Lemon rice – A South Indian delight


15 min


5 min
Lemon rice is one of the easiest Indian dish and they are so subtle in flavor but exotic in taste. Every working parent will fix this as a lunch box menu at least on one day of the week. They are so easy to fix and goes great even with a simple store-bought chips. I am a great addict to it since childhood. The roasted peanuts and urad dhal makes every bite crunchy and lovely curry leaves infuses a earthly flavor in every mouth. The addition of asafoetida, ginger and green chillies leaves me with the burst of lovely taste in my mouth. Being greatly influenced by Giada, an Italian cook ,I ended up adding lemon zest to this rice. Trust me, I felt nice about its addition and the taste was awesome. Unless it is really good, S would never go for couple of more serving for a vegetarian dish. S enjoyed few more serving which is so unusual of him and I was so excited about that.

I would like to have my lemon rice with potato curry or egg curry (recipe here) or chicken dry fry. Here is the recipe for the divine rice dish.

2 cups cooked rice – Cold
2 tsp lemon zest

2 lemon (yellow) – juice

1” ginger – chopped
3 green chillies – slit
1-2 tsp asafoetida

10-12 curry leaves

2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tbs urad dhal

1/2 tbs peanuts

1/4 tbs cashewnuts (optional)

3 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tbs oil


Heat oil in a kadai. Once they get heated up, throw in the mustard and let it splutter. Then add the urad dhal, ginger,asafoetida, curry leaves, green chillies and saute for couple of minutes.
Now add the peanuts and cashewnuts and cook for 10 minutes on medium flame. Add the turmeric powder, salt and lemon zest and give a complete mix. Cook till the raw smell disappears. Turn the flame off and squeeze the lemons. Check for salt. Add the cold rice and mix well. Serve warm with chips/ any vegetable fry/ egg curry /dry chicken curry.

This is my entry for Sudeshna and Sunita’s event Think Spice: Think Turmeric

Update: 03.20.2012
Lemon quinoa – Warm quinoa salad with South Indian spices

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  1. Looks Really Nice..have never tried lemon rice before… Will try it this weekend for sure …Didnt know rice is 1st cooked and then temepered..

  2. Love that colour,its so simple and delicious,and ya wanted to share an award with u,pls do come and collect it from my blog

  3. Hi, Thank you for the comments.

    Currently I am not getting the time to go through the articles.
    I have seen you have good ones here.

    I think I will be able to go through them on Sunday. Missing many good articles and writers due to the work schedule.

  4. Thank you for the kind note that you left me. While I was reading your profile description, it struck me – it sounded just like me! Fantastic job on the blog and the pictures are really good.
    Keep in touch 🙂

  5. Ditto…I was a personal chef for two Indian families for many years, and love this…not mention lemon and other citrus are on my list of favs!

  6. Lemon rice is a new thing to me. I am a lemon-lover, and I won't mind lemon rice. Looks lovely.

  7. Hi, Thank you for visiting my blog. What a coincidence, we both were blogging about rice on the same day. Love lemon rice and the addition of lemon zest is a good touch.
    I too try to add zest everywhere I can. Orange zest in curd rice, anyone?

  8. Thanks for stopping by! You have a nice place.
    Are you from cherthala (I saw the pretty pic of you and your mom on your About page)? My dad is originally from Kumarakom.

  9. Ncie picture Vij…this is my hubby's favorite rice…I prepare this with some spicy side dishes like potato or egg fry 🙂

  10. i very rarely prepare this.Nice click. Great idea of adding ginger and lemon zest to it. will make it soon by trying ur version

  11. Rice is a staple in my country Colombia. This recipe looks delicious.

  12. Hi, thanks for visiting :), Like the idea of adding lemon zest to the rice , will give it a try soon 🙂

  13. Hi Thanks for dropping by. Rice looks lovely, love the idea of using lemon zest

  14. Sorry That day I did not have time to go through and read well.

    Lemon rice reminds me about my train journey. my mother prepares it for me and along with chana fry, curd, fish, chammandi and achar it tastes awsome…

    mm.. still have the taste in my mouth…

  15. You have a great blog going Vijitha and thanks for visiting my blog. Keep up the good work and hope to see lots of recipes.

  16. Lovely click and a lovely blog…:)
    My kids don't like it much, else i would have made it atleast once a week for sure..

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