Lemon rice tangy flavor rice with some crunch and lots of flavors. It is comfort food and most commonly eaten for a meal. Lemon rice has a delicate flavor of fresh lemon and tempered with spices. A squeeze of lime gives the pungent flavor and gives a nice taste to the rice. This is one of the most popular and often made rice recipe from South India.
Lemon rice is also known as Chitranna while it is a popular south Indian recipe which is prepared by mixing cooked rice with a special seasoning called oggarane or gojju. This seasoning is made from mustard seeds, fried lentils, peanuts, curry leaves, chilies, lemon juice, and other optional items such as scrapes of unripe mango. It has a dash of turmeric which gives the nice yellow color to the dish and then cooked rice is been tossed with the seasoning.
This recipe is very simple and easy to make and can be ready in a few minutes with simple kitchen ingredients. You can make lemon rice with freshly cooked rice or even with leftover rice. Peanuts and cashews give the crunch to the rice and tempering give the nice aromatic flavor to the dish.
Lemon rice is served with pappadums (thin, crisp, round flatbread) or even with some vegetable or coconut chutney or with some salad or pickle. It is a light recipe that you can enjoy at your breakfast also. It is a Karnataka recipe where it becomes a part of a daily diet.
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As this recipe has a star ingredient lime. Limes have a stronger flavor, are more tart than lemons, and therefore perfect for this recipe. But lemons will work just as well here. As it gives flavor to the dish and goodness to the health. The lemon rice is a nutritional dish, which contains carbohydrates, proteins, fats, potassium, fiber, Vitamin A, C, E, calcium, iron, thiamin, niacin, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and pantothenic acid.
There are few variations in this lemon rice that people love to do. You can add a few ginger juliennes, asafoetida (hing), or some grated coconut. It is not necessary to use cashews in the recipe it could be optional if you want to add you can add it. As in traditional recipe, they use only dals for the crunch but know we use cashews and peanuts for crunch with dals also.
Lemon Rice Recipe
- Rice 1 cup
- Water 1.5 cup
- Salt 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp
- Lemon juice 2 tbsp
- Urad dal (soaked for 10 minutes) 1/2 tsp
- Chana dal (soaked for 10 minutes) 1/2 tsp
- Oil 1 tbsp
- Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
- Curry leaves 8-10
- Dried red chili 2
- Green chili 1
- Turmeric 1/4 tsp
- Peanuts 2 tbsp
- Rinse the rice until water turns clear. Transfer it into a pressure cooker and add water to it. Cook it for 2-3 whistles. You can also cook in your instant pot, high pressure for 5 minutes with natural pressure release.
- Meanwhile, soak urad dal and chana dal in water for 10 minutes. After that drain water from the dals and keep it aside.
- Heat oil in a pan at medium flame.
- Add the peanuts and cashews to the pan. Cook the peanuts until roasted and they turn light golden brown. Remove peanuts on a plate lined with a paper towel.
- To the same pan, now add mustard seeds and let them pop.
- Add the soaked & drained dal to the pan. Saute until they turn light golden brown.
- Add the curry leaves and chili. Saute for a few seconds.
- Then add lemon juice and turmeric to the pan. Mix it well.
- Now add cooked rice and fried peanuts, cashews.
- Toss it well and switch off the flame immediately.
- Serve it with coconut chutney or pickle.