Lemon Rice Recipe with step by step photos. Lemon rice is a crunchy, flavorful and sour rice recipe.
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 leftover rice. The peanuts add 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.
It 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.
How to make lemon rice
1. First rinse 1 cup heaped regular rice a couple of times and then soak in enough water for 30 minutes.
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.
3. Also add 2 cups water.
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.
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.
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.
Frying peanuts and cashews
7. Heat 1 or 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a pan. Add peanuts.
8. Fry the peanuts on a low to medium flame till they become golden and crunchy.
9. remove and keep aside.
10. in the same pan add cashews.
11. Fry cashews till they turn golden. Keep aside.
Making lemon rice
12. Now add 1 tablespoon sesame oil in the same pan. When the oil becomes hot, then add mustard seeds.
12. When the mustard seeds begun to crackle, then add urad dal.
13. On a low flame, sauté the urad dal till they turn golden.
14. Next add curry leaves, chopped green chilies and dry red chilies.
15. Sauté for some seconds till the red chilies change color.
16. Switch off the flame and add turmeric powder and asafoetida.
17. Mix very well.
18. Now pour this tempering mixture in the cooked rice.
19. Add the fried peanuts and cashews.
20. Add lemon juice.
21. Add salt.
22. Mix very well.
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.
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.
Few more popular rice recipes
- Ghee rice
- Curd rice
- Jeera rice – cumin rice
- Tomato rice – spicy South Indian style
- Khichdi – one-pot rice dish made with mung lentils.
Lemon Rice (Authentic South Indian Lemon Rice)
- 1 cup heaped regular rice or 3 to 4 cups cooked rice
- 1.5 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice or add as required
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon urad dal (spilt and skinned black gram)
- 2 dry red chilies
- 1 to 2 green chilies, chopped
- 12 to 15 curry leaves
- 1 generous pinch asafoetida (hing)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon cashews - halved or chopped (optional)
- ¼ cup peanuts - optional
- 2 to 3 tablespoon sesame oil - optional
- rock salt (sendha namak) or regular salt as required
- Rinse 1 heaped cup rice a couple of times and soak for 30 minutes.
- 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.
- 1 heaped cup rice will yield 3 to 4 cups rice. This depends on the type and quality of rice.
- 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.
- Let the rice become warm or cool at room temperature
making lemon rice
- In a small frying pan, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons sesame oil. First fry peanuts till crunchy and then keep them aside.
- In the same oil, then fry cashews till golden. Remove and keep aside.
- Now add 1 tablespoon sesame oil in the same pan.
- Add the mustard seeds and let them crackle. Once the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add the urad dal.
- Saute till the urad dal turns golden. fry everything on a low flame, so that the spices don't burn.
- Then add the red chilies, green chilies (chopped) and curry leaves. Sauté for a few seconds till the red chilies change color.
- Switch off the flame and add the asafoetida and turmeric powder. Mix very well
- Stir and immediately pour this tempering mixture on the rice. Add the fried peanuts, cashews, lemon juice and salt. Mix very well.
- Keep it covered for the flavors to blend for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Then serve the lemon rice with papads or vadams and coconut chutney or just have lemon rice plain.