Monday, September 1, 2014

Fragrant Lemon Rice

It is surprising that we eat Rice often and yet I had not made Lemon Rice ever! From childhood memories, there was one Holi (the color festival of India to welcome Spring season) when my mom had prepared Lemon Rice. After the exciting morning playing colors with friends and family, the Lemon Rice was distinctly fragrant and flavorful. It is one of those meals that leaves a distinct mark in your memory.

When having friends over for a simple dinner this past weekend, I decided to try my hand at making the Lemon Rice. So scoured the websites and VahReVah! video tutorial on the same. Finally decided to use the recipe posted here at "Chef In Making - Recipes with a twist" and slightly modify it. Thank you, soniaabrol, for the recipe.

To prepare for approx. 20 people, use the following measure of ingredients when you have a few appetizers and other side-dishes to accompany. For more or less people and more or less menu items, change the rice amount accordingly.


Rice - 4 cups (raw)
Canola Oil - 2 tbsp
Asafoetida (Hing) powder - 1/8 tsp or 6-7 pinches
Mustard Seeds - 1 tbsp
Dry Red Chillies - 6-7 (or depending on taste)
Curry Leaves - a bunch, approx 15-20 leaves
Peanuts - 1 cup (more or less on preference)
Cashews - 1/2 cup (optional)
Chana Dal - 1/2 cup
Urad Dal - 1/4 cup
Turmeric Powder - 1/8 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp (or depending on taste)
Sugar - a pinch
Lemon Juice - 2 tbsp (or depending on taste)
Coriander Leaves - to garnish (optional)


  1. Soak and clean the Rice. Keep it soaked for 10 mins or so.
  2. Boil a large pot of water. I cook Rice in open pot instead of Rice cooker. So the Rice should be nicely submerged in water and boiling. I let the Rice boil and continue cooking for approximately 10-15 mins. The Rice should be cooked so that it retains it's shape and is not mushy. Strain the remaining water from the Rice.
  3. Spread out and cool the Rice under a fan so that it does not continue cooking in the steam. Stir it every now and then so it uniformly cools down. I use a flat large plate or container for this part to increase the surface area of cooling.
  4. Take a large pot. Add Canola Oil.
  5. Add Asafoetida (hing) powder and let it sizzle a bit and flavor the Oil. 
  6. After a couple of seconds, add Mustard seeds. Let the seeds splutter.
  7. Add dry Red Chilies, Curry leaves and raw Peanuts.
  8. When the Peanuts are almost roasted, add the Cashews if you are adding. Cashews get browned faster, so keep a close watch once you add them.
  9. Add Chana dal and Urad dal. Let them cook until they are nicely brown and fragrant. Keep a close watch here as well as they brown quickly. You want them roasted and have a light golden brown color on them.
  10. Add Turmeric Powder, Salt, Lemon Juice and Sugar. Mix well. I don't like the Rice too sour, so I add less Lemon Juice - depending on your taste, you will want to add more or less of the same.
  11. Stir in the cold rice and fold it into the spice mix. The rice will turn a beautiful light yellow in color.
  12. You can garnish with fresh chopped Coriander leaves. I skipped this part coz the Rice was flavorful as-is and did not want the dominant smell of Coriander leaves to take over the same.
Enjoy with Cucumber Raita. It can be made with left-over Rice as a quick breakfast as well. This can be a one-dish meal as well.

1 comment:

The Gardener said...

Dear Pragyan,
Your Mausi regularly prepares Lemon Rice. In addition to the ingredients listed by you, she adds a few leaves of lemon grass, which adds to the flavour.

Lemon grass looks like paddy plant. I have it in my garden.

Good that despite your other preoccupations, you find time for cooking, experimenting in, and blogging about, recipes.

The title of your Blog 'Sorisha' is very apt. It has 'sorisha' (mustard seeds) and 'Orissa' (now 'Odisha' in it!
Patita Mausa