South Indian Lemon Rice

South Indian Lemon Rice

The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1039 Calories
21g Fat
189g Carbs
28g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 1039
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 169998mg 7,391%
Total Carbohydrate 189g 69%
Dietary Fiber 13g 46%
Protein 28g
Calcium 230mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Lemon rice is one of the most common dishes from South India. It's usually eaten alone or with raita, yogurt, chutney, or kosambari (a type of salad).

You can easily throw it together if you are in a hurry, as it can be made with leftover rice. Add some poppadoms on the side for a simple yet tasty meal.


Click Play to See This South Indian Rice Recipe Come Together


  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or canola or sunflower cooking oil)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3 to 4 curry leaves
  • 2 green chilies (slit lengthwise)
  • 1-inch piece ginger (grated)
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, roasted and unsalted
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice or leftover rice
  • Salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    South Indian lemon rice recipe ingredients

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  2. Gently roast and then coarsely grind the coriander seeds into powder. Set aside.

    Spices ground in mortar with pestle

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  3. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chilis. Fry the mixture until the splattering stops.

    Fry the spices and peppers in oil

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  4. Add the ginger and peanuts. Fry the mixture for another minute.

    Add ginger and peanuts to the pan with the spices

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  5. Add the turmeric powder and turn off the burner.

    add turmeric to the spices in the pan

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  6. Add the lemon juice and mix well.

    Fresh lemon juice added to mixture in pan

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram

  7. Add the rice, roasted coriander powder, and salt to taste and mix thoroughly. Enjoy!

    South Indian Lemon Rice in a pot

    The Spruce / Preethi Venkatram


  • If you don't have a mortar and pestle to grind the coriander, a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder works wonderfully.
  • Store leftover lemon rice in an airtight container for up to three days.

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