lemon rice recipe, how to make lemon rice

lemon rice is a crunchy, flavorful and sour rice recipe from south india.
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4.6 from 30 votes

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.

lemon rice recipe

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 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

Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:5 minutes
Total Time:25 minutes
Course:main course
Cuisine:south indian
Calories:641kcal
Servings (change the number to scale):2 to 3
4.6 from 30 votes
lemon rice recipe
lemon rice is a crunchy, flavorful and sour rice recipe from south india.

INGREDIENTS FOR lemon rice recipe

(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 lemon rice recipe

cooking rice

  • 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 the lemon rice 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.
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preparation for making lemon rice

cooking rice

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

frying peanuts and cashews for lemon rice

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

making lemon rice

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


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dassana amit

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

namaste and welcome to vegrecipesofindia.com which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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