Tangy, spicy, and flavorful, this South Indian lemon rice is very easy to make. Also known as chitranna in Kannada, it is a simple, flavorful dish where rice is seasoned and flavored with a generous amount of lemons. When made in an
Why you will love this recipe
- Quick and Easy: South Indian lemon rice is incredibly quick to prepare, making it an ideal choice for a busy day or when you need a simple meal in a hurry.
- Vibrant Flavors: It boasts a delightful combination of tangy and zesty flavors from fresh lemon juice, tempered with the aromatic spices of South Indian cuisine, resulting in a burst of taste in every bite.
- Versatile: Lemon rice is versatile and can be served as a main dish or a side, making it suitable for various occasions, from everyday lunches to picnics and potlucks.
Basmati rice: I make this dish with Basmati rice. You can also use Sona masuri rice.
Lemon: As the name suggests, this is the main ingredient of this dish.
Peanuts and cashews: They add a great crunch to the dish.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
For this recipe, I used the juice of two lemons, which was approximately ⅓ cup.
I use a rice-to-water ratio of 1 to 1.5 in this dish, which gives me soft cooked rice. If you want chewy and firm rice, reduce water so that the rice-to-water ratio is 1 to 1.25.
What to serve with lemon rice
Raita: Raita is a yogurt-based condiment that complements the flavors of this dish. You can make cucumber raita, tomato-onion raita, or any other variety.
Follow this recipe, but change the rice-to-water ratio to 1 to 2. Pressure cook for two whistles.
To make lemon rice in a slow cooker, fry the peanuts and cashews in a pan. Make the tempering as per this recipe, and add the lemon juice, rice, and salt. Transfer it to the slow cooker and add water. Give it a good mix. Cook on the low setting for 2-3 hours or until the rice is tender and has absorbed the liquid. Keep an eye on the rice's progress to avoid overcooking. Garnish with coconut and cilantro, and mix gently.
To store South Indian lemon rice, allow it to cool to room temperature. Then, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. Lemon rice can be enjoyed cold or reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.
More South Indian rice recipes
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South Indian Lemon Rice (Instant Pot)
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ cup peanuts raw
- ¼ cup cashew
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1-2 dry red chilli
- 1 tablespoon split black gram urad dal
- 1 tablespoon Bengal gram chana dal
- 8-10 curry leaves
- Small pinch asafetida hing
- 1-2 green chilli finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon coconut grated
- 1 tablespoon coriander leaves (cilantro)
- Wash the rice thoroughly in running water. Soak the washed rice in clean water for 15-20 minutes.
- Set Instant Pot in saute mode (normal) and add coconut oil.
- Add peanuts and fry them until they are crunchy.
- Once the peanuts are done, add cashew and fry for a few seconds.
- Move them to one side of the pot.
- Now add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
- Add chana dal, urad dal, curry leaves, green chili, and ginger. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add hing, turmeric powder, salt, and lemon juice. Mix well and deglaze the pot.
- Drain the water from soaked rice and add it to the IP
- Add 3 cups of water and mix well
- Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook mode for 5 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure.
- Open the lid and add cilantro and coconut.
- Gently mix it and serve.