Whenever we say lemon rice, everyone feels ” it is such a simple dish”. For me, it was always a nightmare. Sometime it is less sour, sometimes very sour, sometimes bitter lemon flavour,sometimes spicy, sometimes salty, sometimes not mixed well. All sorts of issues.
Raw rice – 3/4 cup – Can use any rice say basmati or ponni etc – I have used the left over rice which I cooked for the sambar rice. So mine is little mushy and not separate. Always cook rice separately for this purpose.
Til Oil or sesame seed oil – 4 tbsp.
Mustard – 1 tsp.
Jeera – 1 tsp.
Chana dal – 1 tbsp.
Can use groundnut or cashews (optional).
Hing – 6 pinches.
Ginger – medium size piece. Use fresh ginger.
Green chilli – 4 nos.
Salt – 2 1/4 tsp.
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice – 4 tbsp.
Curry leaves or coriander leaves.
- Soak the rice for atleast half an hour.
- The texture of the rice is important for a good taste. Boil plenty of water say 6 cups or 8 cups (more is better) for 1 cup of rice. Add the soaked rice and salt. Keep it in low flame and cook. SALT (2 tsp) IS IMPORTANT WITH THE RICE. THE RICE WILL HAVE A FLAVOUR AND TASTE WITH SALT.
- In the beginning the raw rice will stay at the bottom. As and when it gets cooked – it will start coming up.
- Once cooked, drain the rice and allow it to cool.
- Mix 2 tbsp of til oil in it.
- This is the only efficient way to cook rice individually without breaking. This is also the most healthier way of making rice. The rice will not be heavy and it will be very light as all the starch is removed.
- Take a kadai.
- Add Oil – 2 tbsp.
- Add mustard – allow it to splutter.
- Add jeera – allow it to splutter.
- Add chana dal – brown it,
- Add ground nut or cashew (optional) – brown it.
- Add ginger and green chilli (do not roast it ).
- Add hing and curry leaves or coriander leaves and switch off the flame.
- Add turmeric and 1/4 tsp of salt.
- Allow it to stand. Once cooled add the cooled rice and lemon juice. Mix well gently.
- Keep it covered for an hour before serving – only then all the flavours will get mixed very well.
- Never roast the green chillies in this recipe. Leave it in oil and it will get roasted little bit – that is enough.
- For 1/4 cup of raw rice – use 1 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice (roughly 1 and half lime), one and half – green chilli, a small piece of ginger and 1/2 tsp of salt + one pinch. One lemon should give 1 tbsp of juice generally.
- This rice is tasty only when it is spicy and sour. The salt is also little more than the normal recipes because of the sourness.
- Add lemon juice in the end – to retain all the nutrients.
- Lemons are rich with Vitamin C. Lemon juice can increase iron absorption! If you find yourself being anemic- stock up on lemons. It also burns the fat.
- Small lemons are also suitable for lemon pickles. It ferments very quickly – as the skin is thin. There is no bitterness in this lemon.