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How to make Indian Lemon rice. Infused with Indian spices, this fragrant rice dish is the perfect side to your Indian meals. #lemonrice #indianrice #basmatirice

Indian Lemon Rice

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: side dish,
  • Method: stove top, baked
  • Cuisine: indian
  • Diet: Hindu


How to make Indian Lemon rice. Infused with Indian spices, this fragrant rice dish is the perfect side to your Indian meals.




Cook your rice (or use leftover rice!)
Pre-heat oven to 375F

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.



Delicious with Kerala Fish, plain yogurt, raita, zhoug, dried fruit garnish, sliced cucumbers, green chickpea salad, Indian curry or bbq-ed vegetables!


  • Serving Size: ¾ cup
  • Calories: 224
  • Sugar: 0.9 g
  • Sodium: 147.8 mg
  • Fat: 3.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 42.6 g
  • Fiber: 0.8 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 7.6 mg

Keywords: indian lemon rice, South Indian rice, indian rice, lemon rice, lemon rice recipe