|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 33g||42%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||20%|
|Total Carbohydrate 61g||22%|
|Dietary Fiber 6g||21%|
|Total Sugars 4g|
|Vitamin C 64mg||319%|
|*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.|
Lemon rice is one of the most common dishes from South India, where it also goes by the name chitranna. There are a few variations to making this dish and this is just one of them. This rice is usually eaten alone or with raita, yogurt, chutney, or kosambari (a type of salad). It's not uncommon for people to pack this rice with them while traveling as it transports well.
This dish gains flavor from using whole seeds that you grind yourself in order to release their oils. You might be tempted to skip that step, but it's important. You can easily throw together this rice dish 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. You can serve this with curries, fish, and chicken. This rice would also be delicious as a side to add something flavorful alongside a lemon and garlic roasted chicken.
Click Play to See This South Indian Rice Recipe Come Together
"This lemon rice is my new favorite rice dish. The lemon juice along with the spices, sesame oil, chili, and peanuts add texture and tangy flavor to the rice. I liked the rice so much that I immediately made another batch (doubled) for visiting family!" —Diana Rattray
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, canola, sunflower, or sesame cooking oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
3 to 4 curry leaves
2 medium green chiles, slit lengthwise
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, grated
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Juice of 2 medium lemons
2 cups cooked basmati rice, or leftover rice
Salt, to taste
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
In a large, dry skillet or saucepan, gently toast the coriander seeds over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Coarsely grind the seeds into a powder. Set aside.
Heat the oil in the same pan on medium heat until it shimmers. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chiles. Fry the mixture until the splattering stops.
Add the ginger and peanuts. Fry the mixture until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
Stir in the turmeric powder and turn off the burner.
Add the lemon juice and mix well.
Add the rice, toasted coriander powder, and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly. Serve and enjoy.
- If you don't have a mortar and pestle to grind the coriander, you can use a spice grinder or a clean coffee grinder instead. If you opt for a coffee grinder, make sure it's extremely clean so the flavors of coffee don't transfer to the spices.
- Lemon rice may be eaten hot or at room temperature. To reheat the rice, transfer it to a saucepan and add a splash of water. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until warmed through. Alternatively, put the rice in a microwave-safe container and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high power and heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring every 30 to 45 seconds.
- For more heat and a pop of color, add a small hot fresh or dried red pepper to the pan along with the green chili peppers.
- Garnish the lemon rice with fresh cilantro.
- Add freshly chopped mint leaves when you add the rice to the pan.
- Vegetables may be added, such as cooked green peas, mixed vegetables, or chopped wilted spinach.
- For additional protein, add 6 to 8 paneer cubes along with the rice.
How to Store and Freeze Rice
Store leftover lemon rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can also store the rice in the freezer in a sealed zip-close freezer bag for up to six months. Simply thaw the rice in the refrigerator or use the microwave. You can reheat it from frozen if you toss it into a curry or other dish with other ingredients as they're cooking.
Is there a substitute for curry leaves?
Curry leaves are herbs found in many South Indian dishes. They have a pungent, lemony flavor. If you can't find fresh or dried curry leaves, there are a few things you can use.
- Crushed fresh makrut lime leaves or lime zest.
- Lemon basil leaves.
- Small bay leaves.