Lemon rice is a staple in most South Indian households. It is a comfort food for many and is most commonly eaten for a meal. Lemon rice has a delicate flavour of fresh lemon juice along with the aroma of the tempering ingredients like mustard seeds, ginger, lentils, curry leaves and green chilies.


  • 1 and 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 small lemon
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3/4 tsp urad dal
  • 2 nos red chilliesa pinch hing
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • few nos curry leaves
  • 1.5 tbsp peanuts


 Heat oil in a pan – add mustard seeds let it crackle then add urad dal and chana dal.

Now add chopped ginger, red chillies, curry leaves and peanuts.

Saute for a minute until dals turn golden and peanuts turn crisp.

 Add required salt, turmeric powder and hing.

Give a quick mix.Switch off and let it cool down and come to room temperature.

This is done off the stove : Squeeze lemon to extract lemon juice.Do not add lemon juice when the tempering is hot.

Add cooked rice(warm and not hot).

Mix well until nicely combined.Lemon rice ready.


Always bring the tempering to room temperature before adding lemon juice else it may turn bitter.

Also cook rice spread it in a plate to cool down then add it. You can even add a tsp of oil spread it to cool down.

I added peanuts with skin, you can add deskinned peanuts too.

Adding ginger not only gives flavour but helps in digestion too.

Use good quality turmeric powder. I used homemade turmeric powder.


Lemon rice goes well with any vegetable fry, papad, vadagam, and pickle. Usually I make fry – potato fry as side dish for lunch box and papad when I prepare it in home.

Lemon rice is a good lunch menu at home and as well for lunch box. It could be made early in the morning and it would be good till night.Refrigeration is not needed.


Adding cashews will make lemon rice more richer and crunchier

Onions can be tempered with spices and added

Mint leaves can be added for mint flavour

Garlic can be minced and added for garlic flavoured rice

Replace rice with poha for Lemon Poha

You can replace red chillies with green chillies while tempering.

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