Indian lemon rice is a very flavourful and fragrant easy dish to make at home which can be served as a side dish with many curries
Indians(like me) eat this fragrant lemon rice or nimmakaya pulihora( as we call in Telugu) as a whole meal which is a different story altogether. The traditional way to eat our mighty Indian lemon rice is with papad or poppadum on the side. but since we are optimising our eating habits to lose weight I will settle with the idea of this being a side dish.
Lemon rice that is served across the UK in many Indian restaurants is honestly crap. They just colour the rice with turmeric and add in loads of oil.
If you are looking for a slimming friendly version of South Indian style lemon rice, this is a perfect and easy healthy method.
Ingredients to make Indian Lemon Rice at home
- Rice Leftover rice is best for making lemon rice as it holds the structure of grains well. Or cook the rice well ahead and cool it down. before making. Use short-grain rice for this. We never make lemon rice with basmati rice back home in India but any kind of rice is ok as long as it is not cooked very starchy. The rice grain should be a little firm and not very mushy. Ideally, you would need 2 cups f water for every cup of rice be it you cook on stovetop or rice cooker.
- Turmeric powder is the star of this recipe.
- Ginger adds a nice taste too but is optional
- Sunflower or Peanut Oil
- Lime juice Using fresh limes/lemons is the key. Please do not use bottled juice.
- Green chilli You can sip it if you don’t eat.
- Dried red chilli This gives a nice flavour and little spice to the tadka.
- Curry leaves It is difficult to find in usual supermarkets but you can try online here if you want to buy in bulk. Or buy a small pack if you don’t use it much. And of course available in Indian grocery stores.
- Cashew nuts Again an optional and Peanuts Can skip if you are allergic to nuts.
- Mustard seeds, Split Channa dal, Urad dal – these are must for authentic Indian lemon rice recipe.
What to serve with Indian lemon rice?
- Best to be eaten on its own with a poppadum but if we want to make a nice weight loss friendly meal, serve this lemon rice with channa masala or aloo saag although not traditional.
- Another best way is to eat it with plain low-fat yoghurt and little amount of pickle
Is lemon rice suitable for freezing?
- It is suitable for freezing although I suggest making it fresh as it takes only ~10 min.
- Also, lemon rice is usually not served hot, it tastes better when in room temperature. This isn’t a pilaf!
- Lemon Rice can be stored easily for 3 days in the fridge. just take out 30 minutes you want to eat or lightly MW and leave it on the countertop for 10 minutes before serving.
- Lemon rice makes an excellent travel dish for those long road trips. Takeaways can be too costly for both our pockets and waist, hence we always pack a good amount of lemon rice if we are hitting the road for any bank holidays or day trips or picnics. This makes an excellent picnic food for rice lovers and very easy to carry and serve outside.
How many calories are there in this Indian style lemon rice?
If you skip nuts and make it an everyday meal the only additional calories are for the oil used. There are 207 calories per serving in this classic Indian lemon rice. I have included rice, oil and 10g each of cashew nuts and pea nuts for calculating the nutritional value.
Here is a quick video recipe on how to make Indian lemon recipePrint
A fragrant and flavourful Indian Lemon Rice perfect as a side dish or a meal on its own for a heavy carb day!
- 1 Cup raw short or medium grain rice
- 1.5 tsp of sunflower oil
- Juice of one soft lemon
- 1 tbsp cashew nuts
- 1 tbsp peanuts
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp split channa dal
- 1 tsp urad dal
- 1 spring curry leaves
- 1 small green chilli slit
- 1 dried red chilli
- Hing and ginger (optional)
- Wash the rice well and cook according to the packet instructions. But make sure you don’t use more water. rice to water ratio should be ideally 1:2 Cool down the rice.
- Heat a pan with 1.5 tsp of oil and fry the cashews and peanuts if using for a minute or 2 on low flame.
- Add finely chopped ginger (if using), mustard seeds, urad and channa dal, chillis and fry well for 1 or 2 minutes. These should not be burnt but should turn into nice golden brown colour.
- Add in curry leaves and hing(if using) , turmeric at the end and switch off the stove. Allow it to cool down a bit before adding lime juice.
- Now add in lemon juice and the before it gets evaporated quickly add in the cooked rice to give a good mix.
- Allow all the flavours get incorporated into rice and rest for 10 to 15 min if you can. You can have it immediately too 🙂
Short or medium-grain rice works best for lemon rice.
Make sure the rice is not mushy.If possible use left over rice.
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Indian
Keywords: rice, Indian, lemon, lime