lemon rice

Lemon Rice Magic: A Simple Recipe with a Tangy Kick


Lemon Rice, also known as “Chitranna” in some regions, is a traditional South Indian dish that has won the hearts of millions worldwide. This scrumptious recipe combines the freshness of lemon juice with aromatic spices and fluffy rice, creating a dish that’s both zesty and comforting. Its vibrant yellow color and invigorating aroma make it a feast for both the eyes and the palate.

lemon rice

The preparation begins by cooking Basmati rice to perfection, ensuring that each grain remains separate and fluffy. Meanwhile, a tempering of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal, urad dal, and asafoetida is prepared in hot oil. Green chilies and grated ginger are added to infuse the spices with a subtle spiciness. Fragrant curry leaves are then introduced to impart their unique aroma.

The Lemon Rice recipe is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own or served with accompaniments such as yogurt, pickle, or papadums. It is commonly prepared for special occasions, festivals, or as a quick and satisfying meal option

Yield: 4

Lemon Rice Recipe:

Lemon Rice

Lemon rice is a vibrant and flavorful dish that originates from South India. It's a staple in many households and is often prepared as a way to use up leftover rice. This dish features cooked rice that's infused with a delightful combination of tangy lemon juice and a medley of aromatic spices. The result is a refreshing and zesty rice dish that's both satisfying and easy to prepare.

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 2 cups of cooked rice (preferably leftover rice)
  • 1 medium-sized lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (preferably sesame or peanut oil)
  • 1/4 cup of roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup of cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon of asafoetida (hing)
  • 2-3 dried red chilies
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon of chana dal (split chickpeas)
  • 1 tablespoon of urad dal (split black gram)
  • 2 tablespoons of grated coconut
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish


  1. Cook the Rice- Begin by cooking the rice until it's perfectly fluffy and separate. You can use leftover rice or cook fresh rice and allow it to cool before proceeding.
  2. Squeeze the Lemon- Cut the lemon in half and extract its juice. Make sure to remove any seeds, as you don't want them in your Lemon Rice.
  3. Roast the Peanuts and Cashews- In a pan, dry roast the peanuts and cashews until they turn golden brown. Set them aside for later use.
  4. Tempering- Heat the oil in a large pan or wok. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then, add the cumin seeds, dried red chilies, asafoetida, chana dal, and urad dal. Sauté until the dals turn golden brown.
  5. Add Curry Leaves- Toss in the curry leaves and let them release their aroma. Curry leaves add a distinct flavor to the dish.
  6. Mix in the Turmeric- Add the turmeric powder to the tempering. This imparts a lovely golden color to the Lemon Rice.
  7. Stir in the Lemon Juice- Carefully pour the freshly squeezed lemon juice into the pan. Mix well with the tempering and let it simmer for a minute.
  8. Combine Rice and Tempering- Gently add the cooked rice to the pan, combining it with the tempered spices and lemon juice. Make sure the rice is evenly coated with the flavors.
  9. Add Roasted Nuts and Coconut- Now, add the roasted peanuts and cashews to the rice. Additionally, sprinkle grated coconut over the mixture. The nuts and coconut enhance the texture and taste of the dish.
  10. Season with Salt- Season the Lemon Rice with salt according to your taste preferences. Remember that the lemon juice already adds some tanginess, so adjust the salt accordingly.
  11. Garnish and Serve- Finally, garnish the Lemon Rice recipe with fresh coriander leaves, which add a burst of color and freshness. Serve this delectable dish hot or at room temperature with a side of papadum or yogurt.


  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best taste. Avoid bottled lemon juice as it may not have the same zesty flavor.
  • For added fragrance, you can also add a pinch of lemon zest to the rice.
  • Adjust the quantity of lemon juice according to your taste preferences. Some like it tangier, while others prefer a milder taste.
  • Be cautious while adding salt, as the lemon juice already adds some tanginess. It's better to start with a small amount and adjust as needed.
  • If you prefer a spicier version, you can include green chilies or red chili powder during the tempering stage.
  • For a healthier option, you can use brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice.
  • Lemon Rice tastes even better when allowed to sit for some time, as the flavors meld together.
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    Nutrition Information:

    Serving Size:

    1 cup or 150-200 grams

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200-250Total Fat: 5-8gSodium: 300-500mgCarbohydrates: 40-50gFiber: 2-3gSugar: 1-2gProtein: 4-6g


    The Versatility of Lemon Rice

    One of the remarkable features of the Lemon Rice recipe is its versatility. This dish can be enjoyed on its own as a light and refreshing meal or paired with various side dishes to create a wholesome feast. Whether you serve it with yogurt, pickles, or papadum, the tangy goodness of Lemon Rice complements a wide range of accompaniments.

    Health Benefits

    Rich in Vitamin C- Lemons are a fantastic source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that boosts your immune system and helps protect your body from free radicals. Including Lemon Rice in your diet can contribute to a stronger immune system and overall well-being.

    Improves Digestion- The combination of lemon juice and rice aids in digestion and helps relieve indigestion and bloating. The addition of curry leaves in the recipe further promotes healthy digestion.

    Provides Energy- Rice is a carbohydrate-rich food that provides a steady supply of energy to your body. The addition of roasted nuts adds healthy fats and proteins, making Lemon Rice a balanced and nourishing meal.

    Supports Weight Management- Lemon Rice is a light and low-calorie dish, making it an excellent choice for those aiming to manage their weight. It keeps you satiated without adding excessive calories to your diet.

    Good for Skin Health- The vitamin C in lemons contributes to healthy and radiant skin. Regularly consuming Lemon Rice can help improve your skin’s texture and appearance.

    Supports Heart Health- Lemon Rice contains healthy fats from roasted nuts and sesame or peanut oil, which can be beneficial for heart health when consumed in moderation.

    Lemon Rice

    A Global Favorite
    The Lemon Rice recipe has transcended geographical boundaries and becomes a favorite dish not only in India but also in various parts of the world. Its simple preparation and delightful taste have earned it a place on restaurant menus and dinner tables worldwide. Whether you’re craving comfort food or want to impress your guests with a unique culinary experience, Lemon Rice fits the bill perfectly.

    So, the next time you find yourself looking for a quick and tasty meal option, consider whipping up a batch of Lemon Rice. It’s a dish that brings a burst of flavor, a dash of sunshine, and a whole lot of satisfaction to every bite.


    Q: What type of rice is best for Lemon Rice Recipe?

    A: For the best results, use long-grain Basmati rice or any variety of short-grain rice. Alternatively, you can also use leftover rice from the previous day, which works wonderfully for this recipe.

    Q: Can I make Lemon Rice in advance for a party or gathering?

    A: Yes, you can prepare the Lemon Rice recipe a few hours before serving. Just ensure that you store it in an airtight container and refrigerate it. Before serving, gently reheat the rice, and it will taste just as fresh as when you made it.

    Q: Can I add vegetables to the Lemon Rice recipe?

    A: Absolutely! Adding vegetables like green peas, carrots, or bell peppers can enhance the nutritional value and taste of the dish. Just sauté the vegetables along with the tempering before adding the rice.

    Q: Is the Lemon Rice recipe gluten-free?

    A: Yes, the Lemon Rice recipe is naturally gluten-free as it contains no wheat or gluten-containing ingredients.

    Q: What are some variations of Lemon Rice?

    A: Besides the classic version, you can experiment with different ingredients like grated raw mango or tamarind pulp for a tangy twist. You can also add roasted coconut or desiccated coconut for added texture and flavor.

    Q: Can I substitute lemon with lime?

    A: Yes, you can use lime instead of lemon to make Lime Rice, which is equally delicious and refreshing


    lemon rice


    In conclusion, the Rice Recipe is a delightful culinary experience that combines the freshness of lemon with the richness of rice. Its simplicity and versatility make it a favorite among food enthusiasts worldwide. By following the step-by-step guide provided here, you can easily prepare this zesty and tangy dish in the comfort of your kitchen.

    So, the next time you want to treat your taste buds to something extraordinary, give this Lemon Rice Recipe a try, and you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy the burst of flavors and share this delightful recipe with your loved ones to spread the joy of good food.

    Lemon Rice Recipe


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