Lemon rice recipe with video – Lemon rice is one of the most popular South Indian rice recipes. It is a comfort food for many and is usually eaten for a meal with plain yogurt or curd. Lemon rice has a delicate flavor of fresh lemon juice along with the aroma of the tempering. The fried lentils and the peanuts or cashews add crunch to the dish.
Lemon rice can also be eaten alone or with pickle, yogurt, raita, pachadi / chutney or kosambari. Some even like to enjoy with masala vada, papad or pakora.
It has been quite hot in Singapore for the past 2 weeks and don’t feel like cooking much. Lemon rice is something very easy so i made it along with carrot, cucumber kosambari. They both go well together with a bowl of yogurt.
Lemon rice can be made using any cooking oil. But most South Indians use sesame, peanut oil or sunflower oil.
I like to add little extra virgin olive oil towards the end of making lemon rice. Olive oil doesn’t really go well in Indian foods but lemon rice is an exception. If you like to increase the intake of olive oil in your diet, this may be a good option.
We also use a bit of grated or minced or thinly sliced ginger as it adds a good aroma to the rice and keeps fresh for hours. Traditionally peanuts are used to make lemon rice, but can be replaced with cashews.
To make a good refreshing lemon rice always use fresh lemons. I personally like the large variety of lemons as they are really flavorful. You can also use limes to make this.
Lemon rice recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Ingredients for lemon rice
- 1½ cups rice (uncooked, raw)
- lemon juice or lime juice as needed
- salt as needed
- 2 tbsp oil
- ¾ tsp mustard
- 1 tsp urad dal or skinned black gram (skip if you don't have)
- 1 ½ tsp chana dal or bengal gram (skip if you don't have)
- 4 tbsp peanuts or cashews
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder or haldi
- 2 dried red chilies broken
- 1 to 2 green chili slit (skip if making for kids)
- pinch hing or asafoetida
- 1 sprig curry leaves or kadi patta
- ½ tbsp ginger grated or minced
Preparation to make lemon rice
- Wash rice few times or until the water runs clear. Soak for at least 15 mins.
- Cook it till fully done but not mushy. I usually cook it on a medium flame in a 3 liters pressure cooker for 1 whistle. When the pressure goes off cool it completely.
- When the rice cools, Sprinkle salt, lemon juice and 1 tsp oil evenly over the rice and mix. This helps to keep the rice grainy. Mix well and check the salt and lemon juice. Adjust as needed.
How to make lemon rice
- Heat a pan with oil on a medium to low flame.
- When it turns hot, add peanuts or cashews. Fry until half done. Add red chili, chana dal and urad dal. Fry until the dals turn golden.
- Add mustard & allow to crackle. Next add ginger, chilis and curry leaves.
- When the leaves turn crisp. Add hing and turmeric. Do not burn the ginger else it will make the lemon rice bitter.
- Optional step to soften the roasted dals. Pour 1 to 2 tbsp water to the hot seasoning. It will evaporate very quickly and soften the dal. You can add about 2 to 3 tbsps water to soften the dal.
- Once the water evaporates pour this to the cooled rice. Mix everything well. Keep the rice covered for 20 to 25 mins. This helps the fried dal to soften a bit.
- Serve lemon rice with plain yogurt, papad or pickle.
Video of lemon rice recipe
Since this is a simple recipe I had not taken the step by step photos initially. But later I have updated with step by step photos & even with a video. So the main picture is with cashews and step by step pics & video with peanuts.
How to make lemon rice recipe
1. Wash and soak rice for at least 15 mins.
2. Cook the rice to grainy and not mushy. Cool it completely.
3. Sprinkle salt, lemon juice and 1 tsp oil evenly. Mix lightly. Adjust salt and lemon as needed. Set this aside.
4. Heat oil in a pan. Set the stove flame to low to medium. Add peanuts or cashews and roast them until half roasted.
5. Then add urad dal and chana dal. Saute until lightly golden on a medium flame.
6. Add mustard first and saute until they crackle. Add curry leaves, ginger slices, green chilies and red chilies.
7. Saute until the curry leaves turn crunchy. Add hing and turmeric. This is an optional step to soften the fried dals. Quickly sprinkle 1 to 2 tbsps of water. It will very quickly evaporate and will turn the dals soft. Make sure the water has evaporated. You can add about 2 to 3 tbsps water or as needed to soften the dal.
8. Add this to the cooled rice. Mix well. Keep the lemon rice covered for about 25 to 30 mins for the dal to turn soft.
Serve lemon rice with plain curd.