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Lemon Rice

- submitted by Dahlia on 11-04-2007

(Elumichai Sadam, Lime Rice, Nimbehannu Chitraanna)

Lemon Rice

I always like to cook more of the variety rice or one pot rice dishes in my menu in comparison to the full course meal, and amongst all those rice dishes, my favorite is Lemon rice. Lemon rice is the most common rice variety in a south Indian cuisine. It is also made on festive occasions like aadi 18, navratri, and also on maatu pongal (the day after pongal or Sankranti). It is also one of the quickest recipes that can be made on a busy morning and can be packed in the lunch box. Before I share the recipe of this tangy, tasty and versatile rice variety, I would like to share a small occurrence in my life. 

When I was newly married for just about 2 months, my in-laws called me on a lazy sunday morning to say that some of our relatives were coming to see us as they had not attended our wedding. My father-in-law on our behalf had also invited them for lunch as a part of the normal courtesy. It was almost 10:30 when they let us know about it and they were to come at 12’o clock. Since it was sunday, I had planned to make vegetable pasta for brunch and then go out. I had cut all veggies available for pasta and all that was remaining in my fridge were some lemons, tomatoes, curd and some boiled and peeled baby potatoes. For a moment or two, I became tensed as to how I am going to manage, but quickly thought about my next sequence of action. I quickly cooked rice in the rice cooker so that my gas stove is available to cook all other items, made aviyal from the chopped veggies that was meant for pasta, made baby potato fry, fried some pappads, made the fastest rava kesari ever and tomato raita. Then I made lemon rice, some tamarind rice (from the pulikaichal left which my mom had made) and curd rice. Overall the menu appeared a lavish spread and our relatives enjoyed thoroughly and also spoke high of me to my in laws. I was extremely happy and my hubby gave me a proud and a romantic look. Now...this will be some motivation for all of you to try this versatile and easy rice variety. Cheers!!

Recipe for Lemon Rice

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Makes: 1 cup


  • Rice - 1 cup
  • Lemon - 1 no
  • Dry red chillies - 2 or 3
  • Mustard - ¼ tsp
  • Split black gram - ¼ tsp
  • Bengal gram - ½ tsp
  • Roasted Peanuts - 1 tbsp
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 1 tbsp (preferably sesame oil)
  • Grated Carrot - for garnish 


  1. Wash and cook the rice al dante. The grains of the rice should have a bite to it. Spread the rice in a plate and let it cool a bit. Even left over rice from the previous day can be used.
  2. Grate the zest of a lemon and keep aside (Using the zest is optional but I love the extra lemony flavour it adds). Cut the lemon and squeeze the juice discarding the seeds. Keep it aside too.
  3. Now in a pan, heat a tbsp of oil. Pop some mustard seeds, bengal gram and split black gram. Add the roasted peanuts, dry red chilly and curry leaves. Fry for half a minute.
  4. Add the turmeric powder, lemon zest and switch off. You can also add 1 tbsp of grated coconut for some added flavor.
  5. Finally add the lemon juice and salt. Immediately add the rice. Toss everything together till it is well mixed. Taste and adjust the salt or lemon juice as needed. 
  6. Garnish with grated carrot and cilantro. This rice stays good at room temperature for 2 days and hence is a best choice while travelling.

Serving Suggestion

  • Lemon rice can be served with pappad, any veg or non veg curry or thuvayal.
  • Usually when taken for picnics or travel, some potato chips makes a perfect pair.


  • 4 tablespoons of grated coconut can be added along with the seasoning and lemon coconut rice is ready. 
  • Similarly grated carrots can also be added, which will give a colorful appeal to the rice. 
  • Peanuts could also be replaced with boiled green peas or boiled sweet corn.
  • Instead of the regular rice, millet rice can be used to make healthier variations.

Lemon Rice

Other Variety Rice Recipes

Puliyodharai Tamarind Rice Coconut Rice Coconut Rice Mango Rice Raw Mango Rice Bisi Bele Bath Bisi Bele Bath
See more...

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Comments (15)

Person Sharmila Mitra   (February 9, 2017)
Easy to follow: which makes these recipes absolutely clutter-free and sensible. Thank you!
Person ANJALI YADAV   (June 14, 2015)
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (June 18, 2015)
Thank you.
Person Rich   (August 13, 2014)
totally estatic finding this site,thx!
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (June 18, 2015)
Thanks dear.
Person maria   (November 23, 2013)
Very nice
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (November 24, 2013)
Person rajes   (August 21, 2013)
thanks for the great recipe
Person Sue   (May 15, 2013)
thank u for posting this recipe..i really like it..
Person samita   (March 5, 2013)
what is Black gram & Bengal Gram
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (March 5, 2013)
Urad dal and channa dal....
Person Salma n halima   (May 25, 2012)
Wow! It's so yummy n delicious dat my whole family ate wit joyfully.i nvr eat such a delicious khana.....salma n halima
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (May 26, 2012)
Thats great to hear Salma..... Enjoy!!!
Person raji   (May 21, 2012)
it is looking very yummy with the carrot garnish
Person Dahlia (S.I.R. Author)   (May 21, 2012)
Thank You.

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