Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice

Lemon rice is a delicious south Indian dish. Lemon juice gives a very refreshing and tangy flavor to the rice.
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Course rice
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people


for Rice:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 3/4  cup water
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt

for Seasoning:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1/2  teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/2  teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 red whole red chili
  • 1 green chili sliced in four long way
  • 12 to 15 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chana dal, pre-soaked in water for at least half an hour
  • 1/4  cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1/4  cup lemon juice



  • Wash rice gently changing water several times until the water appears clear.
  • For fluffier rice, the rice should be soaked for at least 15 minutes prior to cooking.
  • Drain the rice and put it into the saucepan. Add water, oil, and salt, and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.
  • Cook about 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water has evaporated. Turn off the heat and fluff the rice with a fork.

Preparing The Seasoning:

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat; stir-fry the peanuts for about 2 minutes until peanuts changes the color to light brown.
  • Take out the peanuts from oil and use the same oil for rest of the seasoning.
  • Add cumin seeds and mustard seeds after seeds crack add red chili, curry leaves, and green chilies, and stir for a few seconds.
  • Add the chana dal, stir-fry for about a minute.
  • Add turmeric and mix it well.
  • Add the pre-cooked rice, peanuts and sprinkle salt and lemon juice over the rice.
  • Mix gently, making sure do not break the rice and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Rice is ready, Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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59 thoughts on “Lemon Rice

  1. such a simple and great tasting recipe. thank you Manjula you are my favorite cook to learn from! I believe you will be pleased to know that you are watched and your recipes are being enjoyed in Serbia 🙂 all the best to you and your loved ones!

  2. I have Basmati rice but it isn’t as long as yours . Can you recommend the brand you use ? We have an India food store I could buy there maybe . They carry many brands.

  3. Wow…it is soo delicious and who likes tangyness those are love this recipe a lot ,even children’s also like this recipe because of crispy crispy peanuts,chana dal,urad dal and also it takes very less time to prepare also easy to cook but i have a question can we add cashews also in this recipe…?

  4. I just made your Lemon rice and it was so delicious. The only ingredients I didn’t have was peanuts (substituted walnuts) and I didn’t have mustard seed (substituted regular mustard, just a small squirt) . I had everything else including the fresh curry leaves.

    Thank you so much for taking your time to go through all the steps in your videos. I followed your directions and the rice is wonderfully flavorful. I could eat the whole pot !!

    Have a nice day/evening and thanks again for all you do to bring us these wonderful dishes.


  5. It is a gr8 recipe but I have a query that whether I can cook the Rice in a Normal way or not.. Because I found it realy hard to cook in a pan than Pressure cooker..

  6. Made lemon rice today- great recipe, tastes yummy. I did slightly overcook the rice but hope to reduce heat after initial high the next time. I used dried curry leaves as I was not able to get the fresh one’s but it still taste v good. I used salted groundnuts again but it still tasted good. Thanks.

  7. I’m from Surinam and soon have my birthday. For sure i’ll try this lemon rice and also the sesame burfi. I’ll inform you of the result,hope it will be a success.

  8. I tried out your Lemon Rice recipe and would like to tell you that it has turned out great. Thanks for the same. Will continue to try some of your other recipes and give you my feedback.

  9. i want to be very honest i am not very good in the kitchen but i think the way you explain is very easy so that make me more confident to tried….and guess what i made the lemon rice and i have no words is just DELICIOSO thank you so much,thank you,thank you….i forget to mention i made the yellow rice too and i was 10/10 you are my right hand in the kitchen THANK YOU.

  10. dear Manjula! I am a great fan of your recipes!! Lived in India for a while and all those tastes just don’t go out of my mind, and finally I can enjoy them again!!! Thank you so much!! best regards from Brazil!!

  11. Wow! I am engaged to an indian boy and he asked me to cook lemon rice for him, I am from mexico and had no idea but your video saved me! Thank you so much aunty!

  12. Aunty i am from Trivandrum.Kerala.U r really great.I used to add Asafoetida while i make Lemon Rice.But after watching ur video i undrstood tht no need of Asafoetida while we cook Lemon rice.I like this method.Thanks a lot for this video.U r really great Hats off to u.HARE KRISHNA

  13. hi aunty
    i live in delhi ….and just married and ur recipe helps like anything….u r the magic stick of ganeshji for me as u dont keep secrets in ur recipe…..thanks a loooooooooooooooottttttttttttttttttt……………

  14. Hare Krishna!

    Aunti-ji, I am making this tonight..
    Would you serve this by itself, or with raita, or would you do a sabji and then this??

    Thank you…

  15. Gr8 My dear Sister..!!

    In fact, most of your receipies are really a guide for me..!!
    I am a self disciplined self cook..

    In fact, your guide made me a better cook..!!

  16. Manjula, Aunty! I wrote before asking about roti, paratha etc. I am a white lady whose boyfriend is Indian. I have been practicing my bread, and am pleased to report that most of the time they come out round and delicious!!Thank you so very much for your excellent instruction. God bless you and your family!

  17. Dear Manjula,
    we are from the Canary Islands ,Spain and my son has found your website.
    We are so happy, thank you so much for the recipies and the videos. We have tried Gulab Jamun,Kaju Burfi,Bengali Rasgullas. Next I like to try the Lemon Rice. My son goes to Hindi classes and his teacher enjoy it too!
    Thank you so much for the good instruccines.
    With our best wishes from Spain
    Felix and Gabi

  18. Dear Manjula,
    I love your web site. I have several Indian cookbooks, but nothing is better than having you right in my kitchen. We are a vegan, gluten free family and Indian food has made meal preperation fun and easy. Your recipes in particular are delicious.
    Thank you so much,
    Georgia from Los Angeles

  19. Dearest Aunty Manjula,

    I recently came across your website and found it to be extremely interesting especially your videos. All your receipes are so mouthwatering that i just can’t resist trying them myself. I enjoy trying out different receipes coz I love to cook. I’ve tried the dahi vadas and moog dosas. Today I’ll try lime rice. They are so delicious. And henceforth I am gona be a regular viewer. You’ve inspired me. Thank you very much.

  20. I just made this served with some snap peas and mushrooms using the same seasonings and it was very very good. Thank you 🙂

    Daniel, Las Vegas
    New to Indian cooking

  21. I’ve tried making the lemon rice it’s a great tasting recipe. I liked it especially because there’s no onion & garlic. Good for those who avoid pungent ingredients.

  22. Mrs Manjula,

    Thank you for all your lovely recipes! I made the lemon rice today and it tastes unbelievably good! I can’t wait to cook more of your recipes. You inspired me soo much that I have been cooking only Indian food for the past 3 days!

    Best regards from Greece

  23. I love this recipe. I love rice and white especially. I tried this and I absolutely love it. My entire family loves this rice recipe. Thank you so much.

  24. Namaste! Greetings from Portugal! As a keen vegetarian and musician I have become a lover of Indian gastronomy and culture for a some years now so I was delighted to find your site! I will now begin my long life quest ,since I’m still 26, to master and delight myself and people around me with these great recipes! Thank you very much for your effort! God bless!

    May vegetarian cooking enrich our lives!
    “Live and let live”
    Afonso 🙂


  26. Hi Aunty,

    Thanks a ton for the awesome dishes, I saw approx all the dishes here and found it is very easy to cook with your help, I am staying in pg, so could you please give us some easy and quick made recopies.

    Avdhesh Kumar

  27. Aunty,

    Want to add one tip for lemon rice.

    If we roast mustard and fenugreek seeds in equal quantity and make a powder of it and sprinkle it little bit on lemon rice,it enhances the taste even more also we can add puliogare powder with this.

    Thank u,

  28. hello aunty!
    The rice looks really yummy! Will try this for sure.
    Can you please tell me where to buy the pots you used to make rice and seasoning? I want to buy it.

    Thank u

  29. Dear Manjula Auntie,

    Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful recipes on this website. Other than yogurt, what dishes would you serve Lemon Rice with?


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