Lemon rice is one of those rare dishes that revels in its tanginess. It is one of the popular rice dishes originating from South India, along with other tasty rice dishes like Curd Rice, Tomato Rice, Tamarind Rice. You will be amazed at the transformation that some lemon juice, chillies, mustard seeds, and lentils will bring about to bland rice, turning it into a full-blown delicious meal. The coolness of Mint-Cucumber Raita (Cucumbers in mint-flavored yogurt) and crunchy poppadums serve as perfect complements to the zesty Lemon rice. I usually serve it on days that I need to rustle up something delicious and filling at a short notice, or on hot summer days when I am feeling too lazy to spend too much time in the kitchen. It is also a great lunchbox food for kids. Enjoy!
LEMON RICE RECIPE
1 tbsp Oil
1 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds; available in Indian Grocery Stores
1 1/2 tsp Skinned split black gram (Dhuli Urad dal)
A pinch of Asafoetida; available in Indian Grocery Stores
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
2 Whole Dry Red Chilli; broken into two
2 Green Chillies (such as Serrano) or to taste; chopped
2 tbsp fresh Lime or Lemon juice
Salt to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh Cilantro (Coriander) leaves
12-15 Curry leaves
2 tsp minced Ginger
1 tbsp unsalted roasted Peanuts (optional)
1 tbsp Bengal gram (channa dal), optional
How to make Lemon Rice
- Make sure your cooked rice is not mushy and the grains are separate.
- Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat.
- Add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add Bengal gram and skinned split black gram. Saute till the lentils turn light brown in color.
- Add peanuts, minced ginger, curry leaves and red chillies. Saute for 30 secs.
- Add asafoetida and turmeric powder. Saute for 10 seconds.
- Add cooked rice, salt, lemon juice & green chillies. Mix well very gently such that the rice grains do not break.
- Adjust salt & lemon juice to your taste.
- Once the entire rice is hot enough. Turn off the heat.
- Transfer it to a bowl. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
- Serve with Mint-Cucumber Raita and pickle.