Introducing Indian Lemon Rice! Infused with Indian spices and tangy, zesty lemon, this South Indian classic is the perfect side dish to pair with all of your Indian meals! The Lemon Rice is baked, creating a deliciously crispy crust that will have you coming back for seconds!
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. ~Rabindranath Tagore
Say hi to my new favorite rice dish- Indian lemon Rice! This recipe comes from my artist friend Neicy Frey, who grew up in Southern India in a town called Vellore between Bangalore and Madras. Here is another delicious recipe she shared with me now over five years ago!
Then toast in a skillet with ghee, mustard seeds, cloves, chilies, scallions and fragrant curry leaves. Try to find fresh curry leaves for the best flavor, but if in a pinch these dried ones will work.
Once the rice is cooked- mix lemon juice with a little turmeric in a bowl.
Add the cooked rice and gently stir.
Then mix in the flavorful tempering oil.
When it’s done, the bottom will be deliciously crispy.
So excited for you to try this Indian Lemon Rice- let us know what you think in the comments below!
What to serve with Indian Lemon Rice:
- Tandoori Chicken Skewers
- Kerala Fish
- Indian Coconut Lentil Curry
- Indian Butter Chicken
- Baked Tandoori Chicken ( or Tofu! ) and Veggies
How to make Indian Lemon rice. Infused with Indian spices, this fragrant rice dish is the perfect side to your Indian meals.
Make Tempering Oil:
- Lightly smash the coriander seeds and cardamom pods with a mortar & pestle to slightly open the pods
- Finely slice scallions and chili. Saute on medium/high heat in the ghee or low-flavor cooking oil until the onions are golden and almost transparent.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add mustard seeds, cardamom pods and whole cloves and stir as they warm up. As soon as they start to become fragrant, add the curry leaves to the pan. Gently stir until the curry leaves are wilted, then remove the pan from heat. (It’s easy to overcook the seeds and leaves so be careful to keep your heat low.)
- Stir in in 1/4 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix up the Rice:
- Squeeze the juice from your lemon into a large mixing bowl, add turmeric, 1/4 t salt and 1/4 t sugar and stir until dissolved in the lemon juice
- Add the cooked rice to the bowl and stir until the turmeric/ lemon juice is evenly incorporated through the rice. It’s important to stir gently so as to keep the rice fluffy and not smash or break it.
- Once the rice is mixed, taste to make sure there is a good balance of salt and lemon. If your lemons are really tart you may need to add more salt.
- Add the tempering oil to the rice in the mixing bowl and toss just until evenly combined. Over-mixing will damage the rice texture.
Bake: Spread about 1 teaspoon ghee evenly across the bottom of the baking pan or skillet. Pour the 2 cups of the rice into the pan, gently pressing down into the ghee at the bottom. Add the remaining rice. This creates a delicious and slightly crunchy crust.
- Bake for around 25 minutes on the bottom oven rack (to get the yummy ghee crust)
Serve: You can serve this straight from the pan, and try to keep the rice in big clumps, using a spatula to get that tasty crust.
- Serving Size: ¾ cup
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