Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice

Lemon rice is one of the most popular South Indian rice recipes. It is a speciality of the South Indian coastal state of Tamil Nadu.

It is quite simple, quick and easy to cook dish and is a very tasty dish without the over powering taste of many spices. Lemon rice can also be prepared using left over rice or freshly cooked rice, infused with aromatic tempering of roasted spices, lentils and curry leaves.

It has a delicate flavour of fresh lemon juice along with the aroma of the tempering. The fried lentils and the cashews add crunch to the dish.

Lemon Rice is usually eaten alone or you may also serve it with raita, yogurt, chutney or Kosambari (a South Indian salad).

  Recipe Servings: 2
  Cooking time: 25 Minutes


  • Rice (uncooked) - 1 cup
  • Lemon  - 1 medium
  • Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Dry Red Chillies - 2-3
  • Chana Dal (Split Bengal gram) - 1 tbsp
  • Broken Urad Dal (Split Black gram without skin) - 1 tsp
  • Cashew - 6-8
  • Curry Leaves - 6-8
  • Ginger (grated or minced) - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Coriander leaves (optional) - for garnishing
  • Water (to cook rice) - as required


  • Wash rice properly until the water runs clear. Soak them for at least 15 minutes.

  • Take a large saucepan, add water to it. Bring it to a boil. For every cup of rice, use approximately 1¾ cups of water.

  • Now add 1 tsp of salt into the water. Add rice to the boiling water.

  • Stir once to separate any clumps.

  • Cover the pan with a lid and let the rice cook on low flame for about 18 minutes.

  • Then remove them from heat and allow the rice to steam in the pot for another 5 minutes.

  • Remove the lid, fluff with a fork. Keep it aside.

  • Heat oil in a pan on a medium to low flame.

  • When oil turns hot, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, ginger and dry red chillies. Let them crackle. Mix in between.

  • When the seeds begin to splutter, add chana dal (Split Bengal gram) and broken urad dal (Split Black gram without skin). Mix well.

  • Once they start changing the colour (turns golden), add the cashews. Fry them till cashews turns golden. Stir occasionally.

  • Add the turmeric powder and salt to taste. Keep in mind that you already added salt in rice while cooking them. Mix all well and turn off the burner.

  • Add lemon juice into it and mix well.

  • Pour this mixture to the cooked rice. Mix everything well. Keep the rice covered for 5 mins for the flavours to blend.

  • Lemon rice is ready to serve. You may garnish it with chopped coriander leaves.

  • Serve lemon rice either with raita, yogurt, chutney or Kosambari.