A hassle-free lunch-box option, lemon rice is a favourite with young and old alike in southern india! lemon adds the tanginess, while the tempering imparts the aroma to this simple rice licacy.
2.5 to 3 cups cooked or steamed basmati rice/chawal
1.5 to 2 tbsp lemon juice/nimbu ka ras or as required
1 tsp mustard seeds/rai
1 tsp urad dal/spilt & skinned black gram
1 green chili/hari mirch, chopped
2 dry red chilies/sookhi lal mirch
12-15 curry leaves/kadi patta
a pinch of asafoetida/hing
½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
1 tbsp cashews/kaju, halved or chopped (optional)
¼ cup peanuts/moongphalli (optional)
2 to 3 tbsp sesame oil/til ka tel (optional)
rock salt/sendha namak or regular salt/namak as required
1. First cook about 1 to 1.25 cups rice in 4-5 cups of water till the grains are cooked completely. (will yield approx 2.5 to 3 cups rice, depending on the type and quality of rice)
2. Drain and spread the rice on a plate or in a bowl.
3. Cover and let the rice cool.
4. In a small frying pan, first roast the peanuts till they are crisp and browned.
5. Remove the peanuts and keep aside.
6. Then in the same frying pan, roast the cashewnuts till light brown.
7. Remove the cashewnuts and keep aside.
8. Now heat the sesame oil in the same pan.
9. Add the mustard seeds and urad dal.
Steps for Saute:
1. Crackle the mustard and brown the urad dal.
2. Add the red chilies, green chilies and curry leaves.
3. Fry for 12-15 seconds & then add the peanuts and stir.
4. Add the asafoetida and turmeric powder.
5. Fry for 2-3 seconds.
6. Fry everything on a low flame, so that the spices don't burn.
7. Switch off the fire and add the lemon juice along with salt.
8. Stir and immediately pour this mixture on the rice.
9. Mix very well.
10. Keep the lemon rice covered for the flavors to blend for 4-5 minutes.
11. Then serve the lemon rice with papads or vadams and coconut chutney or just have lemon rice plain.