Start of another week. This week is going to be super busy for me, with so many activities lined uu front. On top of it, weekend was so quick and filled with tension as Amma was not keeping well. Thankfully everything is back to normal. It’s hard to stay away from parents, especially at times when I know they need our support. I was *this* close to go to Chennai but everyone wanted me to take it light. Ok enough digression there. Back to the recipe. I am the only one in my family (actually I think in entire South India ) not like both lemon rice as well as tamarind rice. Infact I am not a fan of sour tasting foods. Whenever amma made Pulihora at home, she would make sure the quantity of tamarind is less so that I will eat. Sister on the other hand, loves tanginess. She won’t eat unless the Pulihora is quite tangy. Together we gave Amma tough challenges 🙂 Lemon rice was not made very frequently at our home but my MIL makes it quite often. This has to be one of the quickest lunch recipes available. It’s a shame that I don’t like it as much but the husband loves it, especially with something crunchy to go with it. I indulge him for just once in a while and let him have his potato chips with lemon rice 🙂
The rice would carry the flavor of the lemon, quite tangy and it’s complemented well with the spiciness from green and red chillies. I always add a dash of peanuts while making both lemon rice and Pulihora – gives a good crunch to the rice. More than anything, its super quick to make and one of the best dishes to pack for travel. Usually, lemon rice stays good for 1 or 2 days and most people pack it for the long distance train journeys. Care has to be taken as in the rice should not be touched with hand and should be packed after it’s completely cooled down. The flavours of the rice come out better after letting it rest for a bit and that’s the reason amma always made it in the morning even if it’s for lunch.
To make Lemon Rice
What I used –
- Raw Rice, 1 cup
- Lemon, 2 (small/medium)
- Green Chillies, 2
- Dried Red Chilli, 1
- Peanuts, a handful
- Oil, 2 tsp + 2 tsp
- Mustard Seeds, ½ tsp
- Urad Dal, 1 tsp
- Chana Dal, 1 tsp
- Asafoetida, 1/4th tsp
- Curry Leaves, a few sprigs
- Turmeric Powder, ½ tsp
- Salt, as required
- Water, 2 cups
How I made –
- In a pressure cooker, cook the rice with two cups of water for three whistles. Let the pressure drop. Remove the rice onto a large plate and spread it with 2 tsp of oil, salt required for the rice. Let it cool down completely.
- In a pan, heat 2 tsp of oil. Add mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, peanuts and torn red chillies. As the mustard seeds splutter wait for the peanuts to pop too, add asafoetida. Immediately add slit open green chillies and curry leaves. Stir fry for 30 secs. Switch off the heat.
- Add turmeric powder and lemon juice from the lemon. Add a generous pinch of salt (required only for this tempering and lemon juice). Mix well.
- Pour the tempering on the cooled down rice and mix well. The rice would slowly turn yellow in color. Check for salt. Let the rice sit for some time for the flavours to go in.
- Serve hot with potato chips or papad or coconut chutney.
- The rice should not be cooked to a mush. I use 2 cups of water for each cup of rice and the rice turns out fluffy. Use water as per your method but make not to overcook rice.
- Curry leaves and asafoetida give the flavour required to this dish and are necessary.
- Instead of peanuts, cashews can be added too.
- Adjust the lemon juice as per personal preference. If the lemon is juicy, one big is enough.
- The salt and the tanginess can increase after the rice rests for some time. So add them accordingly.