Lemon Rice is a delicious Indian style lemon flavored fried rice. Lemon and summer have some secret connection. The tangy, citrusy flavor soothes your taste buds during the hot summer days. In fact, lemon rice is the best way to use all the leftover steamed rice sitting in the fridge. Ready in 20 minutes, Indian it is a fabulous gluten-free, vegan one-pot meal.
Stupid easy and bursting with the flavors of summer, this chitranna makes all your one-pot meals dreams come true. It has the nuttiness of peanuts, cashews, the spiciness of chilies and the bursting tartness of lemon. And all these flavors are well absorbed by the plain rice. It is purely delicious.
When we talk about easy Indian rice recipes, chitranna is one of our favorite ones. Needless, to say we were introduced to this delicious rice casserole during our stay in South India, where it is known as chitranna. And ever since then, it is a regular repeat in our weekly lunch menu and in his office lunchbox (also read: 16 Best Office Lunchbox Ideas).
What to serve with Indian lemon rice?
Making of Lemon Rice…
While many chitranna recipes suggest adding the lemon juice in the beginning. My preference is to stir the lemon juice towards the end once the rice is ready to be served. I find that the lemon flavor is fresher, and also I stir it through while the rice is hot so it sucks in all that fresh flavor.
Talking, about the cooking oil used in the making of chitranna. On multiple occasions, I have tried cooking it in different oils. One of them being the classic way with sesame oil, then with the mustard oil, coconut oil and also, with the ghee. Chitranna cooked in either sesame oil or mustard oil is my personal favorite. It requires strong, flavorsome oil to enhance the flavor of the ingredients.
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Lemon Rice Recipe
- 1 Cup steamed rice
- Juice of 3 lemon
- Salt to taste
- 2 teaspoon black mustrad seeds (rai)
- 1 teaspoon dhuli urad dal
- 2 tablespoon peanuts
- 1 tablespoon cashew nuts, sliced
- a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 2 whole green chilies slit
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoon mustard oil/sesame oil/coconut oil
- Wash rice few times or until the water runs clear. Soak for at least 15 minutes in water.
- Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepan with a pinch of salt.
- Drain water from the soaked rice. Add rice in the boiling water saucepan.
- Cook the rice till 80% cooked. Make sure rice does not turn mushy.
- As soon the rice is cooked transfer it to a metal colander
- For this recipe you can use leftover rice as well.
- Heat oil in a kadhai ( buy it here ) over high flame.
- Once the oil starts fuming, reduce the heat to low.
- Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter.
- Next add urad dal and hing. Fry till dal turn light golden in color.
- Add peanuts, cashews, curry leaves and green chilies. Fry till cashews turn golden in color.
- Add turmeric powder, mix and turn off the heat.
- Now add rice, salt and lemon. Stir to combine.
- Rice should get coated with the seasoning nicely.
- Cover the pan with the lid and allow the rice to absorb the flavors for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Serve lemon rice warm with chilled raita and roasted potato.