Indian Lemon Rice – a tangy, crunchy and flavourful dish that gets together in under 20 minutes and makes an ideal dish on busy weekdays or to pack for lunchbox. This naturally vegan turmeric rice tastes great on its own or usually paired with simple sides, pickle and papad.
As always, you will find the full ingredients list with measurements and detailed recipe instructions in a separate recipe box underneath the text section. To bypass the text section choose “SCROLL TO RECIPE” or “PRINT RECIPE” or click the “SCROLL TO VIDEO” option to watch the full video of this recipe. All options are located at the beginning of the post.
This south Indian turmeric lemon rice also called chitranna, nimmakaya pulihora is one of the staples in south Indian households. Perhaps it is one of the favourite dishes made on festivals, on special occasions and to pack for kids lunchbox. It is mostly preferred to pack for picnics and for meals during long trips due to its better shelf life than other flavoured rice varieties.
This yellow rice is one such versatile dish that can made either with freshly cooked rice or the left over rice. It is a great way to transform left over rice to a completely new dish with minimal efforts and with pantry staples.
More recipes with left over rice
Lemon Rice Recipe Variations
This is a typical south Indian lemon rice that certainly could be modified to suit an individual’s taste.
Parboiled vegetables – carrot, peas, corn makes a healthy addition and it’s a great way to up vegetable intake for kids.
Freshly grated coconut adds a lovely flavour and taste.
Use up leftover rice to make this dish and pair it with Vegetable Pakora for a simple yet delicious meal.
watch how to make lemon rice
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Step by Step Instructions
1. Heat oil in a pan over a medium-low flame. Once the oil is hot, add mustard followed by chana dal, urad dal and peanuts. Stir and fry until chana dal turn light brown and release nutty aroma.
2. Add curry leaves, ginger, green and dried red chillies. Sauté for a minute.
3. Now add asafoetida, salt, turmeric and stir.
4. Add cooked rice, squeeze lime juice and mix well.
5. Finally add handful coriander leaves.
6. Mix until rice is well combined.
Serve delicious Indian lemon rice with any accompaniment of your choice.
Tips and Tricks
Cook rice in such a way that each grain is separate. Add a small spoon oil to the cooked rice and spread the rice on a plate/tray to cool completely. You can use any rice variety – sona masoori, ponni, long grain or basmati rice.
Best is to use leftover rice for this recipe as little dried rice helps in even and easy mixing.
Asafoetida enhances the flavour, skip it if you don’t like it or unavailable near your place.
Adjust lime juice and chillies according to your preferred sourness and spice levels.
Urad dal and chana dal adds a lovely nutty aroma and taste. But you could leave them out if you don’t have them on hand.
Ensure not to use freshly cooked rice immediately as it could get mushy while mixing. Allow rice to cool and then use it.
For gluten free version, use gluten free asafoetida or just do not use it.
More Rice Recipes
1 Cup = 250ml ; 1 tbsp =15ml ; 1 tsp =5ml
- 2 tbsp Oil
- ½ tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Urad Dal/Skinned Black Lentils
- 1 tsp Chana Dal/Split Chick Pea
- 2 tbsp Peanuts/Groundnut
- 2 Green Chillies slit
- 1 Dry Red chillies broken
- 1 tsp Ginger finely chopped/grated
- Few Curry Leaves
- As Required Salt
- A pinch Asafoetida/Hing (Optional)
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 3 cups Rice cooked
- ½ lime Juice
- 2 tbsp Coriander Leaves chopped
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan on medium flame.
- Add mustard seeds and let them crackle.
- Then add urad dal, chana dal, peanuts and saute until chana dal turns golden brown.
- Add green chillies, red chillies, ginger, curry leaves and sauté for few seconds or until red chillies change colour.
- Now add a pinch of asafoetida, salt.
- Add turmeric powder mix well and reduce the flame to lowest setting.
- Now add cooked rice.
- Squeeze juice from 1/2 a lime.
- Mix well and turn off the flame.
- Add coriander leaves
- Mix until well combined.
- Enjoy Lemon Rice with pakoda, poppadums or pickle.
KEEP IN TOUCH
Do let me know if you make this simple yet delicious south Indian lemon rice. I love to get feedback from readers.