Fragrant Indian Lemon Rice Recipe

Lemon Rice
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Lemon Rice

Lemon, which is also called nimmakaya pulihora is a tangy and flavorful side dish that is easy to prepare. This lemon jasmine rice is made with fried nuts, aromatic herbs, variety of spices and lemon juice to give the dish a burst of tangy, nutty and spicy flavors. Lemon parsley rice is also a vegan side dish that you can enjoy with vegetable or meat curries. The turmeric also adds golden color and anti-inflammatory properties to the dish that makes this recipe stand out.

One of the things that make lemon parsley rice stand out is the pronounced citrus flavor! You can easily turn regular rice into a delicious dish that tastes great with a variety of meats and vegetables.

Traditionally, this dish is made with roasted nuts and red chilies in India. However, the Macedonian version of this dish features garlic, scallions, and lemon zest, along with lemon juice to taste. Again, you can also add turmeric to this dish if you prefer since this spice adds color to the rice dish and has several health benefits.

Lemon basmati rice is also cooked in milk and broth instead of water which gives the rice a creamy texture and even more flavor. You may also want to add a sprinkle of fresh dill to the rice since this herb goes great with lemon.

More About the Lemon Rice Recipe

Learning how to make it will give you a go-to side dish that complements most South Indian dishes well. You can find this delicious rice at most Indian restaurants and it is even served in some South Indian temples.

The steps for how to cook it are easy and the ingredients include a mixture of urad dal (also known as black gram), hot green chili peppers, fried mustard seeds, and a mixture of fresh and powdered herbs and spices. The fried tempering mixture fo the lemon rice is poured over the side dish once the spices have fried for a few minutes. Fried cashews and peanuts are a delicious part of this dish as well and are mixed in with the rice along wit the fresh lemon juice.

You can prepare it with fresh or leftover rice. The cashews and peanuts in the dish add a satisfying crunch to this aromatic and tangy dish. Instant pot lemon rice is a great choice if you want to fully cook the rice and don’t have any leftover rice at the moment.

Notes for Cooking the Lemon Rice

The first step in the lemon butter rice recipe is to rinse one cup of ice a few times. Soak the rice grains in water for about half an hour. An easy lemon rice recipe works well with short-grain or long-grain rice so you can use the rice you prefer to bring this recipe together.

Drain the water from the rice and add the rice in a pressure cooker (the cooker should be able to hold 2 or 3 liters). Add one-fourth teaspoon of salt or to taste. Add about two cups of water to the lemon rice instant pot recipe.

Pressure-cook the rice for about 10 minutes or until you hear up to three whistles from the pressure cooker. The cooker should be on medium or medium-high heat. Once the pressure cooker settles down, you can open the lid.

Keep in mind that a spicy lemon rice recipe works well in a pan as well. If you’re making it in a pan, take the rice, two cups f water, and salt in a pan. Cover and let the rice simmer until all the water is absorbed and the grains are fluffy and tender. Check the rice while it is cooking and if the grains are undercooked but the water is nearly gone, add more water and continue to cook the rice.

Ingredient List for Lemon Rice

To make a tasty lemon rice recipe, you’ll need:

-1 cup of water

-1 cup of chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth to make the dish vegetarian)

-2 tablespoons of lemon juice

-2 teaspoons of butter

-1 cup of uncooked rice (long-grain is recommended)

-1/4 teaspoon of dried basil

-1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of grated lemon zest

-1/4 teaspoon of lemon-pepper seasoning

Preparation Directions

In a saucepan, bring the lemon juice, broth, butter, and water to a boil. Stir the rice in slowly, along with the lemon zest and basil. Turn the heat down and simmer the rice mixture for about 20 minutes. Allow the rice to stay for about five minutes or until the water is completely absorbed. Sprinkle the rice with lemon-pepper seasoning before serving.

Another Recipe Variation for Lemon Rice

Here is another recipe list for making this tasty rice dish:

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4 scallions (only use the white part for this step; you’ll need the green parts for garnish)
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1 cup of long-grain rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • salt and pepper to taste (use fresh ground pepper if possible)
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth (use the low-sodium variety)
  • 1 cup of half and half (you can also use evaporated milk or heavy cream)
  • the juice from one lemon (around 3 tablespoons)
  • chopped scallions (for garnish)
  • chopped fresh dill (for garnish)

Heat the butter and oil in a nonstick pan; add the onions and cook for about a minute. Stir in the lemon zest and garlic; keep cooking the mixture until it becomes fragrant (about 30 seconds).

Add the rice to the pan and season with salt, pepper, and turmeric. Allow the rice to cook, stirring often for about a minute. Stir in the half & half, broth, and lemon juice. Turn up the heat so that the mixture comes to a boil.

After a few minutes, turn the heat down to a simmer, then cover the pan and allow the rice to simmer for 18-20 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated.

Take the lemon rice from the heat and fluff it with a fork. Taste the rice to see whether it is seasoned to your liking and adjust the seasonings based on your preferences.

Garnish with scallions and dill before serving.



Can I make it with leftover rice?

The best lemon rice recipe variations feature leftover rice. Warming up day-old rice and infusing it with savory and tangy flavors is a great way to enhance your leftovers and give your rice a tasty overhaul that your friends and family will love.

How many calories are there in lemon rice?

One serving of easy lemon rice is 175 calories. Of these calories, 106 are from carbohydrates. There are 40 calories of protein in this side dish and 58 calories worth of fat.

Which rice is best to make it?

When you’re learning how to do it, you have a few choices when it comes to the type of rice to use. Basmati rice works well for this recipe, but you can use plain short-grain or jasmine rice as well. Long-grain rice will work for making lemon rice, too.

How much time does it take to prepare it?

A simple lemon rice recipe takes about half an hour to make. The prep is about 25 minutes and the rice takes around 5 minutes to fully cook. This is a tasty side dish that you can have on the table in minutes on a busy weeknight. Lemon rice also tastes great with meat dishes that have hearty sauces and gravies.