Monday, May 24, 2021

South Indian Lemon Rice

This is a simple and flavorful lemon rice and can be made in thirty minutes. The refreshing and bursting flavor of lemon in the rice satisfies all the cravings, and the bites of nuts and dal here and there gives the crunch.  

This rice is best served with a few combos. This can alone be served with a papad  (chips are great too!) for a very quick meal. A spicy pickle is also good with it. We love it spicy lemon pickle or mango pickle. When served with masala vada (spicy aromatic chana dal fritters) will be a heavenly meal. Medhu vada (made with urad dhal) is also great with this rice. Spinach or Keerai /Xaak Vada is also perfect to be served with lemon rice. Any sundal (cooked and stir-fried legumes) like are great to be served with lemon rice.

This can be made in thirty minutes. The rice cooking time is the time taken mostly. When rice is getting cooked, tempering can be done. Turmeric can be added finally in the tempering when doing in this manner. This could save a few minutes in getting the food in shorter time. This is perfect to make for lunch or quick weeknight dinner. Throw in a salad on the side for a perfect balanced meal. Chana dal is also added in the tempering. I avoid using this dal as we have a member in our family allergic to this dal.

We make lemon rice for offering to God (Neivedhyam on special pooja and prayer days). Lemon rice is one of the chitrannam (variety mixed rice are called chitrannam) and can be great for gettogethers with family and friends. This lemon rice is perfect for a summer picnic along with some fritters. Lemon and other citrus varieties can be used to make similar kind rice. Citron rice (aka Narthangai in Tamil) is another one which is similar in preparation and tastes heavenly. Lemon rasam tastes great with plain rice or can be a perfect soup too!

Welcome to #LemonWeek 2021 hosted by Lynn from Fresh April Flours!  What better way to welcome summer than with over 50 recipes featuring bright and sunny lemons? Come join me and my fellow Lemon Week bloggers as we bring you recipes from appetizers to drinks to entrĂ©es and desserts!

Below are the links for my fellow bloggers recipes for Monday #LemonWeek Recipes

Homemade Lemon Curd by Fresh April Flours

Lemon Bundt Cake by House of Nash Eats

Lemon Dessert Sauce by That Recipe

Chicken Picatta by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Sugar Cookies by SueBee Homemaker

Strawberry Lemonade Rice Krispies Treats by The Spiffy Cookie

Lemon Zucchini Bread by Lemon Blossoms

Grilled Lemon Mojito by Our Good Life

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Piccata by Our Crafty Mom

Deep Eddy Lemonade Vodka Spritzer by Our Crafty Cocktails

Meyer Lemon Scones by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Shortbread Lemon Tart by The Redhead Baker

Sticky Lemon Oregano Chicken Recipe by Shockingly Delicious

Garlic Lemon Pepper Rice by Daily Dish Recipes</li>

Crispy Lemon Chicken by Making Miracles

Lemon Cookies by Devour Dinner

Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken by Cheese Curd In Paradise

Serves 4 to 6

Rice - 1.5 cups
Lemon juice - 6 tbsp
Salt - 1.5 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 3-4 tbsp
Peanuts - 4 tbsp
Cashews - 8 to 10
Dried red chilies - 3 to 4
Thai green chili - 3 to 4
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Split urad dhal - 1 tsp
Chana dal - 1 tsp (not used in recipe)
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Cilantro - 2 to 3 tbsp, chopped
Water - 3 and 1/4 cups


Wash the rice, drain. Boil water in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the rice when it boils. A drop of oil can also be added to rice to prevent it from sticking.  In a few minutes, rice would begin to absorb all water. Reduce the flame, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. Gently fluff and cover and let it steam for another 5 minutes.

Transfer the rice to a big bowl, to aid quick cooling. One or two teaspoon of oil can be added to prevent it from sticking. Sprinkle the salt and set aside.

Add the turmeric and chopped green Thai chili.

Heat the remaining oil in a pan. Add the dried red chilies and mustard sees, When it starts to spluttering add the split urad dhal and the nuts. Fry till the nuts are golden brown, may be for a minute. Add asafetida and curry leaves and fry for 30 seconds.

Pour this mixture onto rice.

Add the lemon juice.

Mix thoroughly for even distribution of salt, lemon juice, and tempering.

Serve with papad, raita, or curry.


  1. This sounds so bright and flavorful!

  2. I need this in my life-- I love rice and I love this flavor profile! Also, I'm going to need myself a mango pickle (????)!!

  3. What a wonderful recipe. It sounds so flavorful.

  4. Love savory lemon dishes! This will make such a delicious side dish!

    1. Yes, it is, Dorothy! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I love that this is a special offering. I would make this for my family.

  6. I'm going to have to track down a couple of ingredients but I can't wait to make this delicious sounding rice! It looks amazing!

  7. The recipe itself sounds delicious, but I really enjoyed the extra information about the dish and what to serve it with.

  8. I love the vibrant color to this dish. I bet it smells as good as it will taste too.

  9. I love rice and I can't wait to make this recipe at home. It has so much flavor.