The Lemon rice is one of the most commonly made south Indian rice dish. It is generally eaten alone or can also be eaten with yogurt, raita, chutney or kosambari. This is a very quick recipe that you can even make it when you feel lazy or when you are busy. Lemon rice is very easy to cook so I made it along with some carrot and cucumber kosambari, they both go very well together with a bowl of yogurt.
You can add a little extra virgin olive oil towards the end of making lemon rice. Although olive oil doesn’t really go well in Indian foods but there are a few foods which are exceptional and lemon rice is one of them. And if you like to increase the intake of olive oil in your diet, then this may be a good option. You can make this for your kids’ lunch box when you wake up late because this recipe does not need any kind of chopping or any additional work. In the lemon rice, the flavor of lemon is more dominant than the olive oil, so the extra virgin oil just goes very good for lemon rice even if you made for the lunch box. You can also use virgin coconut oil but that tastes very good when it is consumed immediately.
You can also use a bit of grated or minced or thinly sliced ginger because it adds a good flavor to the rice and also keeps fresh for hours. You can use peanuts to make this lemon rice, as I didn’t have them I have used cashews. One thing keep in mind that if you want to make a good refreshing lemon rice you have to use always the fresh lemons. But I personally like the large variety of lemons since they are really very flavorful.
To prepare the ingredients of the lemon rice recipe you will need only about 2 minutes and to cook this rice about 25 minutes is enough. To complete the lemon rice recipe 27 minutes is well enough. This popular south Indian lemon rice is usually made for a meal and normally it is served with curd or pickle or papad. This main type dish can be served to maximum 3 persons.
Ingredients needed (I have used a 240 ml cup)
1 and a half cup of rice
Lemon juice (as needed)
Salt (as needed)
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
Three fourth tablespoon of mustard
1 tablespoon of urad dal
1 and a half tablespoon of chana dal
2 to 4 tablespoon of peanuts or cashews
One eighth to one fourth tablespoon of turmeric powder or haldi
1 to 2 dried red chilies broken
1 to 2 green chili slit (you can skip if you are making for kids)
A pinch of hing
1 large sprig of curry leaves or kadi patta
Optional ingredients needed
Half tablespoon of grated or minced ginger
Step by step lemon rice recipe
Step no 1. Wash the rice and soak it for at least 15 minutes. Cook the rice and then cool it completely. Now sprinkle salt, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of oil evenly and mix them lightly. Adjust the salt and lemon as needed. And set this aside.
Step no 2. Add oil in a pan and heat it. Set the stove flame as low to medium. Now add peanuts or cashews in the heated oil and roast them until they are half roasted.
Step no 3. And now add urad dal and chana dal. Sauté them until they become lightly golden on a medium flame.
Step no 4. Add mustard first and sauté until they crackle. Add the curry leaves, ginger slices, green chilies and also the red chilies.
Step no 5. Sauté them until the curry leaves become crunchy. Turn the stove off. Add the hing and turmeric.
Step no 6. And finally add this to the cooled rice. And mix them very well.
The delicious lemon rice is ready. Serve it with whatever side dish you like.
Quick view of the recipe
Wash the rice for few times or until the water runs clear. Then soak it for at least 15 minute.
Cook it till it is fully done but do not make it mushy. Cook it on a medium flame in a 3 liters pressure cooker for 1 whistle and when the pressure goes off cool it completely.
Sprinkle the salt, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of oil evenly, when the rice cools completely. This step helps to keep the rice grainy. Now mix them well and check the salt and lemon juice and adjust it as you need.
Now heat a pan with oil on a medium to low flame. And when it becomes hot, add the peanuts or cashews. When they are half roasted, add the chana dal and urad dal. When the dal starts to become golden, add the mustard. Let it crackle. Then add the ginger, chilis and curry leaves and when the leaves turn crisp turn off the stove and add hing and turmeric. But do not burn the ginger because it will make the lemon rice bitter.
And finally add this to the cooled rice and mix everything very well. And the lemon rice is ready, serve hot or cold.