Lemon Rice

Summer is almost knocking at the doorstep… looking back at the last year reminds me of the terrible Kolkata heat.. huffing and puffing in the scorching heat and then back at home… the cool breeze from the fan, a quick aam-panna… mom-made lemon rice and curry.

A tangy South Indian dish – the Lemon rice – has sneaked into my household, specially during the summer. It is a pleasant variation from the plain rice, frequently prepared for long train journeys when you wish to carry food along and can be made from fresh cooked rice or leftover. A quick snap shot of what it entails.


  • Rice (freshly cooked or leftover) – 1.5 cups
  • White Oil -2 tbsp
  • Curry leaves – 10-12
  • Peanuts – 1.5 tbsp
  • Bengal Gram/Chana Dal – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Split black gram skinless/Urad Dal – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Lime juice – 2 tbsp or to taste
  • Ginger (minced) – 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Asafoetida – pinch (optional)
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4th tsp or a pinch (do not use in excess)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Sugar –  to taste
  • Whole dry red chillies or green chillies – 1-2
  • Grated coconut or cilantro – to garnish


  • Add lime juice and salt to the cooked rice and mix well.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the curry leaves, peanuts and the dal (if desired) separately and keep aside.
  • In the same oil (heated) add mustard seeds, let them pop and crackle, add the chillies (broken red chillies or slit green chillies), turmeric powder,  ginger (optional) and asafoetida (optional) and saute for a minute.
  • Add the rice (mixed with salt and lime juice) fried curry leaves, peanuts and dal.
  • Mix well but slowly so as not to mash the rice.
  • Cook on low flame till the rice is heated all the way through.
  • Garnish with grated coconut or cilantro.

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