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Lemon Rice Nimmakaya Pulihora

Lemon Rice is a delicious South Indian dish, a super-simple way to liven up plain rice. This zesty, fragrant rice is spiced up with green chillies and an extra ginger kick.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Main - Rice Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 2 to 3
Author: Padma


  • For recipe to cook plain rice click here.
  • For the Rice mix:
  • 2 Cups cooked & Cooled rice
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • Required salt
  • For the Tempering:
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 Teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1 Teaspoon Black gram Urad dal
  • 1 Teaspoon Split Bengal gram Channa dal
  • 5 Cashews
  • 1 Tablespoon Peanuts
  • 4 Green chillies slit
  • 1 teaspoon minced Ginger
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • A Pinch of Asafoetida
  • 2 Tablespoons Coriander finely chopped
  • Other Ingredients:
  • Juice from 1 to 2 lemons Depends on the tanginess you prefer


  • For the rice mix:
  • Use cooked rice or cook rice separately in a pressure cooker, rice cooker or a saucepan following this recipe. Make sure you don’t over cook the rice and the grains are separate, otherwise lemon rice will become mushy.You can also use left over rice for this recipe.
  • To the plain rice add turmeric, 1 tablespoon of oil and a little salt. Mix well until all the rice grains are coated with turmeric.
  • For the tempering:
  • Heat around a tablespoon of oil in pan over medium heat and add mustard seeds.
  • Once the mustard seeds crackle, add dry red chilies, black gram and split bengal gram.
  • Now add peanuts and cashew nuts.
  • Once they start to turn slightly brown, add green chilies and minced ginger.
  • Fry for about a minute and now add curry leaves and asafoetida. Mix well and turn off the heat.
  • Cool down the tempering and add required lemon juice. Lemon juice can be added to the cooked rice but I like to add lemon juice directly in the tempered lentils.
  • To make lemon rice:
  • Transfer the tempering to the turmeric rice from above and give it a nice stir. Traditionally it is mixed using hands.
  • Adjust salt and lemon juice to suit your taste.
  • Let the rice sit for couple of hours and the rice will soak all lemon flavour and will taste really good. It tastes best when made one day before. Finally adjust salt before serving.