Lemon rice in Instant Pot step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Lemon rice, also known as chitranna in Kannada, is a simple flavorful dish where rice is seasoned and flavored with a generous amount of lemons. This South Indian-style rice is very easy to make and ready in no time. As the name suggests, the main flavor of this dish comes from lemon juice.
There are two ways of making it - one cooking the rice with lemons and the other is to use leftover rice. In this recipe, I am making it using the first method. When made in an Instant Pot, this flavorful Indian lemon rice dish is ready in 15 minutes. It is great for lunchboxes or potlucks and can be made ahead of time.
I have earlier shared how to make vegan tomato rice in Instant Pot. Here is my version of South Indian lemon rice. Read on for ingredients, useful tips, and step-by-step instructions to make this easy and delicious dish.
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 cashew: They add a great crunch to the dish.
Coconut oil: I prefer to make this dish with coconut oil; however, you can use any cooking oil of your choice.
Spices: I use mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, dry red chili, and turmeric powder.
Other ingredients: Curry leaves, ginger, green chili, coriander leaves (cilantro), and fresh coconut.
Put the Instant Pot in saute mode and heat coconut oil. Fry peanuts and cashew until they are crunchy (step 1).
Move them to a side and add mustard seeds. Add chana dal, urad dal, curry leaves, green chili, and ginger (steps 2,3,4).
Add hing, turmeric powder, salt, and lemon juice. Mix well and deglaze the pot (steps 5,6).
Drain the water from the soaked rice and add it to the IP (step 7). Add 3 cups of water and mix well (step 8).
Secure the lid and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook mode for 5 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure (steps 9,10).
Open the lid and add cilantro and coconut. Gently mix it and serve (steps 11,12).
Use coconut oil. While any oil of your choice works well for this dish, use coconut oil to get the authentic taste.
I used the juice of two lemons, which was approximately ⅓ cup.
I like to add peanuts and cashew to this dish. You can skip them for a nut-free version.
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.
Serve it with majjige huli, a South Indian-style kadhi for a complete meal.
More South Indian rice recipes:
Lemon rice tastes great as is, but it can be served with papad or raita. You can also serve it with dal or simple curry for a complete meal.
Follow this recipe but change the rice to water ratio to 1 to 2. Pressure cook for two whistles.
Related: Nucchina unde.
This dish is:
- vegan and naturally gluten-free
- great for lunchboxes
- easy to make and ready in 15 minutes
Easy 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.
I love this flavourful and easy to make recipe! Looks so delicious! Will try it out soon!
This looks so delicious, especially with that crunch from the nuts!
I love lemon rice. But I never used grated coconut in rice before. Have to give this a try. Thanks for this lovely recipe.
I love lemon rice with nuts, I can just eat it alone and enjoy.
Kayla DiMaggio says
Yum! this lemon rice looks so easy and delicious! My husband would love this!
This was so refreshing! I made it as a side dish and then ended up using it the next day as the base of a bowl, so tasty!
I love lemon rice and this one works perfectly. I like the addition of nuts to this dish. Love it!
another great rice recipe. this one is flavourful and i just want to have it with everything
Gina Abernathy says
This looks so good especially with the lemon and rice combination.
The lemon is perfect with the combination of spices! Great flavors!
This is my favorite rice! I am so happy to have this recipe and indeed, all your Indian cooking recipes. I love to eat at Indian restaurants and now I can make my favorites at home. Love it!