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Recipe: Lemon Rice

April 09, 2024 09:53 IST
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There's no respite from the summer heat at the moment, so it helps to spend the least amount of time in the kitchen even if it's a festive occasion.

On Ugadi, make Tarun Deepak's Lemon Rice. An ideal and easy mid-week lunch, serve it with fried or roasted papad, dahi or raita or a curry. The dish gets its crunch from lentils and peanuts, and its tanginess from the lemon juice.

When Taruna wants to find some comfort sitting in the cool corners of her house during the hot months of October and April/May, without having to sweat it out in the kitchen, she whips up lemon rice and pairs it with a bowl of Goan Prawn curry.

Lemon Rice

Serves: 1-2


  • 300 gm or 1 cup uncooked rice, washed and drained
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp rai or mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 tbsp husked urad dal or white gram
  • 1 tbsp chana dal or Bengal gram
  • Pinch haldi or turmeric powder
  • 1 sprig curry patta or curry leaves
  • 1-1½ tbsp lemon juice, adjust to taste
  • Water
  • Salt to taste, around ½-¾ tsp


  • Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
    Add the washed rice.
    Let the rice cook over low heat.
    Once done, take off heat and drain the excess water.
    Keep aside.
  • Mix the lemon juice in 2 tbsp water.
    Keep aside.
  • In a kadhai, heat the oil over medium heat.
    Reduce the heat and add the mustard seeds.
    Once they begin to crackle, add the peanuts.
    Fry the peanuts till they just begin to change the colour and become aromatic.
    Add the lentils and fry till golden.
    Add the curry leaves, and the turmeric powder.
    Add the lemon water, salt and the cooked rice.
    Lightly toss and take off heat.
    Serve hot with papad, dahi/raita or a curry.

Taruna's Note: The whole process of making the lemon rice takes just a few seconds, so please ensure that all your ingredients are ready to be added to the oil.

Any delay can lead to one or more ingredient/s getting over cooked or burnt.

The amount of cooked rice yielded will depend on the quality of rice.

Editor's Note: For a Jain version, omit the peanuts.

A tsp of ghee, optional, will add extra taste. So will a pinch of hing or asafoetida in the tadka.


Taruna Deepak lives in Mumbai and is the creator of the food blog Easyfoodsmith.

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