Erachi Choru)
For the beef gravy
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil sunflower oil or ghee or coconut oil
- 2 large onions sliced thinly
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 green cardamom
- 4 cloves
- 3 to 5 green chillies slit
- 1 ½ tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 500 grams boneless beef chunks rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- ¾ cup water
- ½ tomato or 1 tablespoon lime juice
- salt to taste
For the rice
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- 1 clove
- 1 green cardamom
- curry leaves optional
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cups Jeerakasala or Kaima rice (or basmati)
- 3 cups hot water
- ½ cup Fresh coriander leaves
- salt to taste
For the beef gravy
- Heat oil in a pressure cooker on medium flame. Add the whole spices and let them swell for a few seconds.2 tablespoon cooking oil, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 green cardamom, 4 cloves
- Next, add the chopped onions, ginger garlic paste and green chillies and saute until onions turn translucent.2 large onions, 3 to 5 green chillies, 1 ½ tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- Now, add the drained boneless beef chunks and stir on medium to high heat until browned. Then, reduce the heat and add the ground spices and mix until well coated.500 grams boneless beef chunks, 1 tablespoon coriander powder, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
- Cook on medium to high flame until the meat releases moisture and turns dark. Then, continue to saute until all the moisture is gone.
- Now, pour ¾ cup of water and stir in chopped tomato or lime juice and salt to taste.¾ cup water, ½ tomato, salt to taste
- Close and pressure cook on high for 1 whistle and reduce to medium and wait for 2 whistles and then lastly, reduce to low and wait for one last whistle. Switch off and let rest until pressure releases on its own.
- Open and confirm the beef is cooked through before you add it to the rice. If required, cook it further for a whistle or two. The meat should hold shape and be well done.
For beef rice (erachi choru)
- Wash the Jeerakasala or kaima rice until the water runs clear and let drain completely. You don't need to soak the rice.
- Heat ghee in a wide-bottomed deep pot. Add the whole spices and diced onions. Saute until translucent. Meanwhile, boil the remaining water in the kettle.2 tablespoon ghee, 1 clove, 1 green cardamom, curry leaves, 1 medium onion
- Next, add the drained rice and fry for a few seconds or until almost dry.2 cups Jeerakasala or Kaima rice
- Pour the prepared beef gravy (reheat if required) and the hot water to cook the rice.3 cups hot water
- Stir in some freshly chopped coriander leaves and salt to taste. This would be the only time you can fix the salt, so ensure you taste and adjust as needed.salt to taste, ½ cup Fresh coriander leaves
- Bring to a full boil on medium to high flame and let it boil until the rice surfaces.
- Reduce the flame to low, keep a pan (heat-diffuser) underneath, cover the pot with foil and then with a heavy lid. You may use a kitchen towel in place of foil.
- Cook on lowest heat for 8 minutes. Open and stir to bring the bottom part to the top. Switch off and keep covered for 5 minutes.
- Open and transfer the rice to a platter. Serve with lime pickle, yoghurt and pappad.
If you tried this meat rice recipe, please comment and rate the recipe here or tag me on Instagram @butfirstchaai. Thank you.