Category Main course accompaniment
Region Southern India
Served Hot, accompanied with curry or vegetables
Cooking Time 25 minutes
This is a highly aromatic rice preparation with a distinct lemony flavor. Lemon rice is easy to whip up when you are short on time.
1 1/2 cups of rice (the Indian variety, like basmati)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or as per taste)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
A pinch of asafetida
2 dried red chili peppers
1 tablespoon urad dal (split black gram)
1 tablespoon chana dal (split gram)
1/2 teaspoon methi (fenugreek) seeds
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)
12 curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon haldi (turmeric) powder
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated coconut (optional)
- Clean and soak the rice for about thirty minutes. Drain the water and boil the rice in salted water (3 pinches of salt) until almost done. Rice gets cooked in its own steam when left covered. So it is best to leave it slightly uncooked. Drain and keep aside.
- Heat some oil in a nonstick pan and throw in the asafetida. Break the red chili peppers into large pieces and toss them in the pan along with the urad dal, chana dal, and methi seeds. Fry for about thirty seconds till the lentils turn light brown.
- Toss in the peanuts and mustard seeds. When you hear the mustard seeds crackle, throw in the curry leaves and stir in the turmeric powder. Stir-fry for another thirty seconds. Now you can add the cooked rice. Toss the rice in the pan so that the spices mix evenly in the rice. Ensure that the rice is evenly yellow. Now add salt and lemon juice and toss the rice again. As a finishing touch, garnish with grated coconut.
- While tossing the rice in the skillet, do not scrape the bottom of the vessel. The rice at the bottom hardens and should not be served.
- You can even use cooked rice from the previous meal to make lemon rice. With pre-cooked rice, your cooking time is reduced to less than 10 minutes!