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HomeLifestyleRecipesLemon Rice Recipe | Chitranna Recipe (South Indian Model)

Lemon Rice Recipe | Chitranna Recipe (South Indian Model)


Lemon Rice also called Chitranna or Nimmakaya Pulihora is a crunchy, flavorful, tasty and tangy dish that’s straightforward to make and tastes so good. Lemon juice, fried nuts, fragrant herbs and spices mix completely to offer this steamed rice an incredible spicy, tangy and nutty taste. The nuts add a crunch for the proper rice dish texture. This vegan lemon rice recipe is certain to change into considered one of your favourite rice dishes.

lemon rice served in a white bowl on a white cotton cloth with a side of fried papaddums

Extra on Lemon Rice

This is without doubt one of the hottest and generally made rice recipes from the South Indian delicacies. I’ve had lemon rice in lots of eating places and even in a number of South Indian temples.

Simple to make, my lemon rice recipe features a combination of fried mustard seeds, urad dal (black gram), chilies (sizzling inexperienced peppers), herbs and spices.

This fried tempering combination is then poured over steamed rice. Fried peanuts and cashews are added, together with lemon juice, and all the things is combined collectively.

You may make chitranna with freshly cooked rice and even with leftover rice. The peanuts and cashews add crunch to this tangy and aromatic chitranna recipe.

I choose to totally cook dinner the rice. You possibly can cook dinner rice grains al dente should you choose that texture. Aside from Fried Rice, Pulao or Biryani, in all different rice recipes, I choose to cook dinner rice grains absolutely.

For the rice you possibly can select to make use of any number of non-sticky rice that you just choose or is a staple in your kitchen. Lengthy grained aromatic rice like Basmati rice additionally work nicely within the recipe.

Step-by-Step Information

How one can make Lemon Rice

Prepare dinner Rice

1. First rinse 1 cup heaped rice a few instances after which soak in sufficient water for about 20 to half-hour. You should utilize quick grained rice or a protracted grained rice like basmati.

In my step-by-step photograph information, I’ve added quick grained rice. Within the video, basmati rice is used.

soaking rice in water in a steel bowl to make chitranna or lemon rice

2. Then drain all of the water from soaked rice. Add rice in a 2-litre or 3-litre strain cooker. Add ¼ teaspoon salt or add salt as required.

soaked rice added to pressure cooker with salt

3. Add 1.75 to 2 cups water.

water added to rice in the pressure cooker

4. Strain cook dinner rice for 8 to 10 minutes or for two to three whistles on a medium to medium-high warmth. When the strain settles down by itself within the cooker, then open the lid.

You possibly can even cook dinner rice in a pan or within the On the spot Pot. Comply with the steps as listed under:

  • Pan technique: Take rice, salt and a pair of cups water in a pan. Cowl and simmer till all of the water has been absorbed and rice grains are tender and fluffy. Test when the rice is simmering and if the water has dried up with rice grains undercooked, add some extra sizzling water and proceed to cook dinner.
  • On the spot Pot technique: Add rice, salt and 1 or 1.25 cups water (relying on rice sort and high quality) within the metal insert of a 6 quart IP. Strain cook dinner for five minutes on excessive. Do a fast strain launch after 5 minutes.
cooked rice in the pressure cooker

5. Empty the cooked rice in a bowl or plate and put aside in order that it turns into heat or cool at room temperature. You may as well fluff the cooked rice and let it cool within the cooker itself.

1 heaped cup of uncooked rice will yield 3 to 4 cups of cooked rice. Nevertheless, this may very relying on the kind of rice.

cooked rice in a steel bowl set aside to make lemon rice recipe

6. Squeeze juice from 1 lime or 1 small lemon right into a small bowl. You’ll need about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice.

If you need a extra tangy style, then you possibly can add extra lemon juice. Put aside.

squeezing lemon juice to make lemon rice recipe

Fry Nuts

7. Warmth 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a pan. Add ¼ cup peanuts. The sesame oil that’s added is constructed from uncooked sesame seeds and is also called gingelly oil. It has a completely totally different taste and aroma than the south-asian toasted sesame oil.

In the event you wouldn’t have sesame oil, then add sunflower oil, canola oil, avocado oil, peanut oil or grapeseed oil.

When you have roasted peanuts prepared, you then can provide a miss to this step. I generally have additional roasted peanuts within the pantry available as a snack or to be added in recipes like these.

peanuts added in oil in a pan

8. Fry the peanuts on a low to medium warmth till they change into golden and crunchy.

frying peanuts in pan

9. Take away and put aside.

fried peanuts in a steel plate to make lemon rice recipe

10. In the identical pan add 1 tablespoon cashews.

frying cashews in oil in the pan

11. Fry cashews till they flip golden. Put aside.

frying cashews until golden color in oil in the pan

Fry Lentils, Seeds, Spices

12. Now add 1 tablespoon sesame oil in the identical pan. When the oil turns into sizzling, decrease the warmth and add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds.

frying mustard seeds in oil in a pan

12. When the mustard seeds begun to crackle, then add 1 teaspoon urad dal (spilt and skinned black gram).

I don’t add chana dal (break up and skinned bengal gram) to my lemon rice recipe, however if you wish to add these, soak the lentils in sizzling water for 20 to half-hour. Drain the water after which add them to the oil at this step.

Be sure that they’re pat dried or the additional water or moisture in them will make the oil splutter an excessive amount of.

urad dal added to pan

13. On a low warmth, fry the urad dal until they flip golden.

frying urad dal in the pan

14. Subsequent add 12 to fifteen curry leaves, 1 teaspoon chopped inexperienced chillies and a pair of dry crimson chilies (ideally seeds eliminated).

curry leaves, greeen chillies, red chillies added to pan

15. Sauté for some seconds till the crimson chilies change coloration.

sauteing tempering mixture in the pan

16. Change off the warmth and add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 beneficiant pinch asafetida (hing).

spices added to tempering mixture in pan

17. Combine very nicely.

mixing spices with tempering mixture to make chitranna

Make Lemon Rice

18. Now pour this tempering combination within the cooked rice.

tempering mixture added to cooked rice in the bowl to make chitranna

19. Add the fried peanuts and cashews.

fried peanuts and cashews added to cooked rice in bowl to make lemon rice or chitranna

20. Add lemon juice – about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons.

lemon juice added to cooked rice in bowl to make chitranna

21. Add salt as required.

salt added to cooked rice in bowl

22. Combine very nicely.

with a steel spoon mixing salt and lemon juice to make chitranna or lemon rice

23. Test the style and add extra lemon juice or salt should you like. Maintain the lemon rice or chitranna lined for the flavors to mix for 4 to five minutes.

Whereas serving garnish with some chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) should you choose.

lemon rice or chitranna mixed and ready to be served

24. Serve lemon rice with papaddums or vadams and coconut chutney or simply have it plain. You possibly can even pack lemon rice in tiffin or for a journey journey.

bright yellow colored lemon rice or chitranna served in a white bowl on a white cotton cloth with a side of fried papaddums

Serving Recommendations

Serve chitranna with pappadums or with a facet vegetable salad and even Coconut Chutney additionally goes nice with this dish.

It will also be made as a tiffin field. As lemon rice will be served at room temperature, it additionally makes an important picnic lunch merchandise. It’s a light-weight dish and you’ll have it as a light-weight lunch or breakfast additionally.

Make Forward & Storing

When you have any leftovers then retailer within the fridge for a day. Leftover rice will not be good for well being and will not swimsuit some individuals health-wise. So I recommend to complete the lemon rice in a day. Because of this I additionally recommend to not make a big batch of lemon rice to freeze or refrigerate.

Knowledgeable Ideas

  • Rice: Any non-sticky number of rice grains can be utilized in lemon rice recipe. This implies you should use short-grained rice and even lengthy grained rice like basmati.
  • Soaking rice: For any rice recipes, I at all times recommend to soak rice. It helps in cooking rice quicker and the rice grains cook dinner superbly. If you don’t soak rice, then improve the cooking time and add a bit extra water.
  • Overcooked rice: If in case you overcook rice they usually change into lumpy, then don’t worry. Merely break the lumps when the cooked rice is cooled.
  • Leftover rice: Some hours previous or a day previous leftover rice works excellently within the recipe. Add about 3 to 4 cups of leftover cooked rice.
  • Spices and lentils: Spices like mustard seeds and both dry crimson chillies or inexperienced chillies are completely wanted in chitranna recipe. You possibly can nonetheless let go of urad dal and asafoetida (hing) if they aren’t obtainable to you.
  • Herbs: Curry leaves add a novel aroma. In the event you discover it tough to acquire them, then you possibly can skip them. Although I’ve not added coriander leaves (cilantro), you possibly can add them. About 1 teaspoon of finely chopped ginger additionally provides an excellent taste to the chitranna recipe. 
  • Nuts: Each cashews and peanuts add quite a lot of texture and crunch in lemon rice. You may as well simply use one sort of nut. Don’t use nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts and so forth because the authenticity of the recipe will probably be misplaced. 
  • Lemons: Use lemons that are ripe and contemporary. You may as well use limes. 
  • Fat: The fats used to make lemon rice is oil. The oil that’s historically used is sesame oil constructed from wooden pressed uncooked sesame seeds. This sesame oil can also be known as as gingelly oil and may be very totally different from the south-asian toasted sesame oil. Sesame oil provides a substantial amount of nutty taste. In the event you wouldn’t have sesame oil, then merely use sunflower oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil or any impartial oil. 
  • Gluten-free model: Skip the asafoetida or use a gluten-free asafoetida within the recipe.

Extra South Indian Rice Recipes To Strive!

Please make sure you fee this recipe within the recipe card under if in case you have made it. For extra vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or observe me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

yellow colored lemon rice served in a white bowl on a white cotton cloth

Lemon Rice Recipe | Chitranna Recipe

Lemon Rice also called Chitranna or Nimmakaya Pulihora is a crunchy, flavorful and tangy rice dish that’s straightforward to make and tastes so good. Contemporary lemon juice, fried nuts, aromatic herbs and spices mix completely to offer this steamed rice an incredible spicy, tangy and nutty taste.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Prepare dinner Time 5 minutes

Complete Time 25 minutes

Stop your display from going darkish whereas making the recipe

Range-top strain cooking

  • Prepare dinner rice in a 2-litre or 3-litre strain cooker with salt and 1.75 to 2 cups water for two to three whistles or 8 to 10 minutes on medium to medium-high warmth. 

  • When the strain settles down by itself within the cooker, take away the lid. Take away the cooked rice in a plate or in a bowl.

  • 1 heaped cup rice will yield 3 to 4 cups rice. This can rely upon the kind and high quality of rice. 

  • Let the cooked rice change into heat or cool at room temperature

Cooking rice a pan or pot

  • Take rice, salt and a pair of cups water in a pan. Cowl and simmer till all of the water has been absorbed and rice grains are tender and fluffy.

  • Do maintain a verify when rice is simmering and if the water has dried leaving the rice grains undercooked, add some extra sizzling water and proceed to cook dinner.

  • Place the cooked rice in a tray or bowl to chill it.

On the spot pot technique

  • Add rice, salt and 1 or 1.25 cups water (relying on rice sort and high quality) within the metal insert of a 6 quart IP.

  • Strain cook dinner for five minutes on excessive. Do a fast strain launch after 5 minutes.

  • Empty the cooked rice in a plate or bowl to chill at room temperature.

Frying nuts

  • In a small frying pan, warmth 2 tablespoons sesame oil. First fry the peanuts till crunchy after which set them apart. 

  • In the identical oil, then fry cashews till golden. Take away and put aside.

  • Now add 1 tablespoon sesame oil in the identical pan. Maintain the flame to a low.

  • Add the mustard seeds and allow them to crackle. As soon as the mustard seeds start to crackle, add the urad dal.

  • Fry till the urad dal turns golden. Fry all the things on a low flame, in order that the lentils don’t burn.

  • Then add the crimson chilies, inexperienced chilies (chopped) and curry leaves. Sauté for a number of seconds till the crimson chilies change coloration. 

  • Change off the warmth and add the asafoetida and turmeric powder. Combine very nicely

Making lemon rice

  • Instantly pour this tempering combination on cooked and cooled rice. Add the fried peanuts and cashews, lemon juice, salt. Combine very nicely.

  • Maintain the bowl or pan lined for the flavors to mix for 4 to five minutes.

  • Then serve the lemon rice.

  • Whereas serving you possibly can select to garnish chitranna with some chopped coriander leaves (cilantro).

Serving recommendations

  • Serve lemon rice with pappadums or with a facet vegetable salad and even coconut chutney additionally goes nice with this dish.

  • It will also be packed within the tiffin field. As lemon rice will be served at room temperature, it additionally makes an important picnic lunch merchandise. It’s a light-weight dish and you’ll have it as a light-weight lunch or breakfast too.

  • Rice: Any non-sticky number of rice will be added. If in case you overcook the rice they usually change into lumpy, then don’t worry. Merely break the lumps when the rice grains are cooled. Leftover rice works excellently within the recipe. Add about 3 to 4 cups of leftover cooked rice.
  • Spices and lentils: Spices like mustard seeds and both dry crimson chillies or inexperienced chillies are important. You possibly can nonetheless let go of urad dal and asafoetida (hing) if they aren’t obtainable to you. About 1 teaspoon of finely chopped ginger additionally add an excellent taste to the chitranna recipe. 
  • Herbs: Curry leaves add a novel aroma. In the event you discover it tough to acquire them, then you possibly can skip them. You may as well add coriander leaves (cilantro). 
  • Nuts: Each cashews and peanuts add quite a lot of texture and crunch in lemon rice. You may as well simply use one sort of nut. Don’t use nuts like almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts and so forth because the authenticity of the recipe will probably be misplaced. 
  • Lemons: Use lemons or limes that are ripe and contemporary.
  • Oil: The oil that’s historically utilized in sesame oil constructed from wooden pressed uncooked sesame seeds. This sesame oil, also called gingelly oil may be very totally different from the south-asian toasted sesame oil. In the event you wouldn’t have sesame oil, then merely use sunflower oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil or any impartial oil. 
  • Gluten-free model: To make a gluten-free lemon rice merely skip the asafetida or use a gluten-free asafetida.

Vitamin Info

Lemon Rice Recipe | Chitranna Recipe

Quantity Per Serving

Energy 458 Energy from Fats 198

% Every day Worth*

Fats 22g34%

Saturated Fats 3g19%

Sodium 445mg19%

Potassium 183mg5%

Carbohydrates 56g19%

Fiber 3g13%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 9g18%

Vitamin A 239IU5%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 49mg245%

Vitamin B6 1mg50%

Vitamin C 85mg103%

Vitamin E 1mg7%

Vitamin Okay 3µg3%

Calcium 47mg5%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 507µg127%

Iron 2mg11%

Magnesium 52mg13%

Phosphorus 146mg15%

Zinc 1mg7%

* % Every day Values are based mostly on a 2000 calorie weight loss plan.

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This Lemon Rice recipe put up from the archives first printed in August 2013 has been republished and up to date on November 2022.



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