lemon rice recipe

lemon rice recipe with step by step photos – crunchy, flavorful and sour rice recipe from south india. this is one of the most popular and often made rice recipe from south india. a rice dish i have had at a few south indian temples and also in restaurants.

this lemon rice dish is one of the easiest to make. already cooked or steamed rice is mixed with a spiced lemon and peanut mixture.

you can make lemon rice with freshly cooked rice or even with left over rice. the peanuts adds crunch to this sour and aromatic rice recipe. you can cook the rice al dente or cook a bit more. apart from chinese fried rice, pulao or biryani, in all other rice recipes, i prefer to cook rice grains more than al dente.

best is to serve lemon rice with pappadums or even with a side vegetable salad or even coconut chutney.

this lemon rice can also be made as a tiffin box or as a picnic lunch. its a light dish and you can have it as a light breakfast also.

if you are looking for more rice recipes then do check:

lemon rice recipe below:

lemon rice recipe
4.48 from 19 votes
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lemon rice recipe

lemon rice recipe - crunchy, flavorful and sour rice recipe from south india.

course main course
cuisine south indian
prep time 20 minutes
cook time 5 minutes
total time 25 minutes
servings 2 to 3
calories per serving 641 kcal
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

  • 1 cup heaped regular rice or 3 to 4 cups cooked rice (chawal)
  • 1.5 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice (nimbu ka ras) or add as required
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal (spilt and skinned black gram)
  • 2 dry red chilies (sookhi lal mirch)
  • 1 to 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 12 to 15 curry leaves (kadi patta)
  • 1 generous pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 1 tablespoon cashews (kaju) - halved or chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup peanuts (moongphalli) - optional
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon sesame oil (til ka tel) - optional
  • rock salt (sendha namak) or regular salt as required

how to make recipe?

cooking rice:

  1. rinse 1 heaped cup rice a couple of times and soak for 30 minutes. 

  2. then drain the water and pressure cook rice with ¼ teaspoon salt and 2 cups water for 2 to 3 whistles or 8 to 10 minutes on medium-high flame. 

  3. 1 heaped cup rice will yield 3 to 4 cups rice. this depends on the type and quality of rice. 

  4. when the pressure settles down on its own in the cooker, remove the lid. remove the cooked rice in a plate or in a bowl.

  5. let the rice become warm or cool at room temperature

making lemon rice recipe:

  1. in a small frying pan, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons sesame oil. first fry peanuts till crunchy and then keep them aside. 

  2. in the same oil, then fry cashews till golden. remove and keep aside.

  3. now add 1 tablespoon sesame oil in the same pan. 

  4. add the mustard seeds and let them crackle. once the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add the urad dal.

  5. saute till the urad dal turns golden. fry everything on a low flame, so that the spices don't burn.

  6. then add the red chilies, green chilies (chopped) and curry leaves. sauté for a few seconds till the red chilies change color. 

  7. switch off the flame and add the asafoetida and turmeric powder. mix very well

  8. stir and immediately pour this tempering mixture on the rice.

  9. add the fried peanuts, cashews, lemon juice and salt. mix very well.

  10. keep the lemon rice covered for the flavors to blend for 4 to 5 minutes.

  11. then serve the lemon rice with papads or vadams and coconut chutney or just have lemon rice plain.


how to make lemon rice recipe:

1. first rinse 1 cup heaped regular rice a couple of times and then soak in enough water for 30 minutes.

rice to make lemon rice recipe

2. then drain all the water from the rice. add the rice in a pressure cooker. add ¼ teaspoon salt or add salt as required.

rice to make lemon rice recipe

3. also add 2 cups water.

rice to make lemon rice recipe

4. pressure cook the rice for 8 to 10 minutes or for 2 to 3 whistles on a medium-high flame. when the pressure settles down on its own in the cooker, then open the lid.

rice for making lemon rice recipe

5. remove the rice in a bowl or plate and let it become warm or cool at room temperature. you can also fluff the cooked rice and let it cool in the cooker itself. 1 heaped cup of raw rice will yield 3 to 4 cups of cooked rice. this depends on the type of rice.

rice for making lemon rice recipe

6. squeeze juice from 1 lime or 1 small lemon. you will need about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice. if you want more tangy taste, then you can add more lemon juice. keep aside.

lemon juice for making lemon rice recipe

7. heat 1 or 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a pan. add peanuts.

peanuts for making lemon rice recipe

8. fry the peanuts on a low to medium flame till they become golden and crunchy.

peanuts for preparing lemon rice recipe

9. remove and keep aside.

peanuts for preparing lemon rice recipe

10. in the same pan add cashews.

cashews for preparing lemon rice recipe

11. fry cashews till they turn golden. keep aside.

cashews for preparing lemon rice recipe

12. now add 1 tablespoon sesame oil in the same pan. when the oil becomes hot, then add mustard seeds.

preparing lemon rice recipe

12. when the mustard seeds begun to crackle, then add urad dal.

urad dal for preparing lemon rice recipe

13. on a low flame, sauté the urad dal till they turn golden.

urad dal for preparing lemon rice recipe

14. next add curry leaves, chopped green chilies and dry red chilies.

making lemon rice recipe

15. sauté for some seconds till the red chilies change color.

making lemon rice recipe

16. switch off the flame and add turmeric powder and asafoetida.

spices for making lemon rice recipe

17. mix very well.

spices for making lemon rice recipe

18. now pour this tempering mixture in the cooked rice.

making south indian lemon rice recipe

19. add the fried peanuts and cashews.

preparing south indian lemon rice recipe

20. add lemon juice.

making south indian lemon rice recipe

21. add salt.

preparing south indian lemon rice recipe

22. mix very well.

south indian lemon rice recipe

23. check the taste and add more lemon juice or salt if you want. keep the lemon rice covered for the flavors to blend for 4 to 5 minutes.

south indian lemon rice recipe

24. serve lemon rice with papads or vadams and coconut chutney or just have lemon rice plain. you can even pack lemon rice in tiffin or for a travel journey.

lemon rice




74 thoughts on “lemon rice recipe, how to make lemon rice recipe | easy rice recipes”

  1. Hello,

    I’m new to Indian cuisine. I’ve made lemon rice before but never with urad dal. I am only able to purchase dried gram. Do I need to cook / boil the gram first?
    Thank you

  2. Dassana,
    I can only get dry curry leaf where I live. Can I use them in this recipe or is it better to just not use them at all? I’m new to Indian cooking and am really enjoying your site! It’s awsome!

  3. Dassana,
    Can I use dry curry leaves? It is most impossible to get fresh leaves where I live. Is it better to just leave them out of recipes?
    I’m quite new to Indian cooking and am really enjoying your site!

    1. jacquie, you can use dry curry leaves in any recipe that calls for fresh curry leaves. even i used to add dry curry leaves when i would not get fresh leaves. thanks.

  4. Hey,,, nice & easy recipe of lemon rice…. even when ever I wanna try to something new,,, firstly refer your recipe….keep posting… thank u & many more time thanks… with lots of love…

  5. Hi. Thanks a lot for your quick receipies which has helped me a lot in past and specially the lemon rice receipe has solved my problem for tonight’s dinner

  6. Thank u so mch ur recipe helped a lot as my husband is frm bnglore and wanted me to make lemon rice for him and just because of ur recipe I was able to make it.

  7. Hi Dassana

    Have tried couple of your recipes all were good… would request a bread dahi vada recipe to be posted as could not find any good on other sites

  8. Thank you so much.. I am a student.. And I have prepared lemon rice .but when added lemon juice it smells bad.anyways by your direction I have prepared it.

  9. Hi Dassana….thanks once again for a quick, simple and delicious recipe. I have tried so many of ur recipes but not one of them has been disappointing. Keep up the good work!

  10. Hi Dassana

    So quick n simple recepie.. Just a simple query if til oil is not available what could b the option for it.

  11. And, my personal choice for this as a combo is thick coconut chutney with just fresh coconut, green chillies and curry leaves, and then some fried pappad/chips..:)

  12. Perfect recipe…it’s the same way that I make it here…only small addition is that I add 2-3 spoonful of grated coconut and coriander leaves, if it need not be kept for long. My son loves this and to make it wholesome, sometimes I add paneer cubes and fresh veggies also to it.

  13. In our village we do this with left over rice for morning breakfast. Lemon rice, mango or Makali beru pickle and curd rice heaven on earth!

  14. Hi Dassana, before turning off the flame add grated coconut. Fry the coconut for 1-2 mins and add rice, lemon juice and mix well in the pan itself. This tastes much better and stays for a long time.. I’m sure you’ll love this typical karnataka style lemon rice.

  15. This is so, SO good! I never thought to use peanuts and lemon together before.

    I didn’t have light sesame oil or cashews so I left them out (used vegetable oil instead) – I can just imagine how good it would be with the toasted cashews as well. Here in the UK cashews can be a little expensive but I know it will be worth it.

    Thank you Dassana as always!

  16. Hey, I love your receipes .. Wen Eva I wana try anythin new I refer your recipe first…:) thanks a lot..;) keep posting more..:) I love the lemon rice as Al ua others recipe..:)

  17. Thanks for the recipe– going to make it tomorrow. Just picked up some Hing. Looks so good.

    Question– do I need to soak and or cook the urad dal beforehand? Or can I just add the dried lentils straight to fry pan?

    Thanks so much!
    Matt

  18. This recipe sounds wonderful, but I have a question about it. Do you use plain sesame oil or toasted (like east Asian) sesame oil. Thanks.

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