South Indian Lemon rice is one of the easiest, most colorful, and mouth-watering rice dishes. It is one of our school-time favorites. A complete meal and you can eat it with curd, raita, or any chutney. Other names for this dish are Chitranna or Nimmakaya Pulihora.

Making South Indian Lemon Rice is a wonderful way to use your leftover rice. Once you try it you will fall in love with it. You do like to prepare it again and again.

Whenever someone hears of this dish they think it is something too hard to make. But it is not the case. It is one of the easiest comfort food to prepare and is quite commonly made in South Indian houses. It only requires a few ingredients and you will be ready in no time.

Key points To Remember For Lemon Rice

  • Rice selection is important. Select the rice grains that are of non-sticky variety. You can have both short and long-grain rice.
  • It is preferable that the rice is not lumpy or overcooked. But if the cooked rice turns out lumpy then break the lumps once the rice is cool enough.
  • You can use the leftover rice to make the dish. In fact, some people believe it is better than freshly cooked rice.
  • Do not avoid spices like mustard seeds and either dry red chillies or green chillies.
  • Groundnut is for texture and crunch in the dish so do not skip them. You can even add cashew nuts for the same.
  • Traditionally, sesame oil is used to make the dish. You can substitute it with sunflower oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or any neutral oil.
  • One is not to eat this dish hot. It has to be lukewarm or at room temperature.

Tips For Lemon Rice

  • You can skip the dal in the recipe if you do not want them.
  • Some people add asafoetida to this. That ingredient is optional.
  • It is uncommon to add coriander to this dish but you can use them if you like.
  • Do not use nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc as the authenticity of the recipe will be lost.
  • For some variations, use chopped onions, mint, or urad dal in the dish.
  • Roast the peanuts in the air-fryer if you do not like roasting them in oil.
  • Add more vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, beans, corn, etc, and more spices to make a version of fried lemon rice.

You can try our other South Indian Recipes like South Indian Idli, South Indian Sambar, and South Indian Coconut Chutney.