Lemon rice always reminds me of train rides. I am sure some of you associate the two as well because in most cases, whenever we go on an overnight train journey, a small bundle of lemon rice wrapped in wilted banana leaf will be handed over to everyone. We have always had lemon rice with chuttaracha chammanthi, thick coconut chutney ground with smoked red chillies, and curd/raita.
I also have another distinct memory associated with lemon rice. One of eating it at a temple when I was very little. I forgot where or when but that was probably the best lemon rice I have ever tasted. Its been ages since I have eaten from a temple but if I see it when I pass by, I am grabbing some!
On to the Lemon Rice Recipe now.
Preparation time: 30 mins
4 cups cooked rice (leftovers work perfect)
3 tbsp raw peanuts
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 tbsp juice of lemon or lime
Salt to taste
2 tbsp gingelly oil / nallennai / sesame seed oil (Indian version)
2-3 red chillies torn into halves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp chana dal / kadala paruppu
A generous pinch of hing / asafoetida / perungaayam
A few curry leaves
Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing (optional)
How to Make Lemon Rice:
1. Heat oil for tempering in a pan and add the peanuts. Roast until nicely browned. Drain and set aside.
2. To the hot oil, add the ingredients for tempering. Take care not to burn the chillies. When the mustard seeds start to pop and the dal has turned a golden brown, add the turmeric powder and salt. Now add peanuts, mix well and remove from fire.
3. Add cooked rice to the above mixture and mix well. Squeeze lime on the rice and mix again. Depending on the lime / lemon you use, the sourness will vary. Make sure you make it slightly more sour than you need it because when you let it sit for an hour or two, the rice will absorb the flavours.
4. Garnish and serve.
- Lemon rice is fantastic to carry with you on a trip. Wrap in banana leaves or pack it in your throwaway containers with some chuttaracha chammanthi and you are set!
- The rice tastes just fine when it turns cold but if serving at home, serve warm.